January 16, 2022

Timothy C. Griswold (R): Candidate (Incumbent) for Old Lyme First Selectman

Timothy Griswold

Biography:
Town of Old Lyme:
First Selectman: 16 years
Treasurer: 4 years
Board of Finance: 15 years Chairman: 6 years
Board of Assessment Appeals: 8 years
Business:
Various banking positions in Connecticut –
Commercial Lending and Commercial Real Estate
Civic:
Florence Griswold Museum – Board
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts – Board
LOL Chamber of Commerce – Past President
LOL Lions Club
MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation
OL Historical Society – Past President
Military:
U.S. Navy – Viet Nam
VFW – Past Commander
Personal:
Resident of Old Lyme since 1976.  Live with Kate Peale, Buttons & Ziggy.
Two daughters & four grandchildren in Old Lyme

Q1: Why are you running for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen?

Having served as First Selectman for nearly 16 years and on the Board of Finance for 15 years prior to that, I believe I have a solid knowledge of how town government works.  Because of my years of service on boards of numerous local organizations (Flo Gris, Lyme Academy, Historical Society, VFW, Lions & Chamber, to name a few), I have come to know many wonderful people throughout town.  I think we all should be proud that so many people volunteer their time to town causes and this commitment makes Old Lyme great.

Old Lyme has coped with several unusual events of late (COVID and severe weather conditions) and we have completed or are working on several complicated projects (sewers in the beach area, sidewalks in Sound View and on Ferry Rd., Mile Creek Rd. bridge replacement, Halls Rd. improvement plan, and replacing the Hains Park restroom building and the Transfer Station Scale House, among others).  Overseeing all these projects are in addition to the responsibilities of managing the town.  The benefit of my prior experience has certainly been invaluable to me and has made my job easier and more efficient.  

I am running for First Selectman because I am committed to the people of Old Lyme to see these projects through and to continue to manage Old Lyme efficiently and in a fiscally prudent manner.  I take pride in having an “open door” policy and I enjoy interacting with residents to hear their concerns and viewpoints.  

I respectfully ask for your vote on November 2nd because I believed I am well positioned to handle the responsibilities of First Selectman and I have a solid record of accomplishments to retain the charming character of our town.

Q2: What is your opinion of the Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis, which was originally proposed by Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal in August 2020 as a document that the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen should approve? It remains unsigned — please indicate whether you would be willing to sign it, if elected.

I have consistently stated I am unwilling to sign the Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis.  I believe it is hyperbolic and, if passed by the Board of Selectmen, would officially and incorrectly characterize Old Lyme as being a racist community.  It would also require the Board of Selectmen to establish unnecessary policies and procedures that, if not followed, could expose the Town to undesirable consequences.

The proponents of the Resolution claim that our citizens are not racists.  If that is true, why do we need the Resolution?  Obviously, there are likely a few people who may be racists but why adopt all this process when most all of our citizens are not racist and are very welcoming people.

Ms. Nosal states that about 22 towns have passed racism resolutions.  There are 169 towns and cities in Connecticut, so 147 of them, or 87%, have not adopted a resolution.  Thus, a large majority of Connecticut towns and cities have decided against adopting a racism resolution.

I believe the people of Old Lyme should continue to be welcoming to people of various backgrounds, religions and races.  The Town’s new Affordable Housing Commission is working on providing more housing stock that will be affordable and our churches are working to assist resettling refugee families within our community.  By working together, we are making progress.  We do not need to adopt a resolution that plainly states Old Lyme is a racist community.  This issue has divided us.  Give us credit for the good things we do – don’t blame us for what we don’t do.

Q3: What do you consider are currently the three most important issues in Old Lyme that require the attention of the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen, (with the exception of the Resolution on Racism discussed in Question 2)? Describe how you would move forward on each issue, if elected.

Sound View Sewers:  The Town of Old Lyme and the three private beach associations have been planning for sewers in the beach area for years and we are nearing the start of the project to install the shared infrastructure (collection pipe, pump station and force main to East Lyme).  The Town’s WPCA and Board of Selectmen have worked hard with project engineers to obtain easements and inter-municipal agreements, to line up the funding and to plan for the installation of the gravity sewer in Sound View.  The Board of Selectmen must continue to see this project to conclusion.

Economic Development:   We know the Town has a limited commercial base and the Halls Rd. and the beach areas (including Sound View) have greater potential.  The EDC Commission has done good work on plans to revitalize these areas to attract new commercial enterprises.  The Selectmen can work with the EDC and others to champion sensible commercial upgrades that will improve our Grand List and boost employment.  With the right vision and master plan, Hartford Ave. itself could become a fun and wholesome destination.  The Selectmen should help to shape the vision and facilitate the change.

Affordable Housing:  The Affordable Housing Commission is doing a terrific job to set the Town on the right course to address this important need.  The Commission and the Board of Selectmen were successful at obtaining Town meeting approval for the Town’s Affordable Housing Ordinance and the Commission is working on the five-year update of our Affordable Housing Plan that is due next July.  Two more affordable housings lots will soon be situated on the McCulloch Open Space property the Town recently acquired and a developer will be selected to construct a single family home on each.  The Board of Selectmen will encourage the development of additional affordable housing units in sensible locations. 

 

Comments

  1. Charlotte Scot says

    My concern with Mr. Griswold is not about him per se. Anyone serving 16 years on a committee tends to adapt to insular thinking. This often leads to an “us vs. them” attitude which is the last thing any community needs.
    I think this attitude has lead to Mr. Griswold’s refusal to lead a public discussion on the subject of the resolution “Racism is a Public Health Crisis.” Racism is a Public Health Crisis is a matter of fact. Agreeing with medical authorities about this is not saying that people who live in Old Lyme are racists. Quite the contrary. Having a discussion in our community where slaves were “owned” in the seventeeth and eighteenth century, shows how much attitudes here have changed. Even though Old Lyme is 96% white, we welcome diversity and appreciate our non-white residents. Citizens are open to having civil discussions about tough issues. I am sorry Mr. Griswold is not.

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