November 14, 2019

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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Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Candidates Respond to our Questions

LYME/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 Region 18 Board of Education as follows:

  1. What are the three major issues in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools that you are currently aware of, which require resolution during your potential term of office?  Please list and explain each one briefly in order of importance.
  2. Regarding Question 1, explain more about your choice of the issue of most importance and how you think it should be resolved.
  3. What do you see as the main relevant skills and character attributes that you will bring to the position if elected?

We gave a 250-word limit for the response to each question to which each candidate strictly adhered: we are most appreciative of that.

Three of the board of education incumbents representing Old Lyme — the current chair Michelle ‘Mimi’ Roche, Erick Cushman and Stacey Winchell — are not seeking re-election. There are six candidates running for these three open Old Lyme seats.

Mary Powell-St. Louis, who is a board of education incumbent representing Lyme, is running uncontested in that town.  We are especially pleased that she chose to respond to our questions since she has no opponent.

We are delighted that all the candidates except one responded to our questions in a timely manner.  We understand why Lorianne Panzara-Griswold did not respond to our questions, but as a gesture of our care and concern for her situation, we are publishing a Letter to the Editor written to LymeLine.com by her recently.

We sincerely thank the candidates who responded 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:

Candidates running for Old Lyme seats, none of whom is an incumbent

Sarah Bowman (D)

Lorianne Panzara Griswold (D):

Jason Kemp (D)

Jennifer Miller (R)

Suzanne Thompson (R)

Steve Wilson (R)

Candidate running for Lyme seat (incumbent)

Mary Powell St. Louis (R)

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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State Rep. Carney Requests Public Hearing to Address Port Authority Audit Findings

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

HARTFORD – (Press release from State Rep. Carney’s office) Yesterday, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), Ranking Member of the legislature’s Transportation Bonding Sub-Committee, submitted a letter to the chairs of the legislatures Transportation Committee, Governor Ned Lamont, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill requesting the committee hold a public hearing to address recent findings in an audit of the Connecticut Port Authority.

Thursday’s audit uncovered improper records management, issues with the authority’s accounting system, inconsistencies with business related entertainment, travel, and meal expenses, failure to maintain supporting documentation for some transactions, among several others.

“The gross negligence and blatant dishonesty outlined in the most recent audit of the Connecticut Port Authority is disturbing and even more of a reason why a public hearing needs to take place,” Rep. Carney said.

He continued, “The legislature needs to speak to those who were employed by, or in power, when this audit took place in order to get to the bottom of the authority’s abuse of taxpayer money and a public hearing would allow us to do so. I call on my colleagues in the legislature and our constitutional officers, including, most importantly, our Secretary of State, to join me in requesting a public hearing to get answers and to help restore public trust. I appreciate the auditors for their hard work and look forward to working to improve oversight of the Port Authority and all of our quasi-public agencies.”

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Op-Ed: Old Lyme is in Good Hands; Keep It That Way by Ignoring Mis-truths, Giving Reemsnyder, Nosal Another Term

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted by Eileen and John Mueller of Old Lyme.

There is a broad consensus in Old Lyme that our town is doing very well. Our mill rate is low, our quality of life is high, and our schools are among the best in the state.  Under the leadership of Bonnie Reemsnyder and Mary Jo Nosal, infrastructure has been maintained, economic development has been encouraged, and the high-speed rail threat was stopped in its tracks.  Why, then, should there be a change at Town Hall? Tim Griswold and the Republican Town Committee have offered no strategy for the future; indeed, it seems they would like to roll back progress, and in the absence of a substantive plan they are trying to seek your vote by questioning Bonnie’s character.

Anyone who knows Bonnie, or who has worked with her over the 16 years she has led the town (8 of those as First Selectman), can vouch for her absolute integrity.  It is truly unfortunate that the Washington practice of manipulating the truth has seeped into Old Lyme with the innuendos and mis-truths spread by the RTC. If you want to review the relevant facts, they can be found here on the Democratic Town Committee’s website.  Suffice it to say, Bonnie engaged in no illegal or unethical conduct and has always represented herself and the Town of Old Lyme with the highest of ethical standards.

Contrast this with the behavior of Tim Griswold and the RTC.   Although their campaign slogan is “absolute integrity,” they apparently have no interest in following Connecticut law regarding campaign financing.  They have utilized contribution and election forms, and advertisements that omit the legally-required disclosures. More concerning, Tim is both the treasurer of the RTC and a candidate for two offices it is funding.  This is a blatant violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 9-606(d), which provides in part that “A candidate shall not serve as the candidate’s own treasurer.” If these violations were not intentional, they nevertheless raise serious questions about Tim’s understanding and compliance with the law and the likelihood that he would exercise the care, diligence and attention to detail required to discharge properly the duties of first selectman or treasurer. 

