Preparing to Attend Annual Town Meeting ~ Monday, March 28 at 7:30 pm

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Old Town SealBedford is governed by Open Town Meeting – the legislative branch of town government, where every registered voter is welcome to comment on and vote on the business of the Town.

Town boards and committees have been working for many months to prepare the articles that will be considered when voters gather to decide the outcome.

Town Meeting begins at 7:30 pm on Monday evening, March 28, in the auditorium at Bedford High School, and The Citizen is pleased to offer several resources as voters prepare for the meeting.

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A Guide to Town Meeting

Betsey Anderson has written a guide to participating in Town Meeting. It’s a terrific ‘how-to’ document covering multiple points of interest: how the meeting develops; procedures and guidelines for speaking on an issue; requesting a point of order; and how votes are taken – which articles require a counted ballot and which can be passed on a voice vote. If you’re new to the process, it’s a valuable read.

Anderson became Town Moderator some 17 years ago, and retired this year. Newly-elected Town Moderator Catherine Cordes will wield the gavel for the first time at Monday’s meeting.

Click here to read “A Guide to Town Meeting”

Watch “Town Meeting and You” on Bedford TV

Thanks to Greg Dolan and Bedford TV, Town Meeting and You, produced by the Massachusetts Moderators Association and featuring Bedford’s own Betsey Anderson, will be cablecast on Comcast Channel 99/Verizon Channel 40 this weekend:

  • Saturday, March 26 at 2pm and at 9:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 27 at 4:30 pm and at 10pm

A Thumbnail Look at the Articles on the Warrant for Annual Town Meeting 2016

The meeting will open at 7:30 pm when the Bedford Minutemen, accompanied by fifes and drums, will process into the BHS auditorium to post the colors. Among the first orders of business will be reports of Town Officers and Committees, including a Memorial Resolution to salute those who have passed away in the last year. The first several articles are standards that begin each meeting: Debate Rules; a Consent Article; the reauthorization of the Town’s Revolving Funds; and payments for any outstanding bills from prior years.

Amendments that affect the Cable Committee, Wetlands Protection, and Zoning bylaws come next. In addition to the Zoning Bylaw changes, the Planning Board seeks funds for a consultant to help the town ‘examine and reconstruct all business zoning along the Great Road corridor.’ Land acquisition for the Safe Routes to School project, and the acceptance of Mudge Way as an official street in the town precede the bond authorization for the Job Lane School addition. The Capital Projects Plan outlines the big projects for the coming year and the Community Preservation Committee’s budget shows the projects that will benefit from CPC funds. There will also be an article that would fund a pilot program for expanded local transit. The meeting concludes with  votes on the Town’s salary administration plan and operating budget (including the schools’ portion).

Click to read the Warrant for Annual Town Meeting

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