New Town Manager to Begin in Four Weeks

Bedford’s new Town Manager is scheduled to move into the Town Hall corner office on Monday, Sept. 25.

Matthew J. Hanson and the Select Board have reached agreement on a three-year contract. Board members signed the document on Monday evening, and Hanson said Tuesday morning he intends to sign when it arrives later in the day.

Hanson, Town Administrator and then Town Manager in Tyngsborough since 2017, succeeds Sarah Stanton, who left in late April to take an undersecretariat in a major state agency. Colleen Doyle, Assistant Town Manager for Human Resources and Administration, has been serving as Interim Town Manager.

The contract specifies compensation of $212,000, plus $8,000 in benefits – slightly less than Stanton’s most recent package.

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Matt Hanson is scheduled to take the Bedford Town Manager position towards the end of next month. Image: LinkedIn

The Select Board voted unanimously to offer Hanson the position on Aug. 14, culminating a summer-long search process that began with some 30 applications. He is the second town manager hired by Bedford, as Stanton’s predecessor Rick Reed was promoted when the job description was upgraded via charter amendment during his 30-year tenure.

Hanson, 35, is a Chelmsford resident and a former selectman (he was first elected in 2010 at age 21) and town meeting member there. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. His master’s degree is in regional economic and social development. Early in his career, he worked as a program manager for the Lowell Police Department and as a management intern in the city manager’s office.

In his initial letter to the screening committee, Hanson said his approach to management “includes a strong focus on teamwork and communication.” He also cited his leadership in acquiring more than $7 million in state grants for Tyngsborough.

“I will work collaboratively with the Select Board and regional stakeholders to promote the town’s business districts while keeping in mind the town’s rich history,” he wrote, noting that he resides in a historic home.

The new Town Manager served on the Board of Directors of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, the regional economic development consortium first envisioned by Reed.

Hanson also said he partnered with a media company to lease a billboard on town-owned land adjacent to Route 3. The lease payment over 25 years is almost $4 million.

The new Town Manager’s namesake on the town patrol is Matthew Hansen, a second-generation firefighter for the past 22 years.

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