Joseph Gilbert: Candidate for Assessor

Hello everyone, my name is Joseph Gilbert, and it would be an honor to represent you on Bedford’s Board of Assessors.  I am a husband and father of two young children.  I’m also a Marine Corps veteran, a graduate of UMass Boston with a Bachelor’s in Finance, and a former realtor.   After the military, I continued my service as a government civilian with the Navy and a defense contractor.  While my family is relatively new to Bedford, I believe my experience and education provide me with both the necessary skills and a unique perspective to execute the duties required by the Board.

I recently became aware of the proposal to remove selection of the Assessors from the public and place the decision solely in the hands of the Select Board.  I adamantly agree with outgoing Board Chair, Ron Cordes, that independence is integral to the Assessors.  While the Select Board is always aligned with our town’s greater interests, they may not always directly align with those of the individual taxpayers in our town. It’s important that all interests are heard, represented, and balanced.  This balancing of interests – an important role of the Board of Assessors – is an important check on the Select Board and is the primary reason the Assessors should remain independently elected.  The feeling of paying our tax bill should be weighed against Bedford’s great services – both perspectives are important, and both should be considered, especially given the changes to Bedford in these unprecedented times.

Letter to the Editor Supporting Margot Fleischman for Select Board

I am supporting the candidacy of Margot Fleischman for Bedford’s Select Board.  I’ve been attending Select Board meetings for many years, which has given me a good opportunity to see Margot at work and follow her accomplishments.

I find that she is a very hard worker with a goal of maintaining and improving the services and quality of life that we enjoy in Bedford.  She goes out of her way to include all opinions and data as part of her decision process.  

Brian O’Donnell: Candidate for Regional School Committee

I am Brian O’Donnell and I am seeking a first term as one of Bedford’s two representatives to the Shawsheen Regional School Committee.  In that capacity, I would like to represent our community in the governance of a school that has established itself as one of the Commonwealth’s pre-eminent secondary vocational programs.  Bedford is fortunate to be a member of the Shawsheen district although historically we have underutilized this resource in comparison to our fellow district members (Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington). 

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Catherine Van Praagh for Board of Health

I am writing this letter in support of Catherine Van Praagh, who is running for a seat on the Board of Health.
 
To begin with, her qualifications are superb.  She has a master’s degree in microbiology and 25 years’ experience in the field. Her work has included work in vaccine research, long-term care facilities, and teaching. She is at present managing a biological research laboratory at MIT Lincoln Labs, where she is also the Environmental Health and Safety representative.

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Maureen Richichi for Board of Health

I strongly endorse Maureen Richichi as a candidate for the Board of Health.  I have known Maureen for over 20 years and worked with her back in the late nineties when I was the Selectman liaison to the Bedford Youth & Family Committee.  She is the perfect candidate to serve on our Board of Health with her 40+ years of experience as a public health nurse with a Master’s Degree in Maternal-Child Health Nursing.

Dennis J. Ahern: Candidate for Library Trustee

I grew up in Arlington, Mass. and was a frequent visitor to the Robbins Library. My first foray into civic life was at the age of ten when I addressed the Board of Selectmen in support of increased funding for the Library. I’ve been an advocate for Libraries ever since.

Alison O’Connell: Candidate for Board of Health

Having made Bedford our new home just a few months ago, I am looking to serve on the Board of Health with a fresh, unbiased perspective, informed by clinical data and best practices.  With a desire to become a contributing member to my new home town, and provide leadership-by-example to our young son, I look forward to the opportunity to drive policy changes, initiatives, and communications that support strong health outcomes in our community.

Kim Lovy: Candidate for Bedford Housing Authority

Greetings! My family and I have been residents of Bedford since August 2006. We have benefited greatly in our 15+ years here. We have three children who entered Davis School as kindergarteners. Two graduated in 2020, and the third is in the BHS class of 2024! The Bedford Public Schools is a wonderful place for children to grow.

We enjoy the town’s resources (library, recreational programs, Springs Brook Park, trails). I love the character and traditions of Bedford. I know that the strength of Bedford lies in its citizens, and that building a great community requires involvement. I am eager to start giving back, in deeds, to my town.

Letter to the Editor:  Supporting Margot Fleischman for Select Board

I’m honored to support Margot Fleischman for the Town of Bedford Select Board.

When my family moved to Bedford, we didn’t know a soul here. A neighbor encouraged me to contact Margot. My then middle schooler and I met with Margot at Starbucks to talk about Bedford and ask a specific question about how to start a project in support of the Middlesex Community College Food Pantry. Margot was so knowledgeable and generous with her time. She connected us to MCC and set up an email introduction with the Bedford Police Department to help store donations. She offered creative suggestions about a random small project idea we brought to her and it was because of her that it succeeded.

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Armen Zildjian for Planning Board

I have had the pleasure of knowing Armen for nearly a decade, first as a fellow parent and later as a friend.  In the time I have come to know him, I have learned that he possesses several important qualities that will serve him well as an elected representative on Bedford’s Planning Board:

Letter To The Editor: Supporting Dan Brosgol For School Committee

Six years ago I wrote a letter to The Bedford Citizen supporting Dan Brosgol in his first campaign for School Committee; Dan subsequently won that election and has served capably on the committee for two full terms. I now write again to ask you to join me in voting for him again this March.

