OLD LYME — Old Lyme’s annual town budget meeting, which often draws only a handful of residents and is almost a formality, was an altogether different affair on Monday evening. More than 60 residents attended and emotions ran high at several points, in particular when the subject of purchasing guns for the Old Lyme Police Department was raised.
A summary of the results from the meeting is as follows:
A proposal that the Town accept title to a 1.88 acre parcel of land located at 21 and 39 Buttonball Rd. with a view to dedicating it as Open Space was approved.
An amendment to the proposed 2023-24 budget to remove $11,000 for the purchase of seven police patrol rifles was defeated 34 to 24.
The original, unamended town budget passed “by about the same margin” according to First Selectman Tim Griswold.
Two proposed Ordinances, which changed respectively the positions of Town Clerk and Tax Collector to ones appointed by the board of selectmen rather than being elected by voters, were defeated.
Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read a full report of the meeting by Elizabeth Regan of ‘The Day‘ titled, Some in Old Lyme oppose arming police with semiautomatic rifles, and published May 16 in ‘The Day.’
Charlotte Scot says
For the past couple of years, we have been inundated with stories about widespread voter fraud. Therefore I was relieved to see two police cruisers, lights flashing, sitting in front of Town Hall when I arrived for the Annual Town Meeting. Voters were being asked to approve or reject a $40,000,000 budget. One of the items in that budget was the allocation to our police department of $11,000 for AR-15s (now called Patrol Rifles). There was no information on why a town with only 5 violent crimes last year would need semi-automatic guns and this meeting was not the place to discuss the issue. It was also inappropriate to ask how Police, Fire, and EMTs would be trained to use military-grade weapons, what the guns would be used for (traffic stops? calls for suspected burglars? Domestic violence complaints?), or how much town insurance rates would increase because of the addition of having armed guards in the schools and our police force using these “Patrol Rifles.”
Shocking as it may sound,. the patrolmen stationed at the back of the room were not on hand to secure the legality of the vote. Indeed, no one was asked for an ID to prove they lived in this town. Anyone within earshot of the moderator could raise her/his hand and their votes would determine town taxpayers’ responsibility as well as cement the image that the town wished to put forward.
I left feeling happy that claims of voter fraud were no longer relevant in my town.