July 4, 2020

Lyme DTC Calls on All 2020 Candidates to Pledge to Reform Criminal Justice System, Address Police Misconduct

LYME – The Lyme Democratic Town Committee released a statement yesterday requesting all 2020 candidates who seek to represent the residents of Lyme to pledge to support reform of the nation’s criminal justice system and to address police misconduct at all levels.

The text of the statement is as follows:

In the wake of the protests spurred by the tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other African American citizens across this country – which have thrown a long-overdue, national spotlight on injustice – the Lyme Democratic Town Committee calls upon all candidates in the coming November election, who are seeking to represent the residents of Lyme, to pledge their support for reforming our criminal justice system and addressing the issue of police misconduct at the national, state and local levels.

Specifically, we call upon each of the following candidates to make such a pledge:

  • 23rd Congressional District Representative candidates Dave Rubino (D) and Devin Carney (R);
  • 33rd District State Senator candidates Norm Needleman (D) and Brendan Saunders (R);
  • U.S. Congressional Representative candidates Joe Courtney (D), Justin Anderson (R) and Thomas Gilmer (R); and
  • U.S. Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The events the nation is witnessing and the concerns Americans across this country are expressing through protests and other means must be translated into laws and institutional practices by the government officials we elect into office this fall to represent us.

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Incumbent State Sen. Needleman Nominated Unanimously to Run Again for 33rd Senate District Seat, Includes Lyme

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd)

LYME — (Based on a Press Release released by Sen. Needleman’s office) On May 22, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) was unanimously endorsed for re-election to the 33rd State Senate District by Democratic delegates.

First elected to the State Senate seat in 2018, Sen. Needleman represents the towns of Lyme along with Colchester, Chester, Clinton, Essex, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Portland.

Needleman will be challenged by Republican Brendan Saunders, who is running for the Senate for the first time, although he has been involved in numerous Republican campaigns. Saunders received unanimous endorsement for his candidacy at the Republican District Convention, May 18,

“The need for strong, effective leadership in the State Senate has never been more important than now, due to the crisis created by COVID-19,” says Sen. Needleman in the press release announcing his endorsement, noting, “In my time at the General Assembly, I’ve worked in a bipartisan manner to tackle our most difficult challenges. More now than ever, I believe that inclusive, non-partisan dialogue is what’s needed to solve tough problems. This ‘makes sense perspective characterizes my approach to representing our district in the State Senate.”

He continues, “That’s why I’m anxious to continue my service at the Capitol to help our state recover from this once-in-a-century crisis.  Doing so requires knowledge of town operating procedures, experience in managing local resources and skill in business planning. As your State Senator, I’m utilizing my expertise in those areas to help constituents and small businesses navigate state and federal assistance programs, as well as connect people with the resources they need to sustain their livelihoods and support their health during the pandemic.”

Sen. Needleman serves as Deputy President Pro Tempore, Senate Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee, Vice-Chair of the Planning & Development Committee, and is a member of the Commerce, Finance Revenue & Bonding, and Transportation Committees.

He also serves as First Selectman of the Town of Essex.

Sen. Needleman has been instrumental in the passage of a bill bringing wind energy generation to Connecticut. This legislation enables up to 40 percent of future energy needs to come from carbon-free renewable energy and creates a new industry for Connecticut. Needleman states it could add as much as $2 billion to the state’s economy, bringing with it thousands of skilled, well-paying jobs.

Citing other successes benefiting the 33rd District that he has supported, Needleman mentions allowing first responders, police officers, and firefighters to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and assisting passage of a bill raising the age of access for tobacco products from 18 to 21, protecting youths from addiction.

Needleman also sponsored and enacted legislation holding energy companies accountable for prompt responses to power outages and formulated policy solutions to protect rivers and lakes from invasive species.

As founder and CEO of Connecticut-based Tower Laboratories, Needleman has created over 100 well-paying manufacturing jobs directly in the 33rd Senate District.

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Brendan Saunders Endorsed by Republicans to Run Against Incumbent Needleman in November

Brendan Saunders is the endorsed Republican candidate to challenge incumbent Norm Needleman for the 33rd State Senate seat.

LYME/AREAWIDE — At their district convention held Monday, May 18, Republicans confirmed first-time Senate candidate Brendan Saunders will challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Norm Needleman for the 33rd State Senate seat in November. The 33rd Senate District includes Lyme.

