Bedford’s Town Election on March 14 turned out to have unexpected national significance. Not only was Bopha Malone the first minority candidate to win election to Bedford’s Select Board (as far as anyone seems to know) it has also been discovered that she was only the second Cambodian American woman in the entire country ever to win election to public office. This is clearly a big win for Cambodians everywhere, but especially in the eyes of young Cambodian American women.
I’d like to take a moment to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part in our Town’s election. The day would not have been possible without the amazing town employees and volunteers who made the best of a difficult situation and did everything possible to keep voters safe.
I’d also like to thank the many people who took the time to share their concerns and hopes with me and my fellow candidates, and to the many people who made it out on Saturday to do their civic duty and vote. It was wonderful to see such a high turnout and such high spirits on Saturday, in spite of everything going on.
Bedford’s polls opened at 8 am, but the voters were sporadic until mid-morning when the traffic picked up dramatically according to reports. At noon, Precinct One had tallied 400 ballots, and traffic into and out of JGMS seemed brisk.
Pre-election organization paid off: Voters were socially distant, wipes and pens were plentiful. Town staff were on hand, election workers were helpful, and voters seemed ebullient, with a whiff of “We’re getting this done” in the air.
Polls are open until 6 pm tonight (Saturday, March 14, if you’re reading this later!) The Citizen plans to be on hand to report the preliminary vote totals.
Joan Bowen of the League of Women Voters of Bedford welcomed members of the community to a Candidates’ Forum on Sunday afternoon in the Shawsheen Room of the Town Center Building. The meeting began with opening statements from the three candidates competing for two open seats on the Board of Selectmen: Bopha Malone, Ed Pierce, and Mark Siegenthaler. This was followed by a question and answer period for the trio and then each was allowed a brief closing summary.
I’m writing in support of Mark Siegenthaler for Select Board. Mark has lived in Bedford for nearly 40 years and served our town government in multiple roles for nearly 30 of those years, including serving 7 terms as a Selectman. Mark knows Bedford town government inside and out which gives him the breadth of experience to be an effective member of the Select Board.
Professionally, Mark worked for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development for more than 25 years as well as for the City of Newton and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. His professional experience has given Mark a deep understanding of the relationship between state and local governments. I believe it would serve Bedford well to have someone with that knowledge and understanding on the Select Board.
I am very pleased to write an endorsement for Bopha Malone who is running for Select Board. Bopha, who met me when she was canvassing our Bedford neighborhood, asked me what I thought was important for services for senior citizens in our community which impressed me as we have been residents in this town for 44 years.
She is eager and energized to serve our entire community, bringing with her expertise in different areas including economic empowerment and training in government. Bopha Malone will be an excellent member of the Select Board.
We offer our support to Bopha Malone to be elected as a member of the Bedford Select Board on March 14, 2020 Town Elections.
She brings her strong background to this country and the Bedford Community as a 9-year-old Cambodian refugee facing and surviving a new language and culture. Subsequently moving on to graduate with a Bachelors & Masters Degree in Business Management from Lesley University.
Just a note to let you and the readers of the Bedford Citizen know that I am supporting and going to vote for Bopha Malone for Selectperson in the upcoming election. I was invited with other friends to have a sit down with Bopha several weeks ago. I had not at that point any idea about Bopha and how she might fare as a candidate. It only took a few moments of being with her and listening to her to learn that Bopha is a breath of fresh air for Bedford. I decided to support her on the spot and she has never failed to inspire me to support her commitment to and goals for Bedford.
More than anyone I know, my wife Bopha Malone is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community. Bedford would be fortunate to have her as a member of the Select Board, where she’ll turn her passion and boundless energy toward helping Bedford be the best town possible for its residents.
As you may know by now, Bopha came to the U.S. as a child as a refugee from Cambodia. Thanks to a welcoming United States and supportive organizations, she became a successful, confident, and strong woman. She believes strongly in the idea, “From those to whom much has been given, much will be expected,” and has become deeply involved in service to the community. This includes but is in no way limited to serving as a board member for women-empowering organizations like Girls Inc. of Lowell, refugee assistance organizations like CMAA and the International Institute, and educational institutions like Middlesex Community College. It is important to her that everyone has access to the same chances to succeed as she has had.
I am writing to support Bopha Malone in her candidacy for Bedford’s Select Board. As a teacher for more than 16 years in a neighboring town, I have seen firsthand the important role town government plays in strengthening the community and supporting families.
My husband Caley and I moved to Bedford in 2011 before we started a family, but with plans to start soon! We attended the 10-year planning exercise out of curiosity – and frankly – having some time on our hands living in the suburbs without children! We still talk about it to this day as an eye-opening experience where we came to learn about town government, meet some great people, and also witness the lack of younger adults in these forums. We were very welcome and appreciated, but a minority.
