In nearly four decades of sitting on the planning board, Don Coe has been to hundreds of meetings.
When asked just how many he's attended, the former chair, who announced his resignation last month, said probably about 1,000. He's made a huge impact on the Town of Bedford in that time.
Here are a few thoughts from local folks who have worked with Coe:
- "I think that he has been an outstanding chair. I've been a member of a lot of different boards, chaired many, so based on my experience, I think I can easily say he did an outstanding job. He came to every meeting well prepared. He knew the provisions of the code that applied in the particular situation. He commanded the respect of the applicants, people in attendance and of course members of our board as well. He was a great leader and he led us through some very controversial situation," Bill Colavito, planning board member. Colavito, who was hoping Coe would stay on for several more years, said the former chair "will be missed."
- "He's done a terrific job," Muriel Tan Dyke, a resident, said, recalling Coe's involvement in land preservation efforts.
- "I represent a number of planning boards and during his tenure, the Bedford Planning Board ran more efficiently I think than any other board I've represented," Joel H. Sachs, town attorney, said.
- "We have worked very well together," Jeff Osterman, director of planning, said. "...We had met before every meeting, organizing the agenda and following through on projects, so we had a well-coordinated approach." Osterman complimented Coe on his "ability to deal with emotional issues in a compassionate, consistent way"—something he considers "very difficult to do,"