Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
As Master of Ceremonies for the program at Rick Reed’s retirement celebration, Selectman Chair William Moonan offered a brief outline of the Town’s history during the 30 years when Reed served as Bedford’s fourth Town Administrator (1988 to 2005), and its first Town Manager since 2006.
Moonan noted an impressive slate of Reed’s accomplishments and a hearty list of co-conspirators. Click this link to read Selectman Moonan’s remarks.
The program ranged from humor to heartfelt tributes, with plenty of collegial honors. Click this link to watch Bedford TV’s video.
Selectman Mike Rosenberg ‘learned that Reed surreptitiously has been writing a musical, “I’d Rather be Rick” based on his Bedford career’ and sang its opening number to the tune of This Land is Your Land. Click this link to read the lyrics.
Arlington’s Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine presented Reed with a Lifetime membership in the ICMA (the preeminent professional association for town managers, the International City/County Management Association) and the MMA, the Mass Municipal Association, citing Reed’s unparalleled work ethic.
Recently installed commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Hanscom Air Force Base Col. Chad Ellsworth and Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes, presented Reed with an engraved Revere lantern on behalf of the 10,000 servicewomen, servicemen, and civilians associated with HAFB.
State Representative Ken Gordon and State Senator Mike Barrett lauded Reed’s commitment to the Town, and his leadership of the Middlesex 3 regional partnership which he helped to establish and which he led for five years. Senator Barrett noted that the proclamation from the Legislature was offered to celebrate Reed’s “Smart thinking, shrewd problem solving, and steady leadership.”
Unable to be present in person, Selectman Margot Fleischman wrote that many Bedford residents, and none of its youngsters, recall Bedford before Rick Reed arrived from Maryland 30 years ago. Apologizing for the memory lapse that kept him from the reception, School Superintendent Jon Sills wrote, “[Among other attributes] your values deserve appreciation and respect … your commitment to affordable housing, your commitment to conservation and open space, your commitment to racial diversity and fairness, your commitment to service.”
Former Selectman Joseph Piantedosi reminded the gathering of the first crisis early in Reed’s tenure when Bedford’s water supply fell victim to industrial pollution. Through Reed’s leadership and a previously untested strategy, dispute resolution, the Town avoided a costly legal entanglement and came to an agreement with the polluter within two days, before becoming the first town to purchase water directly through the MWRA. Piantedosi characterized Reed as a mild-mannered yet tenacious fighter, unafraid of a challenge, with a propensity for deep research that generates creative solutions.
Victor Garofalo, Bedford’s Finance Director, lauded Reed’s compassion and trust in dealing with staff, allowing employees to grow in their positions while always holding the best interests of the Town in mind. As he finished his remarks, a door at the side of the stage opened and a replica of a Selectman’s chair, engraved with the town seal and the words ‘Richard T. Reed ~ Town Manager ~ 1988 to 2018’ was brought forward.
In his remarks, Reed thanked his family and staff, along with his professional colleagues.
Working with citizen committees was new to Reed when he arrived in Bedford. He described his role in working with the Selectmen as blending five points of view into a shared agenda to benefit the Town.
Reed paid particular tribute to his wife Carol and his mentors, Robert Harp the Town Manager in Reed’s hometown, Livingston, NJ, and Sanford W. Dailey, the Gaithersburg, MD Town Manager who hired Reed as an intern in his office and promoted him four times in the 11 years they worked together. Each of Reed’s mentors served their towns for nearly 30 years, leading him to understand that the grass might not really be greener in another community.
In speaking of his long hours spent at Town Hall, Reed noted that words could not express his love and appreciation for his wife’s support, although she was known on particularly long days to exclaim (in a voice heard from within the audience) “Rick, come home!” Reed answered, “Carol, thank you, thank you all, I’m home now.”