Change is coming to the lineup of Bedford elected officials in less than 12 weeks. Just how much change remains to be seen.
Two-term Select Board member Ed Pierce stated at the close of Monday’s board meeting that he will not be a candidate for re-election.
Meanwhile, Ann Guay, the dean of the School Committee with 10 years of service, said when contacted by a reporter about her re-election plans, “I’m still giving it some thought. I’m going to make my decision after the holidays.”
The Town Election will take place on Saturday, March 11.
Pierce, whose career as an elected official and appointed volunteer spans almost three decades, mentioned his plans to retire from the board as Chair Emily Mitchell was about to ask for a motion to adjourn. His colleagues seemed surprised by his decision.
Mitchell responded, “I’m sorry to hear that,” before accepting the motion to adjourn. After the meeting board members remained to sign documents, Mitchell said, “We will certainly find ways to thank you.” The newest member of the board, Shawn Hanegan, lamented, “I only get to serve with you for a year.”
Guay, contacted last week, said, “I’m talking it over with my family” about her future on the committee. She acknowledged, “It has been an incredible 10 years.”
Sarah Scoville, the other School Committee incumbent finishing a term, was a little closer than her colleague to a commitment. “I am thinking about it very positively. But I am not going to declare my candidacy officially until the caucus,” she said when asked about her plans.
Scoville, a member of the School Committee’s subcommittee on the search for a new superintendent of schools, acknowledged that “I’m not 100 percent yet” about running for re-election.
The other Select Board member with an expiring term, Bopha Malone, announced early this month that she is a candidate.
Board of Health member Ann Kiessling wrote in an email this morning, “I have decided to run again — there is still much that needs to be done.” The other board member whose term expires, Chair Susan Schwartz, said Monday that she will formally announce her plans at the caucus.
Although residents can opt to collect signatures on nominating petitions, historically most candidates have chosen to be nominated at the Town Caucus, scheduled for Jan. 10, 2023. The caucus is empowered to choose two candidates for each vacancy, so almost no one has failed to reach the ballot.
Among other positions on the 2023 ballot, the two incumbents on the Planning Board whose terms are expiring, Jacinda Barbehenn and Steven Hagan, chair, have both declared their intention to run for re-election.
Two other incumbents are also planning re-election campaigns. Rebecca Neale, chair of the Board of Assessors, said “I’m definitely running” for a second three-year term.
And Rachael Field, the senior elected official in Bedford for longevity, said she will be seeking a sixth three-year term on the Board of Library Trustees. “My very first job, when I was 13, was in a local library,” Field reflected. “I’ve always been appreciative of libraries.”
A second position on the library board will be on the ballot. The seat has been vacant since Robin Grace moved out of town a few months ago.
Ellis Kriesberg said he hasn’t decided whether to seek another term on the Bedford Housing Authority.