Charter Review Close to Completion

Changes in the Selectmen’s name and in the appointment of the Assessors were the most substantive Charter changes approved at Special Town Meeting on November 4.

With Town Meeting approval, the changes recommended by the Charter and By-Law Review Committee updating Bedford’s central documents are almost complete. The changes must also be approved by the voters at the Town Election in March, followed by a final step, the Attorney General’s approval.

Special Town Meeting Addresses Controversial Zoning Issues 

At the November 4 Special Town Meeting, voters disapproved an amendment to the current zoning regulations for accessory dwelling units while approving amendments to the permitted height of accessory structures; specifications of base elevations of single-family dwellings; and restrictions on temporary use structures. They also voted to permit the construction of horizontal mixed-use in the Great Road/North Road District, and clarified the prohibition of drive-throughs in the Great Road District.

Select People, by Any Name…

With a unanimous voice vote, passage of Article 17 at Special Town Meeting changed the name of the town’s governing entity from Selectmen to “Select Board.”

The Charter Commission recommended the change and Selectman Emily Mitchell spoke of the support from the entire board. “… This board is the only one in Town—of about 60—with a gender-specific name. And by keeping the ‘select’ in ‘Select Board’, we are maintaining our links to our history and tradition.”

ICYMI ~ The Citizen’s Reports Relevant to the Special Town Meeting Warrant on November 4

In its coverage of boards and committees over the past several months, The Bedford Citizen has published multiple reports relating to the Warrant for Special Town Meeting, 2019.

To help readers prepare for Monday’s meeting, links to relevant reports are listed beneath the Article to which they refer.

Editor’s Note: Special Town Meeting begins at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Bedford High School, 9 Mudge Way in Bedford.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – Some Questions and Answers

Editor’s Note: The Bedford Citizen thanks the Planning Department for preparing these Questions and Answers about Article 10—Zoning Bylaw Amendment Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Q. Does the term ADU carry a different meaning from the current term accessory apartment?

Covering the Articles in the Special Town Meeting Warrant ~ Links to Reports in The Bedford Citizen

In its coverage of boards and committees over the past several months, The Bedford Citizen has published multiple reports relating to the Warrant for Special Town Meeting, 2019.  

To help readers prepare for Monday’s meeting, links to relevant reports are listed beneath the Article to which they refer.

Editor’s Note: Special Town Meeting begins at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Bedford High School, 9 Mudge Way in Bedford.

Letter to the Editor: The Foundation of Our Local Democracy

Whether you grew up in a small town with a town meeting form of government, or in a city with a mayor and city council, there are few opportunities for ordinary citizens like us to have a say in how their community is governed.

On November 4 at 7 PM, every registered voter in Bedford gets a say. A say in the rules that govern how the town operates, through updates to the Town Charter. A say in how the Town regulates businesses, and what you can do with your property through Zoning Bylaws.

FinCom Recommendations for Special Town Meeting, 2019

The Finance Committee has a responsibility for creating the budget for the Town, as well as providing for recommendations on articles in the Town Meeting Warrant. The committee reviews each article on the Warrant, listens to presentations, asks questions, discusses and finally votes for a recommendation. While our recommendations are printed in the warrant, we are presenting additional information about our recommendations in advance of Town Meeting. It is our hope and goal that making this additional information available will be of benefit to the voters.

Video PSAs Encourage Special Town Meeting Attendance

Special Town Meeting on November 4 may not have a ‘marquee’ article that guarantees a sell-out crowd, but it has something else, something more important: the fundamental flavor of democracy. One resident, one vote, making decisions for the Town where we live.

Students from Lane School have created a pair of videos to help explain some of the issues that will be voted at the meeting and to encourage voter participation. Both Town Manager Sarah Stanton and Town Moderator Cathy Cordes thanked the students for helping to get the word out about Special Town Meeting on November 4.