Bedford’s Charter Review Committee has met through the summer to review Bedford’s Charter, the foundation of our town government. Here’s a summary of their report, followed by a link to its complete text.
The Committee held its first meeting in May 2019 and has, to date, held eight meetings. They contacted all Town boards, committees, commissions, and departments in writing and have considered all proposals. Two meetings for public input were advertised and held in June. All meetings had an agenda item for Open Discussion for public or staff input. All suggestions by letter and e-mail were documented and shared with the Committee.
Proposed changes to the Charter include gender-neutral language, grammatical changes, and simplification of language as well as several more substantive changes as described below with the current and proposed language for each recommendation.
General Changes: The Committee is proposing to change all he/she references to gender-neutral language. Where possible the Committee restructured the sentence to make the pronoun unnecessary or reworded the sentence.
Here are two samples:
- Sample 1 Any person holding an appointive or elective office may resign his or her their office by giving a resignation in writing to the Town Clerk, and such resignation shall be effective immediately, unless a time certain is specified when it shall take effect.
- Sample 2 Keep complete records of the Town Manager’s office and render a report of his or her activities of the activities of that office as often as may be required by the Selectmen Select Board but not less than once each quarter.
The committee also agreed to capitalize the “T” in “Town,” and to add Oxford commas where necessary.
Multiple proposed amendments are in the Warrant and, if approved, will be on the ballot in March 2020.
The Committee discussed all proposals that were received from individuals and boards and committees. The full report includes a brief summary of those items that are not being proposed at this time.
Click Charter Review Report for Special Town Meeting to read the complete report