November 29, 2013

Roberts’ rules of order

You can make some of the people happy all of the time and some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

That may hold true for most politicians, but Bedford’s supervisor Lee Roberts may be that rarest of officials, one who has earned the respect and support of politicians on both sides of the aisle, maintained dignity of office and is leaving a solid record of achievement as Bedford town supervisor.

Ms. Roberts, who was first elected to the town board in 1993 and stepped into the supervisor’s office in 2003 when John Dinin left to take a job with the state banking authority, has presided over the board during some lean and difficult times.

Yet, no matter how bad the stock market or the outlook for lasting peace between town workers and the board, no matter how many competing pressures — development versus diversity, a state 2 percent tax cap, even church and state —she has risen to the many challenges and brought a sense of cohesion, clarity and purpose to the community. And considering some of the bold-faced names who live here, the task was even more daunting.

Among her leading accomplishments is ushering in the water system. While the question of “who fixed the water” is sometimes a sore one, Ms. Roberts can claim at least a large part of the measure. This is no mean feat considering that the town’s water has been a dark blot (sometimes literally) on its history since New York City first announced the construction of the reservoir in the 1880s. Under Ms. Roberts’ supervision, the water filtration plant is now operating, providing clean and potable water for the residents of the Consolidated Water District.

In her first term as supervisor, Ms. Roberts stepped into a two-decade stalemate between the town and St. Mary’s Church in Katonah over a renovation to the vestry area, quietly mediating the conflict. She presided over the growth of local historic sites the John Jay Homestead and the Stepping Stones Foundation in Bedford Hills, balancing the needs of local residents against special accommodations for historic properties.

She survived the epithet “tree killer” when a group of residents feared that a museum art project festooning the hamlet’s trees with colorful fabric would cause them irreparable damage (the trees are still there).

Some may remember Ms. Roberts informing Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi that he could not camp here when the late dictator and his entourage arrived at Donald Trump’s Seven Springs with tents.

As a founding member of Bedford 2020, Ms. Roberts presides over one of the nation’s progressive models of environmental action and sustainability. The group’s goals have spread throughout northern Westchester and represent the town’s regional approach to problems. Ms. Roberts has acted as a forceful voice in Albany, leading the board’s call for an end to state mandates that drive towns to cut services in order to meet the 2 percent tax cap. And Ms. Roberts ushered in a campaign to protect open space using a fee levied and voted on by taxpayers that has managed to save land throughout each of the hamlets and help preserve our town’s natural beauty.

As a politician, she cherished old-time values of bipartisanship; when some members of her party were urging divisiveness, Ms. Roberts steered a path toward unity.

Oh, and did we mention that Ms. Roberts is the first woman to serve as the town supervisor?

The town is ready for action on new septic solutions; fair and affordable housing; preservation of natural resources, including water, woods and roads; and business development in the hamlets.

Bedfordites have long said that the town is less about partisan politics than mutually shared goals. It is thanks to the efforts of Ms. Roberts — and a board that strongly supported her vision — that Bedford remains among the world’s most desirable places to live and raise a family.

We wish Ms. Roberts and her family the best in future endeavors. We also congratulate Chris Burdick on his election as supervisor, a role he will step into on Jan. 1. We are confident that Bedford’s good governance will extend smoothly from one administration to the next.

Save the date

You are invited to join the BHNA and Bedford 2020 in a tribute to supervisor Lee Roberts for her 20 years of exemplary service to the town.

At the end of the year, Bedford 2020 is hosting a community-wide celebration to honor Lee Roberts upon her retirement as supervisor and thank her for her leadership as an exemplary “citizen of Bedford.” Every community organization in the greater Bedford area is being invited to participate, to highlight their contribution to the community and to offer their tribute to Lee’s service in the community. Bedford 2020 will be the host and proceeds from the event will be used to advance Bedford 2020 community projects. For more information, visit

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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