To the Editor:
As an independent, I feel it is important to vote on an individual’s record versus their party affiliation, especially in local elections. My concern with re-electing Bonnie Reemsnyder is that it will result in further financial hardship to hard-working and retired taxpayers, many of whom are the backbone of our community and have helped to make Old Lyme such a wonderful place to live. While the current Selectmen may mean well, that is not enough; they have been responsible for overseeing three major projects that have each grossly exceeded the scopes and budgets initially approved by Town vote: the Boathouse/Hains Park Improvement Project, the Sound View Improvement Project, and the exploration of a Local Sewer Treatment option.
As town leaders, instead of challenging these excesses or admitting that the plans put to Town vote were not adequately developed, the Selectmen supported approving additional Town funds or significant changes to project scope, as well as using the Town surplus to cover large unbudgeted cost overruns, and circumventing prioritization of those costs versus other Town needs. As a result, this year we face a 9.8% increase in Town expenditures, a 4.9% increase in mill rate, and a $600,000 (8.5%) reduction in our Town surplus! This seems out of touch with the financial realities of many in our community struggling to make ends meet.
We need a First Selectwoman who can balance the desire to implement multiple large projects against the financial realities of our community, and can ensure that any project brought to a Town vote is sufficiently developed that the community can be confident that it will be implemented as promised. Please consider bringing a new voice to the Old Lyme decision-making process, regardless of your political affiliation. Balance is the key to working well for the benefit of all. Cathy Carter supports a fiscally responsible approach to Town projects, and she brings prior governmental experience and a Master degree in Public Administration to ensure the implementation of the necessary checks and balances to support responsible local governance.
Editor’s Note: The author is an Independent candidate for the Zoning Board of Appeals.