Annual Town Meeting 2020, Part III ~ A Special Town Meeting within the Annual Town Meeting

Every Town Meeting is called by the Select Board issuing a Warrant. That warrant is mailed to all households.  The warrant informs voters where and when the meeting will be and “the subjects to be acted upon.”  No action at Town Meeting is valid unless the voters are informed about what is to be acted upon.

The Warrant for Bedford’s Annual Town Meeting, originally scheduled for March 23, 2020, was issued by the Select Board in mid-February.  That Warrant is what will be considered at the rescheduled Annual Town Meeting on July 11, 2020.

Since that Warrant was issued, a matter of urgency has arisen that requires the action of Town Meeting.  Therefore, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 the Select Board issued a Warrant for a Special Town Meeting to be held on July 11, 2020.

While it might seem strange to have two meetings on the same day, it saves time and expense. The process is a simple one.  As Moderator, I will open the Annual Town Meeting and then move to recess the meeting until after the Special Town Meeting.  I will then open the Special Town Meeting and we will proceed to act on the two articles on that Warrant.

  1. Article One is the Rules for the Meeting. This article follows the form of the usual TM rules, with some minor adjustments to time limits.
  2. Article Two is described in the Warrant as: This article would authorize a Tax Increment Financing Agreement for the planned locations of Ultragenyx Corporation (“Company”), and Gutierrez Company (“Property Owner”), at 170 Middlesex Turnpike. The agreement would permit the reduction of the new property taxes generated from the construction of a brand-new facility. The tax reduction would not be permanent. The construction of a new facility on a currently vacant lot adds value to the Town’s commercial/industrial tax base. Overall, the Town would benefit by receiving increased property tax revenue from the site development.

My purpose as Moderator is to describe the process, not the detail about this article.  For more specific information about the Tax Increment Financing Agreement and its implementation and impact, please see further information as of July 1, at https://www.bedfordma.gov/town-meeting

Planning for Voters’ Safety at Annual Town Meeting 2020

There is an extensive planning team working on all the details of Town Meeting to keep voters as safe as possible.  The team includes the Town Manager, Town Moderator, Town Clerk, Directors of Health and Human Services, Facilities, Public Works, the Police Chief, and the Fire Chief, along with staff support from all these departments.   The goal is to protect the voters and Town employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to assure the legitimacy of our Town Meeting. Please refer to the website at https://www.bedfordma.gov/town-meeting  as of July 1 for up-to-date information, warrants, presentations, and background materials.

I hope to see you at both Town Meetings on July 11.  If you have comments or questions on process or logistics, you can contact me at TownModerator@bedfordma.gov


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