Letter to the Editor: Supporting Chris Gittins for Planning Board

March 9, 2021

Submitted by Erica Callahan

I would like to voice my strong support for Chris Gittens as a candidate for the Planning Board.   Chris is a thoughtful, curious, insightful, and determined person.  He welcomes the opportunity to listen, and he truly listens.  He’s driven to understand all sides of an issue, and recognizes the need to balance the wishes and concerns of many when considering a particular issue.

There are many reasons why I will vote for Chris, including:

(1) He actively seeks input from people he knows and people he doesn’t know to ensure he has a full picture of the wishes and concerns of Bedford residents.

(2) Chris has taken the Bedford Comprehensive Plan to heart, knowing that it was carefully developed in collaboration with town stakeholders and driven by resident input.  Additionally, he understands that there needs to be more than a document—there needs to be a plan and execution to carry out the residents’ vision of Bedford.

(3) He has clearly stated his goals if he is elected to the Planning Board:

    • Fulfilling Bedford’s Comprehensive Plan
    • Supporting proposed bylaw amendments to make it easier for residents to build Accessory Dwelling Units, which makes it easier for seniors to downsize on their own property, or homeowners to provide a housing option for a parent or adult child who may otherwise be priced out of the Bedford housing market.
    • Preserve Open Space, working to draft an Open Space Residential Development zoning bylaw amendment (called out in the Comprehensive Plan).
    • Supporting mixed-use zoning that allows people to live closer to where they shop and eat, while adding middle-income affordable housing and helping local businesses.
    • Strongly supporting climate change mitigation and resilience, which includes using regulatory authority to lower financial and bureaucratic barriers for building net zero buildings.

(4) Throughout the last few years I’ve mentioned concerns I’ve had to Chris.  He followed up with me without me asking or expecting him to.  He will bring that follow through and tenacity to the Planning Board.

(5) Chris has deep roots in Bedford and has ingratiated himself into the community.  He’s served on Bedford’s Conservation Committee and Arbor Resource Committee, participated in the resident workshops to develop Bedford’s Comprehensive Plan, and is also a Cub Scout den leader.

Chris will be an EXCELLENT member of the Planning Board, and I hope you’ll join me in voting for him on Saturday.

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