This website is the sole responsibility of Margaret Donovan, but I will often switch between “I” and “we” when discussing opinions that I know firsthand are shared by like-minded Bedford residents/voters. What I observed in the weeks leading up to the March 29, 2022, Town Meeting vote was disturbing because there was no website to address and challenge the Select Board’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.
If the only thing that matters is building a worthy fire station as soon as possible to protect the town, then it would be helpful if supporters of the current plan would examine their own assumptions, and defend their position with facts instead of emotion. The presumption of some people that they are the only ones who care about the well-being of the town or who support the firefighters is immature.
I set up this website to centralize information that voters need to have but will not find in one place anywhere else. Since Bedford Day, when I helped to gather signatures for the Petitioners’ Article to be added to the Special Town Meeting Warrant, I have received some criticism from people who think I have no right to defend my hometown from what appears to me to be political maneuvering. I disagree.
The idea that the input of someone who grew up in Bedford, went to school in Bedford, has deep roots in Bedford, has immediate family in Bedford, has spent almost seventy years of holidays in Bedford, may well retire to Bedford, and will certainly be buried in Bedford, has no value and should not be shared with voters — even if it serves the town’s best interests — speaks for itself.
Until after 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 legacy of those who left behind the village we all recognize as Bedford Center — and that includes the hill leading into it.
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 they realized how fragile the core of the town was and 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 email@example.com. Updated 9/28/23