Fast forward almost 10 years and three wild boys later, we haven’t been able to find that time again to get involved in the decisions being made to continue to ensure Bedford is a thriving community for all residents. We both have demanding jobs and children and while I’m sure we’ll look back on these years fondly – they are exhausting!
My family and I have lived here in Bedford for the past 10 years. But I’ve known Bopha Malone for much longer than that, and am happy to support her for Bedford’s Select Board.
Like Bopha, I was born in Cambodia, and my family fled the instability and violence there to look for a better life in the United States. When we arrived in the Boston area in the 1988s, we didn’t speak much English and of course, didn’t know the area at all. Bopha’s family had arrived in Massachusetts a year or two earlier, and her family helped mine settle in the area and find jobs. They were a huge help to my family as we got our start here in the United States.
An important town election is coming up on March 14, and at The Bedford Citizen, we’re taking Thomas Jefferson’s words to heart. As soon as the lawns signs started to appear The Bedford Citizen started working with the Bedford League of Women Voters to create our first Bedford Voters Guide.
Pamela Carakatsane was confirmed as Bedford’s interim Town Clerk during the Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020. She stepped in after Doreen Tremblay retired on December 31, 2019, ending a 27-year career as Bedford’s Town Clerk.
Finding a qualified Town Clerk to pick up the reins is a legal requirement. Bedford’s annual census returns are beginning to come in; the January 7 Town Caucus will kick off the Town’s election season this week; the Massachusetts Presidential Primary election is scheduled for March 3; and the Town Election will take place on Saturday, March 14. With additional important contests on the calendar in September and November 2020 is set to be a very busy year for elections.
An experienced Town Clerk, Carakatsane served as Town Clerk in Ipswich for 14 years, until her retirement in July 2019. Before her Ipswich appointment, she served for several years in Lynnfield. With strong family connections in Ipswich, Carakatsane applied for their position as soon as it was announced in 2005.
The Town Clerk’s position is posted on the Bedford web site.
I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the Bedford School Committee. I have been serving on the School Committee since November after being appointed by the School Committee and the Selectmen to fill a recent vacancy. I will be seeking a caucus nomination on January 7 to serve the remaining two-year term created by this vacancy.
I am excited to announce that I will be seeking a caucus nomination on Jan. 7th for a seat on the Bedford School Committee. I will soon complete a three-year term on the Bedford School Committee and hope to be elected March 14 for another three-year term.
I have lived in Bedford with my husband and 3 children for 10 years. Since I moved in, I have been connecting people to one another in this wonderful town we live in. I started by coordinating playgroups for the BFC and then helping the families living at the Bedford Plaza Hotel feel connected to the community. As a member of the School Committee, I have helped establish different policies and programs in the Bedford Public Schools to enable different parts of the community to succeed in different ways.
I am seeking a second term as a member of Bedford’s Board of Health.
My first term included several accomplishments, including:
The completion of Bedford’s new Keeping of Animal’s Regulations. My involvement with the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation opened up resources that allowed us to finalize regulations that balance farming and homesteading rights of Bedford residents with appropriate public health concerns. Our current regulations are serving as a model for other communities.
I am pleased to announce that I will be seeking a caucus nomination on January 7 for re-election to my School Committee seat for the balance of the three-year term.
As you may know, I had to resign my seat in August to accept employment as the Town’s School Age Child Care Director and was immediately re-appointed to the School Committee. As per our bylaws, there must now be a Special Election for me to serve out the rest of the term, which expires in March 2021.
As a member of your Select Board, I will ensure that Bedford continues to maintain its small-town community while our infrastructure and services are up-to-date, sustainable, and accessible to all.
Our children are our future, and our elders are the backbones of our community. We have one of the best public education systems in the Commonwealth, and although we need to maintain our fiscal health, I want to invest selectively and wisely to support the School Committee’s efforts to maintain and improve our school’s quality and offer our children more programs and support. I want to make housing available and affordable for seniors. Traffic and issues of climate change are major issues that impact our quality of life, and I am committed to working across departments, committees, and groups to implement creative solutions for a healthier community.
I am pleased to announce my candidacy for a seat on Bedford’s Select Board.
Many of you know that I served for many years as a Selectman, ending in 2017 when I chose not to run again. Since that time, I have continued to serve our town. First, as a member of the Municipal Housing Trust as we guided the Pine Hill Crossing housing project through Town Meeting. Next, as an appointed member of the Planning Board evaluating development projects and zoning proposals. Last year, you elected me to finish out the remainder of my Planning Board term, which ends next March.
I would like to serve as a Select Board member to help our town manage our current affairs and face new challenges in new ways.