The reasons, for those of us who know Dan, or have watched him over his time on the School Committee, are as clear today as they were back then, but are even more pronounced given his leadership of the committee since last summer.

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Margot Fleischman for Select Board

Having worked closely with Margot Fleischman on the Fawn Lake Committee, we were incredibly impressed with her knowledge about all the processes of our town government, which was instrumental in smoothly guiding our quest of saving the lake.   

Her passion, intelligence, business savvy, and commitment to the task at hand, along with an upbeat and optimistic attitude made her a true delight to work with.  Combining that with the ability to present the facts yet not force an issue, allowed the committee to form its own conclusions and results.  These qualities are truly a gift to our community.

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Armen Zildjian for Planning Board

We are pleased to write to you today in support of Armen Zildjian for Planning Board member.

We moved to Bedford in the fall of 2013 and a few months later, we excitedly watched our first Pole Capping Ceremony at Wilson Park. Standing along Concord Road, Armen and his family struck up a conversation with our family, and we quickly bonded over our ex-pat experiences in England.

Michael Pulizzi: Candidate for Library Trustee

I am happy to announce that I am running for re-election to the Bedford Free Public Library’s Board of Trustees. 

I have enjoyed my time on the board working with fellow Trustees and library director, Richard Callaghan, to help ensure that our library offers a variety of services and programs for the residents of our town.

Some of these programs and services include weekly storytime for children, free tax preparation assistance for residents, and the development of the Library of Things, which allows patrons to borrow items other than books.

During this past year, it has been a privilege to support the library staff as they have worked tirelessly and creatively to meet the needs of our patrons amidst the difficulties and limitations associated with the pandemic. 

Whether you choose to vote in-person on March 13 or by absentee ballot, I appreciate your support!

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Armen Zildjian, Planning Board

It is our honor to write to you today in support of Armen Zildjian for Planning Board member.

We’ve known Armen for well over ten years through our church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church here in Bedford. Armen has always been an active participant in all the activities associated with the St Paul’s community. He has brought his style and wisdom to bear as a member of our Men’s Group, Vestry, and Stewardship committee. Armen is pragmatic in problem-solving and works to listen to all the views, engage all the stakeholders and efficiently reach a collaborative solution at all times. Armen’s willingness to take on challenges and achieve success has been demonstrated in the workplace as well. As the Sales Manager for a local company that he has brought leadership and growth to the organization.

Official Ballot is Set for Town Election on Saturday, March 13

The ballot order for Bedford’s 2021 Town Election has been set. The polls will open from 9 am until 8 pm on Saturday, March 13.

The last day to register to vote in the Town Election is Saturday, February 20; the Town Clerk’s office will be open from 9 am until 8 pm.

SELECT BOARD—One seat for a three-year term

MARGOT FLEISCHMAN (Incumbent)
145 Page Road

KORBEN ELLIOTT WHITT-LEITNER
111 Springs Road

BOARD OF ASSESSORS—One seat for a three-year term

JOSEPH ALAN GILBERT
38 Battle Flag Road

ELLIOT LOVY
328 Concord Road

 BOARD OF HEALTH—Two seats for a three-year term

ALISON THERESA O’CONNELL
15 Fitchdale Avenue

MAUREEN RICHICHI
7 Norma Road

CATHERINE VG VANPRAAGH
69 South Road

ANITA RAJ (Incumbent)
4 Wildwood Drive

PLANNING BOARD—One seat for a three-year term

ARMEN MATTHEW ZILDJIAN
9 Hartwell Road

BRYAN PAUL JEAN
23 Evergreen Avenue

CHRISTOPHER M. GITTINS
8 Brooksbie Road

LIBRARY TRUSTEES— Two seats for a three-year term

MICHAEL PULIZZI (Incumbent)
10 Evans Avenue

DENNIS AHERN (Incumbent)
23 Neillian Way

FAHAD ALDEN
6 Carter Way

SCHOOL COMMITTEE—One seat for a three-year term

DAN BROSGOL (Incumbent)
57 Loomis Street

HOUSING AUTHORITY—One seat for a five-year term

KIM K. LOVY
328 Concord Road

REGIONAL SCHOOL COMMITTEE—One seat for a three-year term

BRIAN C. O’DONNELL
30 Fayette Road

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Margot Fleischman for Select Board

Experienced. Dedicated. Fiscally Responsible. Ally & Advocate. Change Agent.  Worthy of Your Vote.

We are writing to express our support of Margot Fleischman for re-election to a fourth term as a Bedford Select Board member, and we encourage you to join us.

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Fahad Alden for Library Trustee

I am writing this letter in support of Fahad Alden for Bedford Free Public Library trustee. Fahad is a Senior at Bedford High School.

