Bedwell begins mending fences
In light of his still-slim lead over incumbent Supervisor Bruce Conklin, challenger Drew Bedwell talked about his potential role as a supervisor and his top priorities on a new majority Board of Supervisors – if he wins.
Bedwell said one of his top priorities would be to bring the county’s differing factions together and mend the polarization caused by Natural Heritage 2020, the county’s controversial land-use planning program he fought to stop.
In opposing NH 2020, Bedwell acknowledged he helped create the polarization.
“If you oppose something, and obviously you have opponents, then you have divisiveness, and that’s part of the activist program, whether you’re rallying for a place to sit in a tree or you’re out there trying to fight for public rights,” Bedwell said. “In my case, I’m fighting for public rights and, obviously, in my position, I think I’m correct. So when you have opposition, you will have contention, and contention we have had.”
Bedwell said NH 2020 will continue if Conklin wins.
If Bedwell wins, and the balance of power on the board shifts to the conservative side, he said NH 2020 will be looked over very carefully. “A consensus will be drawn and actions will be taken,” said the property rights activist turned politician.
Bedwell pointed out, however, he’s not implying that NH 2020 should be done away with completely.
“There are elements of it that are good and there are elements that are bad, and the bad will be reviewed, and it will be a majority decision,” he said.
While Bedwell said he can’t speak for Supervisor Sue Horne and Supervisor-elect Robin Sutherland in respect to the shaping of land-use policy on the new board, he said a good place to start would be with the county’s General Plan.
“We have a starting place, and that’s the 1995 General Plan,” Bedwell said. “What we need to do is review what has occurred since then and apply it to common sense and decency, or at least reason.”
Bedwell said efforts to bring the county’s disagreeing groups together are already under way.
“I’ve contacted the Libertarian Party to ask them to be the bridge between some of the disagreeing groups because they have traditionally taken a very neutral position, more positive than not in all respects,” Bedwell said. “And I approached the president of the Green Party, asking for a sit-down after the smoke clears.”
“I would look to the other side to back off on some of the stuff they’re doing,” Bedwell added. “That would be hopeful as a show of common objective.”
– Kevin Wiser
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