With many rumors and misinformation flying around town, we sought out clarification and here are the facts that should correct the following false claims:

  1. What is the status of the plan for Halls Road? Currently, there is no master plan for Halls Road.  Although the ideas shared with the public by the Halls Road Improvements Committee have enjoyed widespread support, the committee is still in the process of gathering public input and has not begun to put a plan together.  Whatever plan is developed will not position the town as a developer nor impose any obligations on private landowners. Instead, the purpose of the plan will be to provide additional opportunities for the business owners to improve their properties, if they choose.
  2. What about sewers? Bonnie has not discussed and is not advocating sewers to any portion of Old Lyme other than the beach area.  David Kelsey’s CT Examiner asserted that Dan Steward, First Selectman of Waterford, had made a contrary claim in his interview.  The reporter made an error and Dan Steward sent the reporter a correction. Subtext of the correction read, “My discussion with the reporter was very generic when it came to sewers, and I did not intend to imply that Bonnie has talked to me about any plans to sewer areas of Old Lyme other than the current beach community project.”  Rest easy homeowners, there are no discussions to expand sewers in Old Lyme.
  3. What about affordable housing? Bonnie supports affordable housing generally but expressed no view regarding HOPE Partnership’s proposed project and she took no action with respect to town approvals.  Bonnie has never concealed the fact that she, like other local first selectmen and Devin Carney, our state representative, sat on HOPE’s honorary advisory board.  

We’re grateful for the hard work and dedication demonstrated by Bonnie and Mary Jo, and felt it is important that our community members have the true facts, not the false or misleading information that is perpetuated by some in the community.  If this behavior is what the RTC means by “Absolute Integrity,” we suggest you take another look. Change for change’s sake makes no sense.  

The continued health of Old Lyme can be assured only with a vote for Bonnie and Mary Jo on November 5.

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Letter to the Editor: Candidate (D) for Old Lyme Tax Collector Promises New Technology, Increased Hours, Improved Customer Service if Elected

To the Editor:

My name is Sarah Michaelson.  I am the Democratic candidate for Old Lyme Tax Collector in the upcoming election.

For the past 5 years I have been the bookkeeper for several local small business owners, while also caring for my two children.  Through this work I have not only refined my accounting skills, I have also learned about the needs and challenges of the local business community.

This past summer I was fortunate to work temporarily as the town Tax Collector’s assistant.  My time in this position gave me insight into many improvements that could be made to increase the efficiency of this office for the benefit of the town’s taxpayers.  Examples include extending hours to include at least one weekend day per month, incorporating advanced technology and improving the customer experience. I decided to run for this position in order to make these changes and otherwise to ensure that the office serves your (the customer’s) needs.  

I look forward to providing my experience and education to the residents of Old Lyme.  I would appreciate your vote for Old Lyme Tax Collector on November 5 at the Cross Lane Firehouse.

Sincerely,

Sarah E. Michaelson,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Reemsnyder Runs on Her Record, Says Look at Facts of Her Administration’s Accomplishments

To the Editor:

As Election Day draws near and we prepare to cast our votes, there are still some who are undecided. Each side makes its best case, but that sometimes includes misleading claims and information. Though part of the political process, this is often the reason many turn away from voting.

With that in mind, please consider these facts regarding some of my administration’s accomplishments. Over the last eight years, mill rate increases have been minimal while our surplus increased substantially, resulting in our being ranked 5th in CT for fiscal stability. We have focused on taking care of our basic infrastructure–our roads, buildings and equipment– and OSHA rated us in the top two municipalities after a recent inspection. We have ensured that Town Hall maintains a friendly, helpful environment for citizens and visitors. Our Senior Center has increased attendance several-fold, with vibrant programs and fabulous presentations. The fields at Town Woods Park are now in excellent shape, Rogers Lake has been treated for weeds safely and effectively, and Sound View has seen one major upgrade completed, with a second phase under way. We have begun a broad-based community conversation about improving the Halls Road neighborhood. Both Mary Jo and I attend many board and commission meetings to stay on top of the current issues, and we respond quickly to citizen concerns.