Fahad is a student that stands out among his peers for his maturity, tenacity, optimism and desire to make a difference. I have known Fahad for the past four years and can speak to his maturity and tenacity. Fahad created a student-led book club at the high school and encouraged all students to join. He is a welcoming and open-minded young man, eager to hear the concerns of those around him.

Armen Matthew Zildjian: Candidate for Planning Board

There is little doubt that the times we are living through are unprecedented and difficult. The challenges that our community has encountered over the past year can feel debilitating, but Bedford has shown time and again that we can come together to work for the good of our neighbors and our community.

Like all communities, the adversity that Bedford faces will not suddenly disappear along with Covid-19; they will linger if we don’t face them and work to address them. Some issues our town has been facing are families struggling to find affordable housing, seniors hoping to downsize and remain in their community, and traffic lining up and down the Great Road daily.  The Bedford Planning Board has the tall task of facing these challenges and I know we can come together and can find workable solutions for the future of our town.

By observing the Planning Board make difficult decisions over the years I have concluded that it could benefit from a new voice on the Board, one that can further encapsulate our collective future.  I believe I can bring that voice.

On my campaign website, I have outlined my experience and qualifications here.  What I hope you learn about me, and why I would make a well-versed Planning Board member, is that I am a listener. Your concerns are my concerns, and as a leader, neighbor, father, and husband, I know just how critical listening can be.

Chris Gittins: Candidate for Planning Board

My name is Chris Gittins and I am seeking your vote for a seat on the Planning Board.  As a member of the Conservation Commission and a previous member of the Arbor Resources Committee, I understand how facts, opinions, and the law must be harmonized in order to make good decisions. 

As a member of the Planning Board, I would seek to build on the good work that it’s done over the years:  to sustain the infrastructure which makes Bedford such a great place to live, to help us navigate the planning and development challenges we currently face, and to better position us to address the challenges we can expect to face in coming years.

I’ve been a Bedford resident for twenty years but my memories of town date back to the 1970’s when my parents and I would drive in from central MA to visit with my grandparents.  I am fortunate to live here in their former home, but now with my wife and two children, both of whom are in the Bedford school system.  Bedford has undergone a dramatic transformation over the decades I’ve known it.  I have come to appreciate that we must be pro-active in our long-term planning so that we’re not continually reacting to the world after it has changed around us.

As a member of the Planning Board my priorities will include:

Fahad Alden: Candidate for Library Trustee

Today I announce my campaign for library trustee.  I also wanted to point out due to choosing to attend UMass Lowell, I will still be a Bedford resident and will not be leaving my hometown.

My experiences volunteering in the kids and adult sections of the library last year drove my decision to run for the position of Library Trustee.  One memory that comes to my head vividly was putting kids’ books away in the right section when I saw two kids playing puppets with each other. Seeing kids as young as 4 reading books about Chinese New Year made me so proud to be part of the Bedford library, and I knew in that split second that I needed to step up to the plate and run for the kids because these scenes warmed my heart.

I believe strongly that the library in many ways demonstrates the definition of growth. Every time a child went to the art and crafts activities, they were growing as a person and developing critical play skills. Work and study areas have been an indispensable resource to older kids and adults, used to power their ambitions and careers.

The library provides so much fun and education to the people of Bedford but also resources like the basic idea of housing. Anyone can come in and use the bathroom. Anyone can come in and have the whole world of technology opened up to them within seconds. People without air conditioning or heating are encouraged to seek shelter in the library when the temperatures are extreme. Anyone can visit and see the Bedford flag, and fully realize what our town stands for.

As someone who spent many hours at the library studying and volunteering I understand the usefulness and importance that the library holds. I promise I will fight every day to ensure that the values of the library remain upheld.  I also wanted to take this time to show my platform and plans for achievement during my term.

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Maureen Richichi for Board of Health

I was very pleased to read that my friend, Maureen Richichi, announced her candidacy to be a member of the Bedford Board of Health recently in the Bedford Citizen.

Over the last 30 years or so, our families have shared many dinners, holidays, camping trips, bike outings, and one special book club.  But the first time I met Maureen was when she (and Ronnie Gould) spearheaded the community building of a new playground, initially the Tot Lot and now the Center Playground. Many families were involved in all stages of construction. So many have fond memories of how it truly does take a village to build something we can all be proud of.

Become a Candidate for Planning Board and Help to Define Bedford’s Built Environment

If you have ideas or concerns about key issues such as multi-unit housing, accessory dwelling units, commercial, industrial, and residential development, zoning bylaws, even changes to scenic roads-to mention only a few-please consider standing for election to the Planning Board, one of Bedford’s most influential elected bodies.

Current Planning Board member Jeff Cohen is not running again and there are, at this moment, no candidates who have come forward to request nomination papers. Whether you are a long-time resident or a relative newcomer to town, this may be the moment to step up and help shape the future look of Bedford. This is a three-year term. You will join elected members Jacinda Barbehenn, Steven Hagan, Shawn Hanegan, and Amy Lloyd. Professional staff includes Tony Fields, Director, Catherine Perry, Assistant Director, and Admin Cathy Silvestrone who provide support and guidance.