In his acceptance speech, Saunders said, “Ronald Reagan once said, ‘the greatness of our nation lies within its people.’ I believe that the greatness of this state lies within its residents. As your senator, I will fight to reverse the trend of raising taxes and fees. I will work to let you keep more of your hard-earned money. I will fight to make living and operating a business in this state less onerous. ”

“Saunders has the ‘get up and go’ and enthusiasm I love to see in a candidate,” said Ed Munster of Haddam’s Republican Town Committee (RTC). Munster, who nominated Saunders, said Monday, “He is a good speaker and someone who listens and is interested in what you have to say. Something voters want in people they elect to public office.”

Saunders and Munster have a history of campaigning together. He helped Munster run for Congress in 1992. While this is Saunders’ first time running for office, he has also helped Westbrook candidate State Representative Jesse MacLachlan, and State Senator Art Linares. Saunders “knows what he is getting into,” said Munster.

Carolyn Kane of Chester RTC, seconded Saunders’ nomination Monday. Kane proclaimed Saunders as both dynamic and grounded with a lifetime of ties to his community. She also said that Saunders has an “approachable demeanor and commanding confidence. He came out of the gate ready to share his plan, vision, and how he would work in Hartford to ensure the 33rd district would be his priority.”

Noting, “In the wake of COVID-19, Saunders retooled his campaign to include an active online presence, strategically using his District tour to highlight his technological savvy and command of communication avenues,” Kane added, “Brendan demonstrates new ways to connect on a personal level and proves his commitment to building lasting relationships with every interaction.”

She said, “His ability to build partnerships is one of the most important skills sets a State Senator must have.”

To support Saunders’ campaign with a donation and to learn more, visit Saunders4Senate.com.

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State Rep. Devin Carney Endorsed for Another Term in 23rd District

State Rep. Devin Carney has been endorsed by local Republicans for another term in the 23rd District, which includes both Lyme and Old Lyme.

LYME/OLD LYME — (press release from Devin Carney) On Tuesday, May 19, Republican delegates from Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook unanimously endorsed State Representative Devin Carney for a fourth term as representative for the 23rd District.

The delegates held a convention by web conference to endorse Carney, making his campaign for another two-year term as State Representative official. Delegates gave remarks on State Representative Carney’s dedicated and effective record of public service as well as being a knowledgeable and accessible legislator for the four communities.

“Representing the 23rd District – the place where my family lives, where I was raised, where I went to school, where I work and volunteer – has truly been the honor of a lifetime,” said Carney.  “I am proud to be your voice in Hartford to advocate for fiscal responsibility, small business growth, our wonderful public schools, and our precious shoreline coast. We are facing an uncertain future and need experienced leaders who put people over politics – something I have always done.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Member, Dr. Mary Powell-St. Louis, nominated Carney.“Devin has done a wonderful job representing people here in the 23rd District. He listens, cares, and is a real voice of reason”, said Powell-St. Louis. “As a Region 18 parent and Board of Education member, I was particularly pleased with how hard he worked against state forced expanded school regionalization last year.”

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna seconded Carney’s nomination.

“It has been a pleasure working with Devin over the past several years. He has been a strong advocate for small towns and small businesses and has worked diligently to ensure our needs are met,” Fortuna said. “His knowledge of state and local issues, active community outreach, and his legislative experience are exactly what we need as the state works through the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath.”

Judy Tooker, Old Lyme’s Tax Collector, added, “Devin understands the unique needs of our community members, from healthcare and transportation to employment and jobs, and he will focus on the district – not partisan politics. We need his strong voice in Hartford now more than ever.”

In addition to receiving the Republican nomination on Tuesday, Carney reported that he had raised the necessary contributions to qualify for the state’s Citizens’ Clean Election Program.

Carney, who works in finance and real estate, was first elected to the legislature in 2014. He was born and raised in Old Saybrook and lives in Old Lyme with his significant other, Lisa. He currently serves as Ranking Member of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee and serves on the legislative committees overseeing Transportation, Planning & Development, and Finance, Revenue, and Bonding. He was named a 2019 Environmental Champion by the League of Conservation Voters for his work supporting renewable energy and received the Legislative Service Award from the Connecticut Counseling Association for his work on mental health issues and opioid addiction.

In district, he serves on the Boards of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Saye Brook Senior Housing. He is also an active member of the Old Saybrook Rotary Club, both the Lyme-Old Lyme and Old Saybrook Chambers of Commerce, and with Grace Church in Old Saybrook. In addition to his duties as State Representative, he serves as an alternate to the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals.

