November 19, 2017

Mary Jo Nosal (D): Candidate (Incumbent) for Old Lyme Selectwoman

Biography

Mary Jo Nosal

Elected to the Board of Selectmen in 2011, Mary Jo consistently and actively listened to residents, sharing and addressing their concerns with town officials. She spoke out early against the hi-speed rail plan and is focused on retaining business and improving access to our beaches, shopping center and arts district.  She conscientiously advocated for low general government expenses while supporting smart regionalization opportunities. Mary Jo attends municipal training opportunities, is an active community volunteer, and substitute teacher in the Old Lyme schools.  Mary Jo, her husband Roger, and three daughters appreciate the quality of life in Old Lyme.

Q1: Why are you running?

What compelled me to run for office 6 years ago remains important, namely building trust, improving business practices and customer service in Town Hall, cultivating smart economic growth and development, and maintaining fiscal responsibility.  As always, my focus is and has been to listen to and advocate for you, the citizens of this great community of Old Lyme. 

Several projects have been or are nearly completed that will benefit our community economically, environmentally and culturally. Our parks have received needed improvements. We have identified ways to make our beautiful town welcoming to walkers and cyclists, and to increase business for our retail and recreational centers.  Emergency preparedness is greatly improved through the experienced service of dedicated personnel and volunteers.  Wastewater concerns at the shore have been confronted, and we are in the process of adopting a blight ordinance.

Budget increases have been minimal and the town’s surplus has grown 75% since 2011. Our bond rating remains excellent. Under appropriate circumstances partnering with our municipal neighbors for efficient and cost-effective delivery of services and purchases can be a sound business practice for a small town, especially in the wake of reduced financial support from the State.

It is gratifying when community collaboration results in enhanced services and dollar savings. Maintaining and preserving our precious assets and judiciously managing growth are critical to ensuring a vibrant community and establishing a sustainable legacy. With this momentum, so much more can be accomplished.

Q2: What are the three most significant issues that Old Lyme is currently facing?

The three most significant issues facing Old Lyme are future financial pressures, increased policing needs at the beach, and a shortage of volunteers for Boards and Commissions.

Q3: With reference to your Question 2 response, which issue of the three is the greatest and how do you envisage dealing with it?

Of these three issues, the most important is the Town’s ability to address financial pressures.  We should focus on increasing revenue by growing our property tax base and remain vigilant in monitoring our expenditures.

I would promote development of a marketing plan that analyzes the threats and opportunities for Old Lyme.  This plan should include outreach to key employers in the region, support for the Halls Road improvements initiative, and consideration of how to leverage our beachfront to attract visitors.  On the expense side, Town Hall should continue to explore ways to conduct business more efficiently, while maintaining or improving customer service.  In some cases, outsourcing of services can save money and make us more nimble.

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