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New Bedford town manager takes the helm

BEDFORD — Stephen J. Daly set the tone on his first day as town manager by saying the Bedford’s future is in everyone’s hands.

“It’s not just me. It’s not just the council and it’s not just the department heads. We’re a team and that’s how I intend to manage,” he said.

Daly was sworn in live on BCTV by Town Clerk Lori Radke, with Town Council Chairman Chris Bandazian, Councilor Jim Scanlon and Vice Chairman Bill Jean, Finance Director Crystal Dionne, Public Works Director Jim Stanford, Planning Director Rick Sawyer, Police Chief Jon Bryfonski, Fire Chief Scott Wiggin, Executive Assistant Dawn Boufford and Acting Town Manager Pat McQueen in attendance.

Bandazian said the council has been impressed with Daly’s experience and they look forward to a long, productive tenure with Daly at the helm. Daly, who replaces former Town Manager Jessie Levine, will receive an annual salary of $124,000.

Daly said he will be spending the next week getting to know town personnel, and hopes to meet many residents as he works to move Bedford forward.

He said he will put a lot of energy and innovative thinking into continuing the town’s efforts in building strong economic development to attract businesses and ease the tax burden on residential property owners.

“I think the beautiful thing about Bedford is historically you have successfully separated your non-residential tax base physically from the residential tax base. I’ve worked in communities where that’s been the case and it’s a fabulous scheme that enables the non-residential portion of the community to grow more than it would otherwise if it was all mixed together,” Daly said.

Daly said he wants to hear what people have to say about the community and the direction in which its headed.

“I want to reassure them that I’m a good listener and I always listen before I speak. I want to reassure them we’re going to move forward together and I’m not going to put the town of Bedford in the position where it’s doing anything other than living and performing within the parameters and policies set out by the council,” he said.

He also said he is impressed by the police and fire departments’s administration, personnel and communications.

For the past 13 years, Daly has worked as director of regional service delivery programs with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston. Daly grew up in Massachusetts and graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Maine. He also had served as town manager in Salem for four years.

Daly and his wife of 40 years, Leslie, have 18 months to move to Bedford, as required by the town charter. The couple have three grown children, daughters, Tyler and Meryn, and a son, Dana.