The content on this website is the sole responsibility of Margaret Donovan but the concerns are shared by many Bedford residents. It was launched to centralize information that voters need to have but will not find in any one place — and oftentimes, nowhere else at all. Since then, I have devoted hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours to research and writing because I think the enormity of the consequences for the future of Bedford go far beyond the demolition of an antique house and wall.  This page was last updated on 2/12/24

I often switch between “I” and “we” when discussing opinions that I know firsthand are shared by a wide body of like-minded Bedford residents/voters. I don’t try to mask the fact that I am convinced that the current project would be a terrible mistake, but the informational heart of the site is clearly separated from the opinions I will occasionally share in the back-end blog. 

The notion that promoting responsible government is a duty of citizenship supersedes all partisanship as far as I am concerned. Justice Louis D. Brandeis taught that “the most important political office is that of private citizen” but the current day complexities of life make it very difficult to stay on top of vital issues. That is why, since 2005, I have used my semi-retirement and my life experience to promote government accountability. 

Therefore, when it appeared to me that the principles of open and responsive government were being compromised in my own hometown I committed to making the forces at play as transparent as possible.  

What I observed in the weeks leading up to the 2022, Town Meeting vote was disturbing because there was no website to address and challenge the Town’s well-orchestrated campaign to convince residents that not only did the purchase of 139 The Great Road make sense but that it was the only property that did. 

Even with the best of intentions on the part of many in Town government, founding such an important project on a premise that is objectively inaccurate has inevitably led to setback after setback. 

I have received harsh criticism from some who think I have no right to defend my hometown from a series of false premises. But what is true or false does not depend on where I live. Anyone with something to lose is a stakeholder and I would grieve if this project goes through — not only because a lovely part of Bedford would be spoiled, needlessly, forever, but above all, because of the triumph of manipulation it would always represent.  

If the only thing that matters is to protect the town with a worthy fire station as soon as possible, supporters of the current plan should be willing examine their assumptions, defend their positions without being aggressive and demeaning to those who disagree, and be willing to face facts.

Before the Second World War, people who were born in Bedford usually died in Bedford. And the historic district of the town we all love today is a precious remnant of what they preserved and treasured for generations. In today’s mobile culture, residents may come to Bedford for 5 or even 25 years, pay taxes and make solid contributions to the town’s schools and civic affairs. 

But they should be very leery of damaging the unique legacy of those who left behind the village we all recognize as Bedford Center, including the hill leading into it, instead of passing it on intact.

My parents, Connie and Paul Donovan moved our family to Bedford in 1954 and, as realtors, made a good living welcoming new families to town in the boom years of the late 50s and the 60s. But realizing how fragile the core of the town was, my mother was instrumental in the establishment of the Bedford Historic District — one of the first in Massachusetts.

My beloved stepfather John Dodge was Bedford’s Town Historian long before he officially held that office. He was a fire department booster his whole life, his father was the chief from 1939 until his death in 1961, and when John died in 2016, the Bedford Minuteman banner headline waved “Goodbye, Mr. Bedford.”

I would be letting them and myself down if I failed to do my best to protect The Great Road from being disfigured. I can’t vote, but I certainly can think, reason, and make sense. I believe that what people will find posted here is reliable and respectful. I can be reached at info@saveourblock.org.