Bedford’s municipal election isn’t until Saturday, March 12, but the Jan. 4 caucus is a milestone, because that’s where candidates can be voted onto the ballot, thereby bypassing the requirement to obtain signatures on nominating petitions. And virtually every candidate receives the caucus nomination since the bylaws provide for choosing up to two for every vacancy.
Here is a look at some of the early pre-caucus activity
- Moderator: Mark Siegenthaler, whose past service as a Selectman and Planning Board member totals 30 years, confirmed Thursday that he is a candidate for town moderator. The position has been vacant for several months, after Cathy Cordes moved out of state. Siegenthaler served as acting moderator at annual town meeting in May. The term is for three years.
- Select Board: Emily Mitchell has formally announced that she will be bidding for a second three-year term. Her colleague William Moonan was asked earlier this week about his possible candidacy; he said, “I haven’t thought about it yet.”
- School Committee: JoAnn Santiago on Monday said she has decided not to run for a third term. Then on Tuesday, Sheila Mehta-Green, the head of the Special Education Parents Advisory Council, announced her candidacy. Brad Morrison’s term is also expiring; he said earlier this week, “I would like to talk it over with my family” before any public announcement.
- Regional School Committee: Nancy Asbedian, who won election three years ago as a write-in candidate, plans to be on the ballot this time. “Shawsheen is an awesome opportunity for Bedford students,” she declared.
- Planning Board: Shawn Hanegan said earlier this week he is undecided. Amy Lloyd, whose term also expires in March, could not be reached for comment.
- Board of Health: Bea Brunkhorst plans to run for another three-year term.
- Board of Library Trustees: Abby Hafer is “reasonably confident” that she will be running for re-election. Alma Hart is still considering her options. Elizabeth Hacala could not be reached for comment
- Board of Assessors: There will be a vacancy on the Board of Assessors—longtime member Bruce Murphy announced some time ago that he will not run again.
- Bedford Housing Authority: After three 5-year terms, Housing Authority member Jane Puffer will not run again.
Santiago said she made her decision “after much reflection.” She enumerated some of the highlights of her two terms:
“During the past six years I have had the opportunity to support the school system and our students by leading the search for a new superintendent, preparing our school buildings to meet the town’s future needs, and working with district leadership, my school committee colleagues and other town officials to ensure students have access to the resources they need to grow into thoughtful, caring, resilient community members,” she wrote.
Santiago said it was a “privilege to serve, and “I am thankful that my fellow residents offered me this opportunity.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763