 

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Human Rights Attorney Dave Rubino Nominated to Challenge Carney for 23rd House District Seat

Dave Rubin is the endorsed candidate nominated by local Democrats to contest the 23rd District seat.

OLD LYME — (Press release from Rubino 2020) On Monday night, the 23rd House District Democratic Convention in the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook nominated Dave Rubino to challenge State Representative Devin Carney for the 23rd District House Seat. Rubino has spent most of his career promoting American democratic values abroad, and his campaign says his skill set will be invaluable in these difficult times.

“Rebuilding and preserving our economy and regional treasures will require real leadership, creative ideas and an understanding of what the stakes are,” said Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal. “Dave is a successful small-business owner and lawyer. His wife is a teacher. He is navigating the distance-learning of two young children. He has decades of practical, real-world experience overcoming adversity, with positive outcomes that bring people together.”

Rubino’s campaign will focus on addressing the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis while planning a future that keeps the area attractive to businesses and supports working families. He advocates for a minimum wage that can provide for a family, an overhaul of our toxic student debt system, a functioning and affordable public healthcare system, and environmental policies that reflect a realistic understanding of the risks and challenges we face.

But these solutions, he says, will require true collaboration across the aisle.

“We can’t function with this level of polarization,” said Rubino.  “Although I am a progressive Democrat, all of my international work has been bipartisan in nature – supported by funding from the Bush administration, then the Obama administration, and finally by the Trump administration. I have helped draft laws for various countries on issues of national and international import. I know how to bring people to the table when it counts.”

According to campaign manager Anna Reiter, “Dave believes in an inclusive democracy and an equitable economy. But first and foremost he’s a professional who knows how to get things done with integrity and leadership. He will stand up for our values. That’s what we need right now.”

“I’m proud to stand with someone whose values I believe in,” said former Secretary of the State Miles Rapoport. “I have known Dave for years, and I’ve watched his work with great admiration.  Dave has litigated national voting rights cases, fought against government corruption, supported the rights of women, and been effective on every issue he has worked on. He is just the kind of person we need in the Connecticut legislature in these challenging times.”

Rubino will be funding his campaign via public financing through Connecticut’s Clean Elections Program. People wishing to support his campaign can  donate or volunteer at www.rubino2020.com.

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Gov. Lamont Signs Executive Order Allowing All Eligible CT Residents to Vote Absentee in Aug. 11 Primary Elections

Photo by Elements Digital on Unsplash.

HARTFORD/LYME/OLD LYME – (from a press release issued by the Governor’s office) Governor Ned Lamont yesterday announced that because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he has signed an executive order allowing all registered voters in Connecticut to vote absentee in the Aug. 11, 2020 primary elections.

Current state law authorizes the use of an absentee ballot for six reasons, including a voter’s active service in the Armed Forces; absence from town during all of the hours of voting; own illness; religious beliefs; duties as an election official; and physical disability.

Governor Lamont said that as the highly contagious virus continues to spread and nearly 3,500 people in the state who have contracted the disease have died within the last two months, it is critical that state government make reasonable adjustments that reflect the current state of emergency while ensuring that the democratic process continues safely and securely.

“Nobody should need to make a decision between their health and their right to vote,” Governor Lamont said. “Our state has taken every responsible step to this point to ensure that our residents are safe, and the next step we must take is to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 when Connecticut residents cast their ballots. We must guarantee access to the ballot, and this is a way to do that during these extraordinary circumstances. I do not take this decision lightly, and it is with the public health and welfare of residents in mind.”

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has announced that she intends to mail every registered voter in the state an application they will need to fill out and return in order to obtain an absentee ballot. That application, which will be sent via U.S. Postal Service, will include a postage paid return envelope.

After processing the applications at the local level, all voters who requested an absentee ballot will receive the ballots in the mail, which will also include a postage paid return envelope. Each town will also have a secure dropbox in a prominent location to allow voters to deliver their absentee ballots in person without close personal contact.

Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary was initially scheduled to be held on April 28, but to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, Governor Lamont signed executive orders rescheduling it, first to June 2 and then to August 11, the same date that the state was already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices.

Moving the presidential primary to this date enables the primary for president to appear on the same ballot as those for other offices, and eliminates the need for the state to hold two separate primary elections.

