A Letter to the Editor of The Bedford Citizen on July 18th and the Facebook comments that followed showed that there is pervasive confusion regarding the role and limitations of the Select Board and Town Moderator. Since that is what created the debacle over 139 The Great Road, it is definitely fodder for this blog — because the problem is ongoing and destructive.
Not only are some officials crossing the line, but the Facebook comments displayed a lot of misunderstanding on the part of residents. Famed Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis advised that the most important political office is that of private citizen. Today that is often a warning, because when citizens are not well informed, they unintentionally compound the problem.
I applaud passionate people who stand up for their beliefs, but taking positions that selectively discount inconvenient facts is profoundly irresponsible. Many people only ever hear one version of events and assume their local political leaders are always truthful — but in Bedford, the arrogant overreach that developed during Sarah Stanton’s tenure continues to damage the town’s legacy of self-governance.
The defamation of Bill Moonan by Emily Mitchell during his reappointment process (See “A Credibility Gap”) was just the beginning. What has followed in the weeks since then demonstrates a rogue policy by some officials to “cleanse” Town government of “undesirables”. That will inevitably backfire.