BRA CELEBRATES TWO VICTORIES

We wish to thank you all for your votes on March 12 and March 13, 2019.

Many of you who have lived in town for many years do not understand that “town meetings” are divided into two parts — voting by ballot (thanks to the SB2 law) and voting in person at an old fashioned traditional town meeting where you raise your hand with your ticket.

The SB2 law was passed because, let’s face it — can you imagine trying to get 16,000 voters in one place and counting their raised tickets? Not to mention that you might never be able to get that many people out to the meeting, so that items such as our amendments would never pass. All the special interests would stack the meeting…

Results of in-person vote on March 13

The budgetary town meeting at the BHS on the evening of March 13 had exactly 176 people in attendance, and were asked to to approve Articles 5 and 6, town spending. Someone tried to revisit an item that was already voted down on the ballot on the 12th by amending Article 6 to include another $1.2M and revive another town position at a yearly salary of $120K/year. But with JUST 10 VOTES (93-83) we defeated him. See how important being there was?

A new law proposed in Concord (HB 415) is trying to take away the right to vote on SB2 by ballot, thus making it harder for people to institute in their towns. BRA opposes it of course.

Part of BRA’s mission is to educate more people on how town government works and increase their participation, especially when it comes to voting on those two important days in March!!!

Results of ballot vote on March 12

Many in town received an unsigned, unauthorized flyer from a California PAC (despite the NH name) that attempted to fool people into thinking it was from the town. Most were doubtful that the recommendations contained in that flyer would “make Bedford a great place to live”, and consequently were not fooled.

With two seats up for grabs, Town Council candidate Denise Ricciardi received 2,537 votes, even besting the incumbent Dave Gilbert who won back his seat with 1,799 votes.

In a field of three school board candidates for one seat, John Schneller came out on top.

Please note that our endorsement of John Schneller was the only recommendation for the school ballot. BRA made NO recommendations about the school budget. We were concerned mostly with the idea that some school board members thought it was OK to allow taxpayer resources to be used to enrich a private party. Some of us predicted this would happen back in 2005 even though it was promised that it would NOT.

In addition to passing The Bedford Residents Association’s zoning amendments 4, 5 and 6, we recommended a YES on 2 and 3, which also passed.

Amendment 6, which dealt with restrictions on building heights on the route 101 corridor, passed with 60%. However a protest petition was filed by the abutters which, if valid, will cause the amendment to lose because it did not get 66.6%. Once again, here is a great example of how turnout IS important. This concept of height restrictions can be revisited in the future.

Amendment #7 failed by a wide enough margin that the protest petition, thankfully submitted by the abutters, was not needed.

We are pleased that Bedford voters are finally waking up and finding out what they must do to take control of their own surroundings in their own town. For too long, outsiders and big interests have been calling the shots. No more.

The Bedford Residents Association is not in any way affiliated with the Bedford Taxpayers Association or any other group. However we were lucky that the Bedford Taxpayers Association decided to go along with similar recommendations for our candidates and zoning amendments.

“Teamwork makes the dream work” as they say, and all in all, it was a good couple of days for Bedford!

If you are on our TREE list, you will not be getting quite as many messages from us, but we will be keeping you in touch. We are not going away. Petitioners who did NOT sign up for this list won’t get any more notices, but the petition itself is still open for signatures.

Check our website from time to time to see what’s happening!

Sincere thanks,
Bedford Residents Association