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Gov. Lamont Reschedules Presidential Primary … Again, This Time to Aug. 11

HARTFORD/LYME/OLD LYME – Last Thursday, April 17, Gov. Ned Lamont announced in Executive Order 7BB that he is ordering Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary election to be rescheduled to Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, due to the ongoing public health crisis caused by COVID-19. He stated this action is being taken in coordination with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

This is the second time the governor has rescheduled the presidential preference primary due to the pandemic. It was originally scheduled to be held April 28 and then ordered last month to be rescheduled to June 2.

Voting on Aug. 11 will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents and Cross Lane Firehouse for Old Lyme residents.

Absentee Ballot Applications already received by the Lyme and Old Lyme Town Clerks will be used for the new date. Visit this link to request an absentee ballot for the Primary.

For more information on the local Primaries, visit the Town of Lyme website or the Town of Old Lyme website.

The state is already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices on August 11. Moving the presidential primary to this date will enable the presidential primary to appear on the same ballot as those other races.

“To protect the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and the most vulnerable populations, it just makes most sense to extend the date out to August,” Governor Lamont said. “I appreciate the continued contact with Secretary Merrill, as well as all of our town clerks and registrars who’ve worked with us each step of the way through this crisis to respond and make necessary adjustments.”

“I support the governor’s decision to move the primary to August 11 to coincide with our state and federal primary,” Secretary Merrill said. “This date change will allow us to make it easier to protect the health and safety of voters and local election officials, prepare for the anticipated increase in demand for absentee ballots, save towns money, and let voters make their voices heard in the presidential primary process, all by holding one primary instead of two.”

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Non-Essential Businesses Must Close by 8pm Monday, DECD Defines ‘Essential’ Businesses That Can Stay Open

LYME/OLD LYME — State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), whose District includes Lyme and Old Lyme, sent us the detailed information announced yesterday by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) regarding which businesses are deemed essential in the state pursuant to Executive Order 7H.

That order had directed all businesses and nonprofit entities in the State of Connecticut to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ.

Executive Order 7H also directed that, no later than today, Monday, March 23, at 8 p.m., each non-essential business or nonprofit entity must reduce the in-person workforce at each business location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels.

This order excludes any state or local government agencies, quasi-public agencies, political subdivisions or other entities that do not constitute businesses or nonprofits.

The details announced yesterday by the DECD identify all essential businesses in a docment titled, Business Exemptions for Coronavirus – Executive Order 7H, which includes 12 different categories of businesses.

If the function of your business is not listed as one of the Business Exemptions, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an Essential Business.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should ONLY be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

To request designation as an Essential Business, click here.

Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (e.g. attendant) is deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an Essential Business.

If you have further questions not answered above, submit them to DECD at decd.covid19@ct.gov.

If you have questions for State Rep. Carney, email him at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.

 

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Carney Summarizes Lamont’s Latest Executive Order Detailing Business Restrictions Starting Monday; Also, Gives More COVID-19 General Updates

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

LYME/OLD LYME — State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), whose District includes Lyme and Old Lyme, issued the following statement earlier this morning, which summarizes Gov. Lamont’s most recent Excutive Order and gives other pertinent COVID-19 information.

“Governor Lamont today signed his ninth executive order pursuant to his emergency declaration, taking further actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Connecticut.

This order:

  • Places restrictions on workplaces for non-essential businesses. This goes into effect Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. through Wednesday, April 22, 2020,
  • Under this restriction, all businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ.
  • Non-essential businesses or non-essential not-for-profit entities shall reduce their in-person workforce at any workplace locations by 100% not later than March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

**Important note for businesses who are deemed non-essential**

Any other business may be deemed essential after requesting an opinion from DECD, which shall review and grant such request, should it determine that it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce continue at full capacity to properly respond to this emergency.

Any essential business or entity providing essential goods, services or functions shall not be subject to these in-person restrictions.

Not later than 8 p.m. on March 22, 2020, the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) shall issue lawfully binding guidance about which businesses are essential.

Those ESSENTIAL businesses to remain OPEN shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Essential retail, including GROCERY STORES and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries;
  • Food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants, provided they comply with previous and future executive orders issued during the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency;
  • PHARMACIES, gas stations and convenience stores;
  • Essential health care operations including HOSPITALS, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, elder care and home health care workers,
  • Companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, health care data, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare related supplies or services;
  • Essential infrastructure, including utilities, wastewater and drinking water, telecommunications, airports and transportation infrastructure;
  • Manufacturing, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, and industries supporting the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military;
  • The defense industrial base, including aerospace, mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers;
  • Essential services including trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing, mail and shipping services;
  • News media;
  • Legal and accounting services;
  • Banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions;
  • Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations;
  • Construction;
  • Vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including pest control and landscaping services;
  • Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and the provision of goods, services or functions necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

To read this executive order, click here.

