August 15, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Who is Old Lyme’s Ethics Ombudsman?

To the Editor:

Who is Old Lyme’s Ethics Ombudsman?

The answer depends on which town official you ask.

When asking  the Ethics Commission Chairman, she indicated that she wasn’t sure that the position exists.

When asking the Town Clerk’s office, they indicated that the current Democratic Registrar of Voters is the Ethics Ombudsman … but that can’t be. Old Lyme’s Code of Ethics states that the Ethics Ombudsman cannot hold any other elected or appointed office in the town. This would clearly be a violation of the Ethics Code.

A review of meeting minutes of the Ethics Commission indicated there is no record of vote to appoint an Ombudsman. The Ethics Commission has the responsibility of appointing the Ombudsman; failure not to appoint the Ombudsman would be a violation of the Ethics Code.

The losers here are town officials and town employees, who are not afforded the option of seeking advice about ethical and conflict of interest issues that arise in their duties.

Sincerely,

William Folland,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Failure to Undertake Full Financial Review of Old Lyme’s Sewer Project Will Result in Unexpected Costs

To the Editor:

To understand the negative impact the proposed sewer project will have on future cost to Old Lyme property owners, one must first understand the future development plans of the towns that will share the system.

Old Lyme’s future development plans do not include any major expansion of residential or commercial projects. The chairman of Old Lyme’s Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) has stated there is no plan to extend sewers into neighborhoods other than those under order of Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP).

East Lyme’s future development plans include major residential and commercial projects, many of which are underway. The towns of Waterford and New London also  plan major expansion projects.

An article in The Day newspaper in July, 2018 quoted East Lyme’s first selectman praising the sewer agreement that allows Old Lyme’s private beach associations to connect to their sewer system. He stated it was important to have a partner that will share the costs to upgrade their sewer system.

East Lyme’s WPCA has stated that any future development will require substantial upgrades to their existing system. Waterford and New London officials have expressed these same concerns. All this will come at costs to Old Lyme sewer users.

It is noteworthy that Old Lyme town officials had no direct involvement in the terms of the sewer agreement between the town of East Lyme and the private beaches, yet Old Lyme will bear the costs once the town enters into this agreement, that is the current plan.

Old Lyme’s voters were misled about the details of the sewer project prior to the 9.4 million dollar referendum this past September. Approving funding for a project of this scope without a financial review of all relevant documents and agreements was negligence on the part of Old Lyme’s Board of Finance (BOF). The losers here are the residents of Soundview, who will be burdened with an unknown financial impact thanks to the failure of a proper project review by the town officials who we elect to act in our best interest.

Sincerely,

William Folland,
Old Lyme.