In the Town of Bedford’s only contested races this year, three candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Town Board. Republican incumbent Don Scott and Democrats Bobbi M. Bittker and Ellen Z. Calves are seeking the four-year terms. 

We asked each of the candidates to talk briefly about themselves, their positions and goals. 

Bobbi M. Bittker

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Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience.
I am a married parent of three children, ages 22, 18 and 14, living in Bedford for the last 26 years: 18 years in Bedford Hills, 8 years in Katonah before that. My husband, Aric, grew up in Katonah. When we were engaged, we decided to put down roots here, since my husband loved growing up in Bedford.
I’ve volunteered from the time I arrived in this community at the Katonah-Bedford Hills Ambulance Corps (EMT), Bedford Hills Elementary and Fox Lane middle and high schools (including FLMSA VP), Bet Torah Synagogue in Mount Kisco (board of directors, executive committee, Sisterhood president, youth commission chair, nursery school board chair), Bedford Community Theatre (board member) and the Girl Scouts (troop leader and Silver Award Mentor). 
Professionally, I am a civil rights advocacy attorney. I am co-chair of an American Bar Association Civil Rights committee, a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Civil Rights (Legislation and Advocacy subcommittee), a founding member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Project THRIVE, and most recently was made a director on the board of the Mazzoni Center for LGBTQ Health and Well-Being in Philadelphia and joined the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine.
I feel at home in public service and hope I earn the privilege to serve the people of Bedford. 

Why do you want to be a councilwoman? 
I am a strong believer in the importance of good government. My experience and skills will serve our town well, the town that has been wonderful to me and my family. I want to see it thrive for many more families, and I can make that happen. Personally, I will enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor in real time. Helping people I see every day and improving their quality of life? To me, that’s a gift.

What is a top priority for the Town Board going forward? 
The top priority is to examine our short- and long-term planning through the lens of the climate crisis, and decide how we can limit climate change or adapt to it while fulfilling our responsibilities. Climate change will affect our public health, economy, food supply, water quality, utility demands and so much more.
Infrastructure is where town government has the most control and where we can make headway in the climate crisis. Strengthening our climate resilience and converting to renewable energy sources will put us on the path to better economic security: exactly what every town wants.

Ellen Z. Calves

Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience. 

As the program director at Bedford 2020, I engage the Bedford community in initiatives around pollution, energy and the preservation of natural resources. I work effectively with residents, businesses, schools, organizations, the town board members and town departments.
When I am not working at Bedford 2020, I volunteer with other local organizations, attend community events and spend time with my family (my two John Jay High School teens, one daughter out of college and my husband, Herbie).

Why do you want to be a councilwoman? 
Over the years I have been irresistibly drawn to sign on and support one thing after the next that makes Bedford a special place to live. From the Playhouse to the Community Center, Stepping Stones to Reusable Bags, TIOLI to KVIS and Bedford 2020. But it is not enough. I want to do more to support what makes this place special, build community, and at the same time move Bedford forward. As a former environmental attorney, green business fund advisor, nonprofit leader and community organizer, I want to put my skills and experience to work for all of Bedford.

What is a top priority for the Town Board going forward? 
The top priority for the Town Board is to make sure that all voices are heard in our community and that we listen to each other. Hearing and respecting a diverse range of interests is critical to forging long-term, affordable solutions. This is something I have done throughout my career. The next phase of town planning should provide a blueprint for smart economic growth in our hamlet centers, infrastructure, climate resiliency, affordable housing, environmental protection and policies to support our unique character. I will work to ensure that the creation and execution of this vision involves extensive community dialogue, cooperation and consensus building. Ultimately, it is the work that we do together, under the right leadership that will move Bedford sustainably forward. 

Don Scott

Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience. 
I first moved to Bedford as a fourth-grader attending Bedford Village Elementary. In 1987 I moved with my wife, Stephanie, to Katonah, where we raised our two children, Greg and Katie, who are both graduates of Katonah schools. I have served Bedford as a councilman for five years. Previous elected positions: KLSD School Board president, Katonah Elementary School compact chair and Katonah fire commissioner. I am a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a double major in business administration and economics. I own a Katonah-based legal marketing firm. Local philanthropic positions include the Katonah Village Improvement Society, The Community Center and ACE – Allied Community Enterprises.

Why do you want to be a councilman? 
I am running because I love the work. I bring experience to the job, which is invaluable, especially with the departure of Lee Roberts, who has 24 years of experience on the job. We will miss her knowledge. I bring a combination of new ideas and institutional knowledge across many constituencies in our community, which is vital to successful local government. I have made a difference over my term. I have actual, hands-on, town board experience, which puts me in a unique position among the candidates this year.

What is a top priority for the Town Board going forward? 
We need to keep working to promote prosperous hamlets in Bedford Village, Bedford Hills and Katonah. We need to understand that property taxes impact the value of our homes, now more than ever. We must do our best to run our town more efficiently and lower the cost of our services. We must provide additional support for our seniors, so they can stay in our community and we must continue to preserve our open space and protect our environment. Our local government is about bringing us together to address the challenges we face and to break down those walls that sometimes separate us. As they say, government is what we do together.