To see an update on Connecticut’s coronavirus response efforts, click here.

State launches framework for the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

At the direction of Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the state has activated a framework for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection that are utilized by people providing healthcare services.

Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that wish to donate these vital materials should fill out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.

United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut will be working with DPH to collect the input of donation requests and will ensure that donated items are appropriate for the needs of hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The specific items being requested by the state at this time include:

  • N95 Respirators
  • Face Masks/Surgical Masks
  • Face Shields
  • Surgical Gowns
  • Gloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
  • Thermometers
  • Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Other Medical Items

This donation framework will remain in place to support additional donation efforts in the future.

Department of Revenue Services extends filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020

At the direction of Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is extending the filing and payment deadline for personal income tax returns 90 days, to July 15, 2020. The extension also applies to Connecticut estimated income tax payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.

This extension for Connecticut personal income tax return filing and payment aligns with the U.S. Treasury’s announcement earlier Friday, where it indicated federal income tax filings and payments would be extended until July 15, 2020.

Connecticut taxpayers who are owed a refund may still file with DRS. The easiest way to file – and the fastest way to receive a refund – is through online filing, including via the DRS online Taxpayer Service Center, which is easy, secure, and free to use. Since Connecticut’s personal income tax return begins with federal Adjusted Gross Income, it is often beneficial to complete one’s federal income tax return first.

Taxpayers are encouraged to visit the DRS website, where additional updates will be posted.

Governor Lamont and DECD speak with 5,000 small business owners and leaders about the impact of COVID-19 on businesses

Yesterday, Governor Lamont and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) David Lehman hosted a conference call with over 5,000 small business owners and leaders from throughout the state to discuss what the state has done and is planning to do to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. During the call, the governor discussed the state’s new bridge-loan program that is being set up to help small and medium-sized businesses. Details continue to be finalized, and more information is anticipated to be released next week.

To listen to the full audio of the hour-long conference call, visit the state’s COVID-19 business resource page.

Earlier this week, DECD launched the COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit, which will be dedicated to help businesses in Connecticut navigate the resources available to them during this crisis. Small businesses seeking guidance can reach this unit by calling 860-500-2333.

DMV announces series of additional extensions and waivers for vehicle registrations, emissions testing, and other credentials

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that it is adding vehicle registrations, emissions testing, and several other items to the extension period for Connecticut residents with expiring credentials. In addition to extending the expiration date of DMV credentials, late fees associated with eligible expired credentials and compliance issues will also be waived during this extension period.

The extensions announced today apply to vehicle and boat registrations, emissions testing, new residents, disabled parking placards, business licenses, suspension-related matters, inspections, school bus proficiency tests, and flashing light permits.

For specific information on today’s announcements and details about each of these extension periods, click here.

Businesses experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity should contact FEMA’s emergency operations center

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is encouraging businesses in the state that are experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity to contact the FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center by emailing NBEOC@fema.dhs.gov. This is a 24/7 operation and they can assist in directing the inquiry to the proper contact.”

State Rep. Carney concludes, “As always, if you have any questions or would like to speak with me about a concern, please email me at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.”

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Sen. Formica Recognized for his Work Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20) displays the award he received at the Council on Developmental Services’ Legislative Breakfast when he was named a Legislative Champion for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

HARTFORD/OLD LYME – State Senator Paul Formica (R-20), whose senatorial district includes Old Lyme, was named a Legislative Champion for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities at the Council on Developmental Services’ Legislative Breakfast.

Sen. Formica serves as a co-chair of the Connecticut Intellectual & Developmental Disability Caucus, which is the nation’s first state-level organization of officials to support families and individuals who have the greatest need for the CT Department of Developmental Services system.

“We have the mutual goal of ensuing that individuals who face the added challenges of managing an intellectual or developmental disability has access to all the supports and programs that they need.” said Sen. Formica.

“Making sure that government programs are functioning in a timely manner and succeeding in carrying out their mission is a key responsibility of the legislature,” added Sen. Formica.

The Council also recognized State Representative Joe Aresimowicz as a Legislative Champion, Jamie Larazoff as an outstanding self-advocate as well as business champions BeanZ & Company, Hospital for Special Care, and Robinson+Cole for their work and advocacy efforts.

