August 5, 2020

Reemsnyder Firmly Denies Wrongdoing at CT Port Authority, Explains Absence at Transportation Hearing

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder

OLD LYME — As has been widely reported, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder did not appear in person at the state Transportation Committee’s hearing regarding the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) on Tuesday.

She did, however, submit written testimony (published in full at the link below) in which she stated categorically in reference to the purchase by the CPA of photographs from her daughter, “Consistent with the State’s Ethics Code governing conflicts of interest, I had no involvement in any aspect of the sale, including no role in the initial decision, negotiations, payment, bookkeeping, or accounting for the transaction, and I did not benefit in any way financially from the transaction.”

Reemsnyder gave the following explanation for her absence from the hearing in an e-mail Wednesday evening, in which she said, “I received the “invitation to attend” on Sunday night, as I was away the weekend, and the Town was committing to a bond for the Library. On Tuesday, I had to coordinate the signatures of the Term Sheet to secure the rate that was offered in a bid. So between reviewing the term sheet documents, accepting changes from the bank, and coordinating with the Treasurer for signatures, it tied up my morning.”

She continued, “In addition, I had an afternoon meeting that was already scheduled, and a Board of Finance meeting that night, which I take a considerable time to prepare for,” adding, “I did take the time on Monday, a day that I had a 4 PM Board of Selectmen meeting that I carefully prepare for, to articulate my written testimony.”

Visit this link to read Reemsnyder’s written testimony to the Transportation Committee.




  1. Bill Folland says

    First Selectman Reemsnider would have us believe she was a scapegoat for the mismanagement of Port authority decisions both during her tenure as a board member and later as it’s chairperson. WRONG…

    Reemsnider fails to understand that her board positions required establishing policy and oversight to prevent the misconduct by Port authority employees that we read about daily in the press.

    Can the Town of Old Lyme except this level of job performance as our First Selectman with this level of incompatance demonstrated during her tenure at the Port authority

    • Thomas D Gotowka says

      Over the past several weeks, David Collins has reported extensively on the shenanigans of senior officials at the Port Authority (PA). In July he reported that the Governor had requested Bonnie Reemsnyder’s resignation from her very brief tenure as chairperson because she “misused public funds by ‘allowing’ her daughter to sell photographs to the publicly funded agency”. The Governor’s knee-jerk reaction to request her resignation did not meet my smell test.
      In subsequent articles, Mr. Collins reported that she had, – as a member of the PA Board, – properly recused herself from the photo-art purchase decision. The decision was made by her predecessor, Scott Bates. Mr. Collins has dug more deeply into the PA and has surfaced some very significant financial and administrative issues.
      Unfortunately, one must read between the lines and amongst the several articles to conclude that the requested resignation of Reemsnyder, who is an honorable and effective public servant, was probably made with incomplete or faulty information. Unfortunately, some voters will remember “misuse of funds” and not her actual behavior.

  2. Bill Folland says

    A reasonable person could say that Reemsniders performance at the port authority is reflective of her performance during her tenure as Old Lyme’s First Selectman:

    Consider Reemsniders misstep in her selection for a past WPCA Chairman who ultimately resigned due to allegations of financial misconduct, consider her decision to abandon a local sewer solution and replace it with a solution that is contrary to the towns sewer avoidance policy, last but not least consider her clandestine support for an unpopular affordable housing project which only became public knowledge at the eleventh hour during a zoning board meeting.

    This i believe represents her actual behavior as our First Selectman.

    • Thomas D Gotowka says

      Bill: I don’t see any possible correlation, and I’ve got some pretty solid background in statistics. I don’t want to regurgitate what I’ve already said in my comment above. It seems to me that there’s more to your comments than a simple and honest discussion of the issues. Would you care to share?

  3. Thomas D Gotowka says

    A few thoughts on the above interaction: Ben Franklin said, “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins”. Winston Churchill,- in a similar interaction in Parliament,- said “I do not challenge the honorable gentleman when the truth leaks out of him from time to time”. And something often attributed to Voltaire: “I may not always agree with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it”.
    In these unusual times, when First Amendment rights appear to be under attack, we do need to protect such rights and privileges.

  4. Bill Folland says

    Tom: A starting point would be to review events concerning Reemsniders actions dealing with sewer policies at the Water Pollution Control Authority( WPCA). Please read an open letter posted on the WPCA’s web site written by Merv Roberts, a well respected town resident and authority on pollution issues. Reemsnider has completely disregarded Mr. Roberts advice and instead advocated the police of a regional sewer that was proposed by the same organization he was very critical of. While this letter was written several years age the issues have not.

    Look at where we are today on just this one issue. The neighborhood where sewers have been slated will be taking the town to court over financial issues, another neighborhood questions the need for proposed sewers based on what they see as fraudulent testing and last but not least all of these neighborhoods see misconduct and conflicts of interest in Reemsniders appointments to the WPCA.

    Are these issues a result of good policy and effective communications at the top? Not in my book.

  5. Bill Folland says

    Tom: I am more than willing to have an open discussion on what i see as missteps by Selectman Reemsnider, including her handling of affordable housing issues. On this issue I suggest you review the towns Plan of Conservation and Development and focus on the section dealing with affordable housing and especially the tasks which our selectmen were responsible for instituting.

  6. Thomas D Gotowka says

    Your supply of “butwuddabouts” exceeds my interest in continuing this discussion. Old Lyme’s government is by a Board of Selectmen and not by an autonomous First Selectman. Your focus seems to be wholly on Bonnie Reemsnyder. Care to share why?
    Perhaps it’s time to let the voters decide.

  7. Betsy Groth says

    Thank you , Mr Gotowka. Try listening to John Dankoski’s show last evening. In the words of Colin McEnroe, Collins has gone “ full Ahab” on Ms Reemsnyder ( a very effective Selectwomen) and th PA. PA needs more effective oversite and a board who has a clue- this is true.
    To try to portray Ms Reemsnyder as corrupt. Laughable

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