Candidate Page ~ Planning Board ~ Jacinda M. Barbehenn

> Why did you decide to seek another term?  What do you think you have contributed to the Planning Board that you want to continue?

I ran for my first term because I believe that it’s a civic responsibility to contribute to the community one lives in. I am running again because I have amassed a critical amount of useful knowledge around growth that could, if considered lead, to win-win outcomes for all in town. In my first term I also found there was no process for on-boarding new board and committee members. It took me a good part of my first three-year term to begin to understand how to be effective in any meaningful way. I’d love to make that barrier of entry onto our Town boards and committees easier for those in the future who would like to serve and I would like to work on efforts in that regard.

> If elected, what will you do as a member of the Planning Board to implement the Towns’ Netzero plan?  How do you see the Planning Board moving that forward? 

I would encourage my fellow board members to listen to and work closely with community members that are already working tirelessly on this effort. This includes not only our Town’s Energy and Sustainability Committee but also local organizations that are out there learning best practices and bringing them back to Bedford for us all. Working together to promote stronger energy-saving building codes and policies we would advance these issues in a timely manner. I would also take advantage of the great work that our Transportation, Bicycle and Trails Committees are doing—working toward complete streets solutions and alternative path connections that make non-automobile travel not only safer but easy, convenient, and fun. In doing so they are not only working towards reducing our carbon footprint with every less auto trip traveled but also promoting better health outcomes for individuals as well as our community as a whole.

> What would you suggest as creative solutions to Bedford’s tilt toward homes priced beyond the reach of teachers, firemen, and other middle-income earners including those who work in town but can’t afford to live here.

There are many creative solutions I’d love to share and work towards like co-housing and expanding our options for building forms that are more amenable to how people are actually preferring and needing to live today. Fundamentally though, in order to move the needle on housing, we need to hear from more voices in town so that we as a board understand and take into consideration the needs of the entire population. As a re-elected board member, I would like to consider it a mandate that I, the Planning Board and Town government work towards innovative ways to connect with and include the considerations of a greater proportion of our residents—many of whom are simply too busy in their daily lives to find time for evening meetings. There are lots of both process and technology-oriented innovative solutions out there in use today that we could try.

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