Editor’s Note — Sen. Formica serves the 20th senatorial district, which, as well as Old Lyme, includes the towns of Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford. This article is based on a press release from Sen. Formica’s office.

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Sen. Formica Supports Proposals to Increase Transparency, Oversight of Quasi Agency Reform

Sen. Paul Formica (R-20th) speaks during Tuesday’s press conference at which recommendations to increase transparency and oversight of Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies were presented.

HARTFORD/OLD LYME – Senator Paul Formica (R-20th), whose District includes Old Lyme, joined Senate and House Republicans at a press conference Tuesday to put forward recommendations to increase transparency and oversight of Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies.

Sen. Formica said, “There is no question that Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies handle vital functions for the state.  It is time to make sure these functions are being performed properly.  I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and offer solutions – specific reforms to increase transparency and prevent further issues.  We have a responsibility as legislators to protect taxpayers and enforce trust and transparency with all agencies including the quasi-public agencies.”

“Reforms that mandate accountability and transparency from quasi-public agencies must be in place before they are issued any more authority, projects or funding,” added Sen. Formica.

Proposals from this Senate Republican plan include:

  1.  Require submission of quasi-public agency separation agreements and contracts with an annual cost of over $50,000 or a duration of five years or greater to the Attorney General for review and comment before entering into or renewing any such contracts.
  2. Eliminate the State Code of Ethics carve out for quasi-publics regarding contracts with immediate family members. This change will strengthen the code of ethics application in quasi publics to prevent family members of employees from inappropriately benefiting financially through employment or contracts awarded.
  3. If any appointment has not been filled for 3 months, the Board of any quasi-public must send notice to those responsible for making appointment. If an appointment is not filled for more than 6 months after that, allow the Board to fill any such open appointment.
  4. Require all quasi publics to submit all salaries to the Comptroller’s office, OFA and committee of cognizance annually.
  5. Require all quasi-publics to submit any salary proposed that will exceed more than $200,000 or higher or a 5% or higher salary increase to the committee of cognizance. If no committee of cognizance, require such information be sent to the Appropriations Committee. Committees will review prior to salary becoming effective.
  6. Require each quasi-public to report annually to the committee of cognizance and appear before such committee to answer questions regarding such report.  The form and substance required in the report shall be set forth by OPM.
  7. Require all quasi-public agencies to submit financials to the Comptroller for disclosure on CORE.
  8. Require an Office of Policy and Management (OPM) designee to be on any finance committee of the board of any quasi-public entity.
  9. Charge the Department of Administrative Services with developing off the shelf policies and procedures that can be used by all quasi-publics with little modification.
  10. Extend Attorney/Client Privilege to members of the General Assembly, and its staff, State Auditors and the office of the Attorney General so that privilege is not waived by sharing materials with any of the entities.
  11. Require each quasi-public to report specified information annually to the Governor, Auditors of Public Accounts and Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Editor’s Notes: (i) Visit this link for a related article titled Republicans Question Lamont Administration Over Quasi-Public Agencies by Christine Stuart and published Feb. 11 on CTNewsJunkie.com.

(ii) This article is based on a press release issued by Sen. Paul Formica’s office.

(ii) Senator Paul Formica represents the residents of the 20th Senatorial District, which includes Old Lyme along with Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford.

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State Sen. Needleman Announces Candidacy for Re-election in 33rd District, Includes Lyme

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd)

ESSEX/LYME — State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) announced his candidacy yesterday for re-election to the 33rd State Senate District. First elected to his seat in 2018, Senator Needleman represents the town of Lyme along with those of Colchester, Chester, Clinton, Essex, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, and Portland.

“It is an honor to be able to represent the 33rd Senatorial District, and I’m excited to continue serving my constituents,” said Sen. Needleman. “My time in the General Assembly has been an incredible experience, and I truly enjoy fighting for my district to ensure we build a stronger future for them and all the citizens of Connecticut. I humbly ask my constituents for the opportunity to do so for another term.”

Needleman serves as Senate Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, Vice Chair of the Planning and Development Committee, and is a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding, Transportation, and Commerce Committees.

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Needleman Appointed Senate Vice Chair of Planning & Development Committee

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd)

HARTFORD/LYME — State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), whose District includes the Town of Lyme, has been appointed Senate Vice Chair of the Planning & Development Committee in the Connecticut General Assembly by Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). As a condition of this appointment,  which as announced Tuesday, Sen. Needleman will step down from his position as Senate Vice Chair of the Banking Committee.