Of course, my opponent criticizes my role on the Connecticut Port Authority. I worked very hard there to have a positive economic impact on the region, which it will. I always behaved with integrity and in full compliance with all ethical guidelines, as has now been reported. However, I was insensitive to how the transaction might appear to the public, and for that I am deeply sorry.

I urge everyone to look at my 16-year record of service to Old Lyme, which demonstrates that I have always focused solely on the best interests of the Town. As you cast your vote next Tuesday, please do what is best for the Town and vote Row A.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Reemsnyder,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Griswold Explains Why He’s Running Again for Old Lyme First Selectman, Says Reemsnyder is “Ethically-Challenged”

To the Editor:

After serving 14 years as Old Lyme’s First Selectman through 2011, I am running again to lead the town. At our Republican caucus in July, we had excellent candidates for all open positions, save that of First Selectman.

Within days, news broke that our current First Selectwoman, who was the long-standing chair of the finance committee and then chairwoman of the board of the Connecticut Port Authority, was involved with serious problems there. I felt compelled to run for First Selectman to challenge my opponent’s ethically-challenged leadership. I undertook a petition drive and gathered twice the amount of signatures required.

Since 2011, I was elected to be Town Treasurer and a member of the Board of Assessment Appeals. I also serve on the MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, LOL Chamber of Commerce and the Old Lyme Historical Society. I know how local, regional and state government works and how to tap resources for the benefit of the town. I am ready to lead our town and will listen to our residents to learn their priorities, not pursue Hartford initiatives that are not right for our town.

Please vote for me and the well-qualified Row B candidates on November 5th!

Sincerely,

Timothy C. Griswold,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Selectwoman Nosal Seeks Another Term to Continue Her Hard Work to “Move Our Town Forward”

To the Editor:

It has been a privilege to serve as Selectwoman for the town of Old Lyme. I request your vote on November 5th so that I may continue to work hard for our community and our residents.

I am proud to be running with First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, whose experience and thoughtful and deliberative nature have been so beneficial to our town. Among our administration’s numerous accomplishments are: master plans enabling grants to improve town infrastructure at substantially reduced cost to our taxpayers; stimulation of thoughtful economic development efforts on Halls Road and across town; positive audits showing Old Lyme is financially strong and enjoys an excellent credit rating; exemplary OSHA audit; effectively addressing the high-speed rail threat; facilitating a practical response to the DEEP-imposed shoreline wastewater consent decree; and preparing for major weather emergencies, like Hurricane Sandy.

There is more to do for the Old Lyme community. I want to continue to serve Old Lyme and to cultivate the next generation of leaders. I am very proud of our highly-qualified slate of candidates, who have volunteered to join us in moving our town forward. I ask that you vote for all the Row A candidates on November 5th.

Sincerely,

Mary Jo Nosal,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The writer currently serves as an Old Lyme Selectwoman and is a 2019 candidate for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

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Letter to the Editor: Selectman Kerr Wants to “Hit the Pause Button, Re-group and Listen” Before Continuing Town Projects

To the Editor:

We have spent a lot of time in Old Lyme discussing many big, important and impacting initiatives: Large plans for Halls Road privately-owned businesses, apartments at I-95 and Route 156 intersection, sewers at Soundview, and merging police with East Lyme, among other issues. I am asking for your vote November 5th to bring back honest discussion at the start of town initiatives, something as the current selectman is sorely needed.

I strongly support:

1) Halls Road improvements that can get done soon: sidewalks, crosswalks, planted traffic islands, improved sign guidelines and accommodating zoning. I do NOT believe the government should act as a master developer of land they do not own or control.

2) Keeping our police force under Old Lyme control;

3) Real economic development along the shoreline Rte. 156;

4) Re-establishing our position as a sewer-avoidance community;

5) Bringing long-waiting projects quickly to completion, including Sound View sewers which are going on six years and the renovation of Hains Park bathrooms which is pushing four years;

6) Needed improvements at the senior center.

As a town, we need to hit the pause button, re-group and listen to the community to establish priorities and then pursue THOSE items with vigor.

Please support myself, Tim Griswold and all of Row B on November 5.

Sincerely,

Christopher W. Kerr,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The writer currently serves as an Old Lyme Selectman and is a 2019 candidate for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

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Letter to the Editor: If Elected to Planning Commission, Lampos Will Balance Old Lyme’s ‘Special Beauty’ With Town’s Housing, Commercial Needs

To the Editor:

I am honored to be on the Democratic ticket in Old Lyme as a candidate for the Planning Commission.  I have a deep love and respect for our town’s history, quality of life, and natural environment, and want to contribute to its healthy future.

