The Bedford Citizen posted live Tweets during the November 4 Special Town Meeting, using #BedfordSTM as each article was decided.
If you’re not a Twitter follower, here is the outcome: all 19 Warrant Articles were voted and the meeting adjourned sine die by 10:30 pm.
And we’re are off! A quorum being present Bedford Special Town Meeting is underway at 7:04pm.
The moderator welcomed new voters and residence, briefly reviewed the Town Meeting process and introduced.
Article 1—Debate Rules. The moderator declared Article 1 passed by a 2/3 majority on a voice vote
Article 2—Community Preservation Surcharge: The moderator declared the motion passed/unanimously on a voice vote.
Article 3—Land Acquisition Fund The moderator declared the motion passed the 2/3 threshold with on a unanimous voice vote.
Article 4—Rescind 2018 Bond Authorization Acquisition of Navy Property Off Hartwell Road: the moderator declared the motion passed/unanimously on voice vote.
Article 5—Appropriate Funds for Transportation Infrastructure Fund: Passage of this article allows the town to receive $5094.70 from the from the Commonwealth Transportation Infrastructure Fund. The moderator declared the motion passed/unanimously on a voice vote
Article 6—300th Anniversary Stabilization Fund: the moderator declared the motion passed/unanimously on a voice vote
Article 7—Appropriate Funds for AFSCME, AFL-CIO, State Council 93, Local 1703 Collective Bargaining Agreement—FY2020. This is a transfer between accounts of funds previously approved at Town Meeting. the Moderator declared motion passed/unanimously on voice vote.
Article 8—Appropriate Funds for Bedford Permanent Firefighters Local 2310 IAFF Collective Bargaining Agreement—FY2020. Like the prior article, this is the transfer of previously approved funds: the Moderator declared the motion passed/unanimously on a voice vote.
Article 9—Amend FY2020 Operating Budgets. This article is a series of adjustments to the budget based on new information. The result decreases the budget by $464,387. The Moderator declares the motion passed/unanimously on a voice vote.
Article 10—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Accessory Dwelling Units Is currently being presented. Want to follow along? The STM slides, including this presentation, are available on the Town’s website: https://bedfordma.gov/sites/bedfordma/files/uploads/stm_2019-slide_presentation.pdf
With a discussion of several amendments, Moderator Cordes reminded attendees of the town bylaw governing amendments to zoning bylaws: “4.4.3 Amendments to bylaws … A proposed Zoning Bylaw article may be amended on the floor to be less restrictive.”
There’s a motion on the floor to table the article indefinitely. The Zoning Committee could then choose to present the Article or a modified version at a future town meeting. Requires a 2/3 majority. The Moderator declares there is not a 2/3 majority by voice vote.
A voice vote on Article 10 was not determinative so Moderator Cordes called for a counted vote. The result of the vote is 130 in favor with 80 opposed, the Article fails to meet the 2/3 threshold to pass.
Article 11—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Height of Accessory Structures. Moderator declared motion passed with a 2/3 majority on a voice vote.
Article 12—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Base Elevation. The moderator declared the motion passed/unanimously on a voice vote.
Article 13—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Temporary Uses and Structures. The Moderator declares motion passed with a 2/3 majority on a voice vote.
Article 14—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Horizontal Mixed-Use in The Great Road/North Road District. The Moderator declares the motion passed on a voice vote.
Article 15—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Clarifying Prohibition of Drive-Through in The Great Road Districts: The Moderator declares the motion passed with a 2/3 majority on a voice vote.
Article 16—Power Purchase Agreement: The Moderator declares the motion passed on a voice vote.
Article 17—Charter Amendment to change Selectmen to Select Board was presented. The moderator declared the motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Article 18—Miscellaneous Charter Amendments Housekeeping, which included capitalizing Town, gender-neutral language, and Oxford commas among other housekeeping, is declared passed on a voice vote.
Article 19—Charter Amendment—Board of Assessors, Moderator declared the motion passed with on a voice vote.
One and done! Bedford Special Town Meeting is adjourned.
It was great to see so many people come out to participate in our Town government. Stay tuned to The Bedford Citizen in the coming days for additional coverage.