July 11, 2020

Op-Ed: A Conversation That Needs To Occur

This op-ed was submitted by R. A. Nixon of Old Lyme.

I attended the debate Wednesday evening between Bonnie Reemsnyder and Tim Griswold.  In listening carefully, one issue stood out like a sore thumb: Our First Selectwoman repeatedly claimed that recent actions taken by the Town were only conversations based on input from her constituents – the people of Old Lyme.  She addressed the questions on Affordable Housing, the Halls Road Improvement Plan, and amalgamating the Old Lyme Police with the East Lyme Police Department in this manner. She kept saying: These were conversations that needed to occur.  If you attended the debate or see it televised later and are not well informed, you could infer that she has only undertaken such initiatives based on a groundswell of public interest. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Ms. Reemsnyder was fully in support of and behind the Affordable Housing project next to Exit 70.  That project which was in every way inimical to the interests of this town, had overwhelming opposition from the citizens of Old Lyme. Most people are in favor of affordable housing, but not in an unsafe location.

The Halls Road Improvement Plan currently being developed with the Yale Urban School of Design at Town expense is a pet project of Ms. Reemsnyder and a few carefully chosen allies.  This Master Plan, as she called it, was developed without the support of the majority of the private land owners along Halls Road (a State road). There is ample resistance to this foolhardy exercise by town residents as well.

The latest Yale School renderings of the plan are completely incongruous with the charm and rural character of Old Lyme.  Check this out before you vote. 

The concept of scrapping the Old Lyme Resident Trooper Police System and having Old Lyme’s Police become subordinate to the East Lyme Police Department was not the brainchild of town residents.  Rather, it was Ms. Reemsnyder who promoted this further concept of regionalization (loss of local control). True leadership is listening to the needs and desires of the citizens, the taxpayers, not leading the Town down rabbit holes.  This is the conversation that needs to occur.

Tim Griswold is an experienced Town Leader in Old Lyme with a proven track record of fiscal discipline and sound management practice.  He will listen to the needs and desires of the people in this town before setting new courses for the Town. 

Put simply, I want straight talk from our First Selectman, not hollow platitudes and schemes inconsonant with the special character of Old Lyme.  I expect other voters will feel the same way if they know the facts.

Vote for Tim Griswold for first Selectman on November 5th.

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