My graduate degree is in urban affairs and policy analysis, and I have worked on various municipal and non-profit development projects in New York City.   As the owner-operator of Groton Pizza Palace, my family’s restaurant of 54 years, I also have a practical business perspective.   My enthusiasm for innovative planning solutions combined with respect for the economic drivers necessary for a healthy community will guide me in helping our town navigate the cross-currents of development and preservation.   I want to encourage smart solutions to planning issues, to help us avoid the unfortunate choices other towns have made whereby landscape and quality of life have degraded with little net economic benefit.

Old Lyme’s special beauty and culture are irreplaceable. They must be balanced with our need to maintain a full range of housing and commercial enterprises that will preserve and promote our town’s vibrancy.  I am running for Planning Commission to join a team making positive, informed decisions. I would greatly appreciate your vote on November 5.

Sincerely,

Jim Lampos,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The writer is a 2019 candidate for the Old Lyme Planning Commission.

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See Video of Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Debate, Read Full Report

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (D), who is running again for the position in November.

Former Old Lyme First Selectman and 2019 First Selectman Republican challenger, Tim Griswold.

OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce hosted a debate between the candidates for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen last Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium.

First Selectman candidates Bonnie A. Reemsnyder (D, incumbent) and Timothy C. Griswold (R), and Selectman candidate Mary Jo Nosal (D, incumbent) were present. Chris Kerr (R, incumbent) did not attend the event but submitted an opening statement, which was read by Chamber President Rich Shriver.

The other three candidates all gave opening and closing statements, and answered questions posed by Elizabeth Hamilton, Executive Editor for CT Mirror, the event moderator. The questions were selected by a committee comprising Shriver, Hamilton and Olwen Logan, publisher of LymeLine.com, the event sponsor.

Visit this link for a full report of the event by Mary Biekert of The Day and published Oct. 24 on theday.com.

Visit this link to view a video recording of the debate made by The Day.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Polls at Cross Lane Firehouse in Old Lyme will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots are available through the Town Clerk.

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Senators Formica, Somers Endorse Tim Griswold for Old Lyme First Selectman

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

OLD LYME — (Press Release from Old Lyme RTC) Senator Paul Formica, 20th District and Senator Heather Somers, 18th District have announced their endorsement of Tim Griswold, candidate for first selectman in Old Lyme. Both Senators Formica and Somers served in their respective town governments while Tim was Old Lyme first selectman prior to 2011.

“I had the pleasure to serve as First Selectman of East Lyme when Tim served as First Selectman in Old Lyme”, said Senator Formica. “I got to know Tim’s abilities closely, and he has a tremendous knowledge of local, regional and state government and the effective management of a town. I feel Tim will do a fantastic job for Old Lyme reviewing current initiatives, evaluating what may be the true town priorities and quickly pursuing those priorities to complete projects with a transparent style.”

Senator Somers remarked, “I have been very close to the issues with public/private organizations here in Connecticut, and this summer’s revelations about financial misdeeds at the Connecticut Port Authority were alarming. Tim’s opponent, Bonnie Reemsnyder, was the head of the CTPA finance committee for several years before rising to chairwoman of the CTPA. She has not yet answered many questions about her leadership, an accounting of the arrangement by which the CTPA purchased $3,000 of photograph’s from Ms. Reemsnyder’s daughter, nor the abrupt firing of the office manager by the executive director, Evan Matthews, a week before he was put on administrative leave.

“Tim is an excellent leader for his town, with the right balance of administrative detail, financial understanding and care for the town voters’ priorities. I urge everyone to get behind Tim and his team and vote Row B on November 5th.”

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Reemsnyder Firmly Denies Wrongdoing at CT Port Authority, Explains Absence at Transportation Hearing

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder

OLD LYME — As has been widely reported, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder did not appear in person at the state Transportation Committee’s hearing regarding the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) on Tuesday.

She did, however, submit written testimony (published in full at the link below) in which she stated categorically in reference to the purchase by the CPA of photographs from her daughter, “Consistent with the State’s Ethics Code governing conflicts of interest, I had no involvement in any aspect of the sale, including no role in the initial decision, negotiations, payment, bookkeeping, or accounting for the transaction, and I did not benefit in any way financially from the transaction.”

