To the Editor:
An Open Letter to the Residents of Old Lyme:
I am running for First Selectwoman of our town and I hope to earn the support of all our citizens whether they be Democrat, Republican, or Unaffiliated. Old Lyme residents deserve a leader who will listen to their concerns, create sound fiscal budgets, and bring consensus among diverse groups working toward the common goal of improving our town. I will prepare this town for the challenges of the future. My decision to run was prompted by overwhelming resident concerns that these critical responsibilities were not being met. I am confident that my skill-set and prior experience will enable me to address these issues
During my 35-year career as a public-school teacher I worked collaboratively with fellow teachers, administration, and parents to provide a quality education for students. I served as the union president for the last twelve years of my tenure. Mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills are tools that I incorporated to bring consensus between people. These experiences will be crucial as First Selectwoman. I am currently Co-Chair of the Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition (LOLPC) and President of the Friends of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. I am passionate about public service and believe there is a benefit for the entire Old Lyme community in being able to integrate activities, align networks and identify compatible and complementary opportunities among organizations.
I am also running for re-election to the Region 18 Board of Education. I was first elected to the Board for a four-year term in 2017 after retiring from teaching. Public education has been and is an integral part of my life and is critically important to the residents of Old Lyme. I have enjoyed working on the Board of Education and look forward to contributing to the Regional District 18 Strategic Plan beginning in the fall of 2021.
The role of First Selectwoman is to serve the community of Old Lyme and to maintain, and where appropriate improve, the quality of town assets and services for our citizens. I will respect the trust you place in me to lead our town. If also re-elected to the Board of Education, I will continue to collaborate with the other eight members of the board to make the best decisions we can for the public education our students deserve.
I look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail.
Martha H. Shoemaker,
Editor’s Note: The author is the Democratic-endorsed candidate for Old Lyme First Selectwoman and also one of the four Democratic-endorsed candidates for the Region 18 Board of Education, on which she currently serves.