Sen. Needleman’s appointment to this committee is in addition to his existing roles as Senate Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee and membership in the Commerce Committee, Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee and Transportation Committee.

“I look forward to starting work on the Planning & Development Committee, working to improve and streamline processes to assist our state’s municipalities and support further development in Connecticut,” said Sen. Needleman. “I would like to thank Senator Looney for his appointment and am excited to continue my work in the upcoming Legislative Session.”

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Lyme DTC Thanks Two Long-Term Volunteers – Mattson and Sauer – for Decades of Service

Maddy Mattson stands with State Senator Norm Needleman after being presented with an official statement of appreciation from Governor Lamont for her many years of service to the Lyme DTC.

LYME – At its most recent meeting, the members of the Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) thanked Claire Sauer and Maddy Mattson for their decades of service to the Lyme DTC and the Town of Lyme, as the two long-term Democratic volunteers announced their intent to step down from the committee.

State Senator Norm Needleman gave Claire Sauer an official statement of appreciation from Governor Lamont for her decades of service to the Lyme and state Democrats.

Sauer has served on the Lyme DTC for more than 40 years and Mattson for more than 20 years. Both have played instrumental roles in the committee’s successes during their long tenures, according to Lyme DTC Chairman John Kiker.

State Senator Norm Needleman was on hand at the meeting to thank and celebrate their work; and Governor Ned Lamont recognized their contributions via an official statement.

The Lyme DTC’s mission is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party in the Town of Lyme and the State of Connecticut. The committee typically meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme Town Hall. These meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

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Lyme DTC Meets Monthly on Third Thursday, All Welcomd

LYME – The Lyme Lyme Democratic Town Committee’s mission is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party in the Town of Lyme and the State of Connecticut.  The committee typically meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall. These meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

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Former Old Lyme First Selectwoman Testifies at State Transportation Committee’s Public Hearing on CPA

CHRISTINE STUART/ CTNEWSJUNKIE PHOTO. Published with permission of CTNewsJunkie.com.  Bonnie Reemsnyder and Scott Bates, two former Port Authority board members, testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

HARTFORD, CT / OLD LYME — The massive stroke suffered by the Connecticut Port Authority’s former executive director, Evan Matthews, on May 26, 2017, took a toll on operations and contributed to the contracting issues at the quasi-public agency.

Matthews, who voluntarily testified Wednesday at the Transportation Committee’s public hearing on a second state audit of the organization, said some of the contracting issues “were related to the CPA reacting to this emergency.” He also said he was not given a chance to sit down with the auditors and explain to them the unique circumstances “to give them context for why some decisions were being made.”

However, …

Read the full article by Christine Stuart and titled, Former Executive Director Says His Health Contributed To Problems At Port Authority, published Dec. 4 on CTNewsJunkie.com.

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Republicans Sweep All Seats in Old Lyme, Including Board of Education

The Old Lyme Republicans have much to celebrate tonight. They won every single contested seat in a bitterly fought election.  The full results, with the winners in bold and marked with an asterisk, were as follows:

FIRST SELECTMAN:

Bonnie Reemsnyder (D): 1,403

*Tim Griswold (R): 1,774

SELECTMAN:

*Mary Jo Nosal (D): 1,495

*Chris Kerr (R): 1,676

TREASURER:

Reiter (D): 1430

Griswold (R): 1691

TAX COLLECTOR:

Michaelson (D): 1262

*Tooker (R): 1905

BOARD OF FINANCE:

Rubino (D): 1361

Sturges (R): 1768

Reiter (D): 1367

*Kelsey (R): 1695

BOARD OF FINANCE ALTERNATES:

*Burrows (D): 1532

*Read (R): 1921

Taliento (D): 1430

*Olson (D): 1777

BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS

*Evers, Jr. (R): (R): 2235

PLANNING COMMISSION
5-Year Term beginning 2019

Klose (D): 1347

*Ross: (R): 1712

5-Year Term beginning 2020

Lampos: 1409

*Thompson: 1662

ZONING COMMISSION:
5-Year Term beginning 2019

Gemme: 1267

*Tinnerello: 1721

5-Year Term beginning 2020

Cable: 1366

*Miller: 1609

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
5-Year Term beginning 2019

Lowry (D): 1357

*Hutchinson (U): 1616

5-Year Term beginning 2019

Tracey (D): 1389

*Dix (R): 1558

Alternates

*Carney (R): 2174

*Johnston (R): 2007

REGION 18 BOARD OF EDUCATION

Bowman (D): 1471

*Thompson (R): 1600

Panzara-Griswold (D): 1400

*Miller (R): 1512

Kemp (R): 1341

*Wilson (R): 1518

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Democrats Win All Contested Races in Lyme, Uncontested Board of Selectmen Re-elected for Another Term

Democrat Steven Mattson was re-elected as First Selectman of Lyme today.

