Ann Kiessling, Candidate for Reelection to the Board of Health

Ann Kiessling, Director of the Bedford Research Foundation and retired  Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School

I am seeking a second term as a member of Bedford’s Board of Health.

My first term included several accomplishments, including:

  • The completion of Bedford’s new Keeping of Animal’s Regulations.  My involvement with the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation opened up resources that allowed us to finalize regulations that balance farming and homesteading rights of Bedford residents with appropriate public health concerns.  Our current regulations are serving as a model for other communities.
  • Spearheading the installation of MBTA bus stop shelters at locations in Bedford other than the VA hospital.  The first of three shelters, donated by Steve Hagan, has been installed on South Road near Railroad Ave and Loomis Street, and the DPW has funds appropriated at the 2019 Town Meeting for two more shelters.
  • Spearheading the creation of tick barriers on all Bedford athletic fields that border a woodland.  I invited Dr. Sam Telford, tick expert at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, to attend a Board of Health meeting to provide his expertise on the value of creating a physical barrier between players, spectators, and ticks.  Luckily, phase I of the project dovetails nicely with an athletic field fencing project for which the DPW already has resources, so the plan is to create a four-foot gravel path, with a fence in the middle, on the South Road ball fields that have bordering woodlands.  Dr. Telford also encouraged the Board to consider installing tick repellent stations near woodlands, similar to the sunscreen stations already implemented at some Bedford trails.
  • Encouraging Board of Health support for the implementation of a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife contingency plan to allow mosquito control on Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge in times of a threat from Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, which we will also face again next year.  This effort is ongoing.

I have for many years been involved with Bedford’s risk of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus and tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.  I am seeking a second term on the Board of Health to continue to develop efforts to diminish the risk of these diseases to Bedford residents.

I am also a strong advocate for citizen involvement in government, as evidenced by a Commencement Address I gave a few years ago in Oregon.

I respectfully ask for your vote at the January 7 Caucus and at the election on March 14.

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