December 6, 2019

Op-Ed: Old Lyme is in Good Hands; Keep It That Way by Ignoring Mis-truths, Giving Reemsnyder, Nosal Another Term

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted by Eileen and John Mueller of Old Lyme.

There is a broad consensus in Old Lyme that our town is doing very well. Our mill rate is low, our quality of life is high, and our schools are among the best in the state.  Under the leadership of Bonnie Reemsnyder and Mary Jo Nosal, infrastructure has been maintained, economic development has been encouraged, and the high-speed rail threat was stopped in its tracks.  Why, then, should there be a change at Town Hall? Tim Griswold and the Republican Town Committee have offered no strategy for the future; indeed, it seems they would like to roll back progress, and in the absence of a substantive plan they are trying to seek your vote by questioning Bonnie’s character.

Anyone who knows Bonnie, or who has worked with her over the 16 years she has led the town (8 of those as First Selectman), can vouch for her absolute integrity.  It is truly unfortunate that the Washington practice of manipulating the truth has seeped into Old Lyme with the innuendos and mis-truths spread by the RTC. If you want to review the relevant facts, they can be found here on the Democratic Town Committee’s website.  Suffice it to say, Bonnie engaged in no illegal or unethical conduct and has always represented herself and the Town of Old Lyme with the highest of ethical standards.

Contrast this with the behavior of Tim Griswold and the RTC.   Although their campaign slogan is “absolute integrity,” they apparently have no interest in following Connecticut law regarding campaign financing.  They have utilized contribution and election forms, and advertisements that omit the legally-required disclosures. More concerning, Tim is both the treasurer of the RTC and a candidate for two offices it is funding.  This is a blatant violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 9-606(d), which provides in part that “A candidate shall not serve as the candidate’s own treasurer.” If these violations were not intentional, they nevertheless raise serious questions about Tim’s understanding and compliance with the law and the likelihood that he would exercise the care, diligence and attention to detail required to discharge properly the duties of first selectman or treasurer. 

With many rumors and misinformation flying around town, we sought out clarification and here are the facts that should correct the following false claims:

  1. What is the status of the plan for Halls Road? Currently, there is no master plan for Halls Road.  Although the ideas shared with the public by the Halls Road Improvements Committee have enjoyed widespread support, the committee is still in the process of gathering public input and has not begun to put a plan together.  Whatever plan is developed will not position the town as a developer nor impose any obligations on private landowners. Instead, the purpose of the plan will be to provide additional opportunities for the business owners to improve their properties, if they choose.
  2. What about sewers? Bonnie has not discussed and is not advocating sewers to any portion of Old Lyme other than the beach area.  David Kelsey’s CT Examiner asserted that Dan Steward, First Selectman of Waterford, had made a contrary claim in his interview.  The reporter made an error and Dan Steward sent the reporter a correction. Subtext of the correction read, “My discussion with the reporter was very generic when it came to sewers, and I did not intend to imply that Bonnie has talked to me about any plans to sewer areas of Old Lyme other than the current beach community project.”  Rest easy homeowners, there are no discussions to expand sewers in Old Lyme.
  3. What about affordable housing? Bonnie supports affordable housing generally but expressed no view regarding HOPE Partnership’s proposed project and she took no action with respect to town approvals.  Bonnie has never concealed the fact that she, like other local first selectmen and Devin Carney, our state representative, sat on HOPE’s honorary advisory board.  

We’re grateful for the hard work and dedication demonstrated by Bonnie and Mary Jo, and felt it is important that our community members have the true facts, not the false or misleading information that is perpetuated by some in the community.  If this behavior is what the RTC means by “Absolute Integrity,” we suggest you take another look. Change for change’s sake makes no sense.  

The continued health of Old Lyme can be assured only with a vote for Bonnie and Mary Jo on November 5.

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Comments

  1. Mary Daley says

    Once the Clean Water Fund application was signed by Bonnie, and a consulting firm was hired (which stands to make millions) the decision as to where and when sewers will be installed became a State of CT DEEP decision. The Selectman’s office and WPCA no longer have control over that decision. Since the town never filed a zoning request to build a pump house on town property which would have kept costs down and allowed for a bath house to replace the porter potties, the pump house will be built on private property, Apparently the town also does not have their own IMA with Waterford, New London or East Lyme but the private beaches do so the Town will most likely become the customer of the private beach associations. We do know there will be extra capacity in that pipeline so not so sure that only a few beach areas will be sewered.

    I do not rest easy in regard to sewers in Old Lyme.

    • Thomas D Gotowka says

      Ms Daley: I don’t see any correlation between your insomnia and Old Lyme’s waste water plan. Your conclusion requires a giant leap from the “evidence” and assumptions that you’ve laid out.

  2. I have no interest in dropping into an election controversy, and will let others correct or support various points made in the above op-ed. However, in regard to the claims made relating to CT Examiner reporting, let me respond…

    A. Audio refuting point #3. You can find that here: https://youtu.be/1r4sI7eQBRM

    The audio is of Reemsnyder at an April 2018 fundraiser for the Hope Project in Old Lyme, after a detailed presentation of the plans.

    B. Audio contradicting point #2. Listen to audio of the conversation with Daniel Steward, and judge yourself: https://www.facebook.com/ctexaminer/videos/2510636269220258/

    Steward’s later walkback, posted onto social media (but not sent to CT Examiner), does not reflect either the audio of the interview with reporters Christopher McDermott and Cate Hewitt, or the sum of communications with Steward.

    I stand by the accuracy of our reporting, and by the integrity and professionalism of my staff.

  3. William Folland says

    Please explain, what is the mis- truths you speak of?, I assume you see the state audit of the port authority stating Reemsniders misconduct as a mis- truth. One who fails to acknowledge misconduct when indisputable facts are presented but call out misconduct based on a political bias could be called hipocritical.

  4. J David Kelsey says

    This does not look like an op-ed, it looks like a candidate support letter.

  5. Deb Czarnecki says

    Read the audit. Bonnie was chair of the finance committee, which means she is responsible for the mismanagement of CT taxpayers money. End of story. The audit tells the truth.
    Perhaps supporters the CPA finance chair don’t attend OL town committee meetings if they live out of state most the week. Attend a meeting. Read meeting minutes. Not everyone in OL can afford to cover mistakes made by politicians.

  6. Judith Read says

    Old Lyme’s stable mil rate is a result of the board of finance hard work!

  7. You forgot this Ad paid for by the Democratic party. I had to plug my nose and vote for Griswold but Reemsnyder was just to dishonest. Port Authority, Sewers, Low Income Projects, Town funds for her daughters paintings the list goes on. When the Democratic party returns to sanity I might consider a candidate again. The Campaign add of the Democratic Party candidates all trying to read the same document was amusing. I thought to myself how many Democrats does it take to read one sheet of paper, I guess the whole ticket.
    Both sides on the Board of Education were laughable- vote for me were facebook friends. No discussion on any relevant facts concerning the B.O.E and the waste that goes on year after year.
    Instead its the usual nonsense about what a great district this is.
    Publish the percentage of Students with 504s, or who receive SRBI support.
    Publish how many exit Support Services every year
    Publish how many students on the honor role receive modifications (Para’s giving answers on tests)
    Explain why the Region 18 had three Middle School Principals and the Director of Curriculum vanish a few years ago without explanation. If you want to pretend this is a great district go ahead but at least ask some difficult question of the people responsible.

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