Bedford Town Moderator Mark Siegenthaler unexpectedly announced his resignation on Tuesday, effective immediately.
In a statement addressed to residents, Siegenthaler explained that “increasing personal and professional responsibilities will keep me from performing my duties as moderator in a way which meets my expectations and will best serve the interests of the town.”
Siegenthaler’s announcement comes less than seven weeks before the Nov. 6 Special Town Meeting.
Select Board Chair Bopha Malone on Tuesday pointed out that a vacancy in the moderator’s position is filled by a vote of Town Meeting. She said she hopes to reach out to possible candidates. Residents interested may contact Malone through the town manager’s office.
Malone said she hopes whoever presides at Special Town Meeting will then run for the elected moderator’s position on the March 9 Town Election ballot. Since Siegenthaler’s three-year term expires in 2025, the elected candidate will serve the unexpired year.
Former Moderator Betsey Anderson was elected deputy moderator for the year by the 2023 Annual Town Meeting, but she said Tuesday she would prefer not to have to preside on Nov. 6.
“I would be willing to help the person, but I think it would be better to have somebody else,” said Anderson, whose last year as elected moderator was 2018.
Siegenthaler’s resume covers more than 30 years as an elected official, including a record seven terms on the Board of Selectmen. He was nominated by the 2021 Annual Town Meeting to serve as moderator, then elected on the town ballot in March 2022.
Although he is retired as a program manager for a state agency, Siegenthaler continues his involvement with contract assignments for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities.