Letter to the Editor: Regarding a Sustainability Director for Bedford

~ Submitted by Chris Gittins, Member, Bedford Planning Board

I ask you to support hiring a full-time Sustainability Director for Bedford.  I further ask that the position be at the department-head-level with the authority to coordinate efforts between Town departments and between Town and the commercial sector.   As a member of the Planning Board, I can imagine multiple ways in which a Sustainability Director could support Planning Board initiatives, e.g., conducting research and community outreach necessary to develop a solar ordinance similar to Watertown’s, which requires solar panels on new commercial buildings over 10,000 sq.ft. and new residential buildings with 10 or more units, and proposing revisions to Bedford’s Zoning By-Laws to incorporate MA’s Net Zero Stretch Energy Code after it is released later this year.

Hiring a Sustainability Director is a key recommendation of Bedford’s Net Zero plan.  Per the analysis presented in the Energy and Sustainability Committee’s presentation, “Net Zero Implementation: Full Time Sustainability Position”, communities which have hired a Sustainability Director have realized significant returns on their investment as a consequence of the Director being able to secure grants and external funding.  In summary, hiring a full-time Sustainability Director would be a significant benefit to Bedford.  Thank you for your consideration.

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