Reemsnyder gave LymeLine.com the following explanation for her absence from the hearing in an e-mail Wednesday evening, in which she said, “I received the “invitation to attend” on Sunday night, as I was away the weekend, and the Town was committing to a bond for the Library. On Tuesday, I had to coordinate the signatures of the Term Sheet to secure the rate that was offered in a bid. So between reviewing the term sheet documents, accepting changes from the bank, and coordinating with the Treasurer for signatures, it tied up my morning.”

She continued, “In addition, I had an afternoon meeting that was already scheduled, and a Board of Finance meeting that night, which I take a considerable time to prepare for,” adding, “I did take the time on Monday, a day that I had a 4 PM Board of Selectmen meeting that I carefully prepare for, to articulate my written testimony.”

Visit this link to read Reemsnyder’s written testimony to the Transportation Committee.

 

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Responding to Last Weekend’s Mass Shootings, Sen. Murphy Authors Op-Ed in ‘The Hill’ Titled ‘The Violence Paradox’

US Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

WASHINGTON –- Following last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), authored an op-ed in The Hill focusing on America’s unique legacy of violence and how Congressional inaction is a signal of endorsement to would-be shooters. Since his time in the Senate, Murphy has been a vocal critic of our nation’s gun laws and have proposed commonsense gun violence prevention legislation.

Excerpts from the op-ed are below and can be viewed here.

“It is a deeply uncomfortable fact that inside some humans lies the ability to rationalize the decision to walk into a Walmart or a crowded bar and start firing a wildly lethal weapon indiscriminately, with the goal of ending as many lives as possible.”

“But as these slaughters – from Newtown to Orlando to Las Vegas to El Paso and Dayton – continue unabated, we need to start asking questions about what within our own makeup explains this mass shooting epidemic, and what control society has over these outlier actions that seem, with each new mind-bending massacre, less like outliers. The answer is that violence is inside us, but so is the ability to end this epic-scale carnage.”

“First, we must face a foundational fact – humans are uniquely hardwired for violence.”

“Our rates of violence over the millennia have gone up and down, but long ago, humans figured out that violence was an effective means of social and economic advancement.”

“Here in America, our legacy of violence is even more pronounced than the rest of the world. Once Europeans landed on the continent, violence as a means of social order became standard order.”

“First, it was the settlers wiping out the local tribes, then it was slaveowners using massive scale violence to enslave African-Americans, and then ethnic groups turned on each other, using violence to contest economic and social space in America’s crowded cities.”

“Along the way, it was the guns that made it easy for the dominant groups to control the subordinate groups. One historian suggests that without the flood of weapons that came with America becoming the early home of the global arms industry, America would be 50 percent less murderous over our long history.”

“Here in America, we are nowhere near as violent as we were in our early years, in large part because of government intervention. It is not a coincidence that the two steepest periods of decline in the rate of murder in the United States occurred right after passage of the two most significant gun laws in our nation’s history – the first national firearms control acts in 1934 and 1938, and the background checks and assault weapons ban bills in 1993 and 1994.”

“The success of those two legislative efforts to significantly depress violence levels in the United States should give us hope as we grieve over these most recent American mass shootings.”

“Laws that keep weapons away from dangerous people, and keep uniquely dangerous weapons – like the AR-15 – away from everyone, work.”

Data shows that states with tougher gun laws have lower gun murder rates. At the federal level, during the 10 years of the assault weapons ban, America’s mass murder rate was almost half that of the following 10 years.”

“At the federal level, during the 10 years of the assault weapons ban, America’s mass murder rate was almost half that of the following 10 years.”

“As the minds of these mass shooters descend into a dark place, unimaginable to you and me, where they rationalize the decision to exorcise their personal trauma through mass violence, I believe they take note of the silence at the highest levels of their nation regarding the choice they are contemplating.”

“Yes, presidents and governors and senators send out statements condemning each mass shooting, and offer “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families. But these are empty words, and everybody knows it, especially after no actual policy changes are enacted as the mass shooting era continues to grip America.”

“The absence of any interest in passing laws to condemn mass shootings sends a signal of unintentional endorsement to would-be mass murderers.”

“When it comes to the instincts that lie inside humans, this weekend’s shootings represent one side of the coin. But on the other side is our ability to stop violence. It’s our choice which side lands face up.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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Griswold Placed on November Ballot as Republican Old Lyme First Selectman Candidate

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold

Tim Griswold, who served as Old Lyme First Selectman from 1997-2011, was today officially placed on the November ballot as the Republican candidate for Old Lyme First Selectman.

