Town Caucus, Part II ~ Uncontested Races

Waiting for Bedford’s 2022 Town Caucus to begin on Tuesday, January 4

 

Amy Lloyd, the senior member of the Planning Board, confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that she will be a candidate for re-election in the March 12 town election.

Lloyd was unable to attend the nominating caucus Tuesday evening because she is isolated as she recovers from a mild case of omicron. She said she has obtained nominating papers and plans to submit them to the town clerk’s office with the required minimum of 50 signatures by the Jan. 21 deadline.

That option is open to any eligible resident running for any office on the ballot. Caucus nominees are exempt from the signatures requirement.

Two Planning Board terms are expiring in 2022. Todd Crowley was nominated for one of them. Member Shawn Hanegan is a candidate for Select Board. The other seat, now occupied by Lloyd, was the only position without a nominee when the caucus concluded.

Crowley was nominated by current board member Jacinda Barbehenn. A software engineer at MITRE, his candidate statement mentioned how he assists elderly residents with personal computers as part of a Council on Aging program. Crowley also noted the 10 years he has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Five other positions were filled by caucus nominees without competition.

Betsey Anderson, a former Town Moderator, nominated Mark Siegenthaler for the position, which has been vacant since Catherine Cordes moved out of state almost a year ago.

Siegenthaler, whose service as a selectman and Planning Board member spanned 28 years, was voted moderator at the 2021 annual town meeting to preside there. On Tuesday he spoke of exploring “better ways to engage people” at Annual Town Meeting.

Nominating Nancy Wolk to the three-year term on the Board of Assessors was Rebecca Neale, an incumbent on the board. Wolk, a scientist, introduced herself, personally and professionally. “I’m interested in learning more about the assessment process,” she said. I have been part of spacecraft operations teams, she said, noting her attention to detail.

Brian O’Donnell nominated Nancy Asbedian, his colleague on the Shawsheen Valley Regional Technical High School Committee. Each of the five towns in the Shawsheen district has two representatives. Asbedian, finishing her first term, spoke of her love for the school and her ongoing work as chair of the school’s policy review committee.

For the Board of Library Trustees, Elizabeth Hacala nominated Abby Hafer, and later Hafer nominated Hacala. Both are incumbents. In between, Lalitha Ranganath nominated Padma Choudry.

Incumbents who are not seeking re-election besides Hanegan are Select Board member Bill Moonan, Assessor Bruce Murphy, and Library Trustee Alma Hart.

Other caucus nominees are:

  • Select Board (two seats): Emily Mitchell, incumbent; Hanegan and Ronald O’Brien.
  • School Committee (two seats): Brad Morrison, incumbent; Eleanor Gorsey, Kelly Horton, and Sheila Mehta-Green.
  • Board of Health (one seat): Bea Brunkhorst, incumbent; and Alison O’Connell.

On Monday, the town manager’s office announced that caucus rules would be modified to reduce the amount of potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus. Three-minute nominating speeches were dropped, and acceptance remarks were reduced from three minutes to a two-minute maximum.

The caucus requirement in the general bylaws makes no reference to anyone speaking except the presiding officer. However, the bylaw does stipulate that rules “may be amended by a vote of the caucus.” After the changes were announced, the caucus voted to accept them with no dissent.

Click this link to read Town Caucus, Part I ~ Contested Races

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763


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