LYME — Lyme voters today elected the incumbent board of selectmen of Democrats Steve Mattson and John Kiker along with Republican Parker Lord for another two-year term.  Mattson will continue as Lyme First Selectman with Kiker and Lord both serving as selectmen. Across other positions, the Democrats were successful in all contested races.

Upon learning the results of today’s municipal election, Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) Chairman John Kiker issued the following statement:

“On the behalf of everyone at the Lyme DTC, I would like to thank the people of the Town of Lyme for electing a slate of highly qualified Democratic candidates whose experience and expertise will benefit our town boards and commissions.  These newly elected officials love our town and want Lyme to stay the beautiful, historic town that it is; and they are grateful to have the opportunity to serve Lyme residents for the next two years.

I would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped run our campaign this year – in particular, the members of our Nominating Committee who did such an excellent job of identifying some of Lyme’s best and brightest to run for public office.”

The Lyme DTC’s mission is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party in the Town of Lyme and the State of Connecticut.  The committee meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7:30 in the Lyme Town Hall (barring holidays or other necessary schedule changes). These meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

The full results with those elected in bold and marked with an asterisk are as follows:

BOARD OF SELECTMEN:

*Mattson (D): 580

*Kiker (D): 400

*Lord (R): 349

TREASURER

*Hawthorne (R): 533

BOARD OF FINANCE

*Leonardo (D): 501

*Hagan (R): 443

BOARD OF FINANCE ALTERNATE

*Tyler (D): 455

Caine (R): 294

Two-year vacancy

*House (D): 431

Anderson (R): 315

BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS

*Broom, Jr. (R): 518

PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION

*House (D): 462

Potts (R): 347

*Gigliotti (R): 466

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

*Kiker (D): 543

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS ALTERNATE

*James (D): 416

Fiske (R): 328

LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

*James (D): 420

*Ulrich (D): 511

*Fiske R): 369

REGION 18 BOARD OF EDUCATION

*Mary Powell-St. Louis (R): 555

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High Turnout in Old Lyme Election

There was still a great deal of activity in the Cross Lane parking lot just before the polls closed. Photo by Michele Dickey.

Polls are about to close in Lyme and Old Lyme.  Despite the rain, turnout in Old Lyme was heavy throughout the day. The last count we received from the registrars was 3,190 a few minutes ago.

Former Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman (center) joined Democratic candidates in their election tent earlier today.

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Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Candidates Respond to our Questions

OLD LYME — In keeping with our now 16-year tradition and in the interests of increasing voter knowledge prior to next week’s important election, we posed three questions in writing to the candidates for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen as follows:

  1. What is your personal vision in broad terms for the Halls Road/Lyme Street area of Old Lyme in 2025?
  2. What is your personal vision in broad terms for the Sound View area of Old Lyme in 2025?
  3. In light of Old Lyme’s current non-compliance with the state mandate that 10 percent of housing stock be deemed, “Affordable” and the recent withdrawal of the Affordable Housing proposal on Neck Rd., how do you see the future of Affordable Housing in Old Lyme?

We gave a 300-word limit for the response to each question to which each candidate strictly adhered: we are most appreciative of that.

We also added these words in our e-mail to the candidates when we sent them the questions: Regarding questions 1 and 2, please don’t answer, “It doesn’t matter what I want, it’s what the residents of Old Lyme want” — we know that’s the politically correct answer in light of your position as a candidate, but we would like to understand what you as an individual think would be best for the future of our town in the locations identified. 

We are delighted that all four candidates responded to our questions in a timely manner. We thank them sincerely and are pleased to publish their responses today accompanied by their respective biographies and photos.

Click on the links below to read each candidate’s responses:

Bonnie Reemsnyder (D): Candidate (Incumbent) for Old Lyme First Selectwoman

Tim Griswold (R): Candidate for Old Lyme First Selectman

Mary Jo Nosal (D): Candidate (Incumbent) for Old Lyme Selectwoman

Chris Kerr (R): Candidate (Incumbent) for Old Lyme Selectman

We should also state that, again in keeping with our long-held tradition, we will not be making any candidate endorsements.

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