Official Minutes for Bedford’s July 30, 2018 Special Town Meeting

Submitted by the Town of Bedford

Moderator Cathy Cordes and Town Clerk Doreen Tremblay at the opening of July 30’s Special Town Meeting – Image (c) Bedford TV, 2018 all rights reserved

The Moderator called the Town Meeting to order. The Special Town Meeting convened at 7:34 p.m. in the Bedford High School Auditorium. A quorum of three hundred and fifty-nine registered voters was present. The Town Clerk read the return of service.

The Moderator introduced herself as “Cathy Cordes”. The Moderator introduced Town Clerk Doreen Tremblay as the official record keeper and Deputy Moderator Betsey Anderson in the front row. The tellers for the evening are Peter Donahue, Rosemary Dyer, Susan Swanson and Lee Vorderer. The tellers are present if we need to do a counted vote.

Thank you for coming. We were not sure of a quorum tonight.  The real work is being done tonight. Town meeting is the legislative branch of government. What we do tonight will make a difference in the lives of the residents of Bedford.

The Moderator reviewed the rules of the Town Meeting.

A voter may not speak unless the Moderator recognizes them. The voter must stand at the microphone. There are four microphones and including one at the front. Voters will be recognized by microphone number. Name and address are required before speaking. A voter may not speak more than twice in debate without permission from the Moderator except to correct a statement. Questions do not fall under the debate rules. Time limits imposed by the debate rules adopted by this meeting will be respected. Questions must be directed through the Moderator. You are encouraged to ask questions or state your position on the motion presented. This is not a debate. Debate must be kept within the scope of the motion. Amendments must be in writing for the Moderator and Town Clerk. There is no clapping and booing.

Local cable is taping the discussion during the meeting. There will be no taping during votes. Turn off the ringer on the cell phone. If you need to use the phone, leave the hall to talk. You received a colored card at check-in for hand counts. Tonight the color is purple. If you did not receive a card, please return to the hall to get one. You are not permitted to tear the card in half to share with another voter. Neither vote will count.

You are encouraged to come to the microphone to share comments and ask questions as an active member of town meeting. Speak in a respectful fashion.  Speak to the issues, not the individuals. Speak for yourself and not for others.

If what you about to say has already been said two or three times, please think whether we need to hear it one more time. Democracy is a civil encounter and an effective means of governing as long as we are civil. Guidelines for Civil Discourse are in the back of the warrant.

Article 1 -Debate Rules

William Moonan made the following motion and the motion was seconded.

Voted, that the Town adopt the following procedure for the current Special Town Meeting:

  • A speaker presenting an article or amendment to an article shall be limited to ten (10) minutes;
  • Other speakers shall be limited to five (5) minutes;
  • No article shall be presented after 10:45 p.m.;
  • Town Meeting by majority vote may waive A, B, or C.


Selectmen: Recommended approval
Finance Committee: No position

The Moderator declared the moved article passes with a two-thirds vote.

Michael Rosenberg made the following motion and the motion was seconded. Voted, that Article 3 is taken out of order before Article 2.

Moderator declared the motion passes with a majority vote.

The Moderator announced voters standing in back of the auditorium must find a seat. Voters will not be allowed to vote if they are standing.

Moderator announced the amendment by the student who is not a voter is not an amendment.

Article 3 – Zoning Bylaw Amendment – Amendment to Bedford Zoning Map Navy Property on Hartwell Road

Michael Rosenberg made the following motion and the motion was seconded.

Voted, that the Town amend the Bedford Zoning Bylaws and amend the Bedford Zoning Map to incorporate the southerly portion of the US Navy property on Hartwell Road, consisting of 16 acres more or less, to change from the Industrial A District to the Residence C District. Said parcel is bound on the north by the Hartwell Road right of way, and on the east, south and west by land of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Port Authority (commonly known as L.G. Hanscom Field), and is a portion of the property identified on Assessors Map 77 as Parcel 1.


Selectmen: Unanimously recommended approval
Finance Committee: Recommended approval
Planning Board: Unanimously recommended approval

Moderator declared motion passes by a two-thirds majority (In Favor-288, Opposed-40). Thomas Hirsch of 24 Fox Run Road made the following motion and the motion was seconded.

This authorization is rescinded if there is any obligation to spend any funds to satisfy any historical covenant requirement or environmental cleanups.

A point of order to ask the Moderator to reread the amendment was requested. Moderator declared the motion fails with a majority vote.

Article 2 – Acquisition of Property off Hartwell Road

Michael Rosenberg made the following motion and the motion was seconded.

Voted, that the Town authorize the Selectmen to acquire by gift, purchase or eminent domain, all, any portion thereof, or any interest in the following described land for the purpose of creating a public asset; said land being a portion of Parcel 1 on Assessors Map 77 and consisting of 16 acres more or less; and that the Town appropriate the sum of $2,000,000.00 for the acquisition of said parcel and related acquisition costs, including the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto; that to meet this appropriation the Treasurer, with the approval of the Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said amount under General Law Chapter 44, or any other enabling authority; that the Selectmen are authorized to take any other action necessary to carry out this project; and that any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with General Law Chapter 44, Section 20, thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount.


Selectmen: Recommended approval
Finance Committee: No conclusion for a recommendation

Moderator declared motion passes with a clear two-thirds majority (In Favor-256, Opposed-26). The Moderator asked the voters to stay for one more article so the business meeting may finish.

Article 4 – Emergency Communications Officers Collective Bargaining Agreement -FY19

William Moonan made the following motion and the motion was seconded.

Voted, that the Town appropriate the sum of $12,835.04 to be added to Article 21, Operating Budgets – FY2019, Account #2010, Police Department, as voted at the 2018 Annual Town Meeting with $12,835.04 to be added to the Salaries segregation therein to fund the provisions of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Town of Bedford and the Emergency Communication Officers Association, Local 2310-B, IAFF commencing July 1, 2018 for the Emergency Communications Officers; by transferring $12,835.04 from said Article 21, Operating Budget Fiscal Year 2019, Account Number 1220, Selectmen.


Selectmen: Recommended approval
Finance Committee: Recommended approval

Moderator declared the motion passes.

William Moonan stated that at the last Town Meeting he announced that the Town Meeting was the last one for Town Manager Rick Reed. He said that actually, this Town Meeting was the last Town Meeting for Town Manager Rick Reed. The audience applauded the retiring Town Manager.

William Moonan made a motion to adjourn Special Town Meeting sine die. The motion was seconded the Town Meeting adjourned at 10:01 PM.

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