This followed certification earlier this morning of 189 petition signatures by the Republican Old Lyme Town Registrar Cathy Carter, which involved checking each signature for authenticity and confirming the signer’s current membership of the Republican Party.  Tim Griswold and Barbara Crowley then both pledged that they had witnessed the signatures when they were taken.

The final step in the process occurred when Old Lyme Town Clerk Vicki Urbowicz called the Secretary of State’s Office to notify them of the petition and the number of signatures.  That office then checked there was no candidate already endorsed by the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee and since there was none, the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that Urbowicz should place Griswold’s name on the ballot using the State Elections Program. Urbowicz has now completed that task.

This means there will be no Republican Primary in September because no other Old Lyme Republicans submitted petitions and today is the deadline submission day.

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Griswold Gathers Over 200 Signatures on Petition to Run as Republican First Selectman in November, State Requires 84

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold

Old Lyme Republican Registrar Cathy Carter

OLD LYME — Former Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy C. Griswold has collected more than 200 signatures on petitions requesting his name be added to the ballot in September as the Republican candidate for First Selectman. Griswold gave the number to LymeLine in an email conversation Sunday and added that there are more petitions out in the community, which he has not picked up yet.

He said he plans to give all the petitions to the Old Lyme Republican Registrar Cathy Carter this afternoon.  She told LymeLine on Friday by phone that once she has received the petitions, she must review each signature to verify it, checking that the person is a legitimate member of the Republican party.

To demonstrate what sometimes happens when people believe they are registered Republicans but, in fact, turn out not to be, Carter gave the example of someone who may have moved out of Old Lyme, then returned, but forgot to re-register their name with the party.

Carter told LymeLine she must submit the petitions and verified signatures to the state by Wednesday, Aug. 7. According to the state’s rules, Griswold needs signatures from five percent of the approximately 1680 registered Republicans in Old Lyme, so the minimum number of signatures required is around 84.

Carter added that a Republican Primary would not be required in September since the Republicans did not endorse anyone for First Selectman in the slate that they have already submitted.  Chris Kerr was endorsed for a second term as Selectman by the Republicans and Griswold has indicated he will campaign with Kerr if he is successful in his efforts to be on the ballot.

See this article, Griswold Petition to Run on November Ballot as Old Lyme First Selectman Has More Than 80 of 85 Signatures Required, Expects to Meet Goal by Tonight, published on LymeLine Aug. 2, for more information.

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Griswold Petition to Run on November Ballot as Old Lyme First Selectman Has More Than 80 of 85 Signatures Required, Expects to Meet Goal by Tonight

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder. File photo.

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold. File photo.

UPDATED 08/02, 3:17pm : see text in bold — After their meeting last week to endorse a slate of candidates for the November election, the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee (RTC) entered “No Endorsement” against the position of First Selectman. Just over a week later, former Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy C. Griswold is petitioning to be the Republican candidate and has almost collected the required number of signatures to submit to the state.

Asked in a phone conversation yesterday why he was running, Griswold told LymeLine, “I didn’t plan to run but when I looked around at the recent landscape, it seemed as if someone should mount a challenge for the position of First Selectman. It appeared wrong that the voters didn’t have a choice on the ballot.” Alluding to his previous 14 years as Old Lyme First Selectman, Griswold added with a chuckle, “I think I can still find the office.”

Although he has already been endorsed by the Old Lyme RTC to run as Town Treasurer  — a position in which he already serves — Griswold noted he would be unable to serve as Town Treasurer if he were elected First Selectman in November.

The “recent landscape,” on which Griswold did not elaborate, is presumed to be the request last week from Governor Ned Lamont for incumbent First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder to resign from the position of Connecticut Port Authority Chairman amid growing concerns about how the quasi-state agency has been operating.

Incumbent First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who has already been endorsed by the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee to run for a fifth term with fellow incumbent Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, shared with LymeLine in an email last night, “Tim and I have worked together on things and run against each other in the past. I will run on my record of accomplishments.”

Christine Gianquinto, Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee Chairman, said in a statement to LymeLine last week, “We believe it is important that she [Reemsnyder] should continue her leadership and the positive progress that has led to significant accomplishments for the benefit of the Town of Old Lyme.”

According to the state’s timeline, Griswold needs signatures from 5 percent (around 85) of the registered Republicans in Old Lyme by Wednesday, Aug. 7.  In order to verify all the signatures for legitimacy, Republican Town Registrar Cathy Carter has requested that signatures be submitted by Monday for her review. She shared with LymeLine today in a phone call that she had also also recommended those collecting signatures should aim at 150 to allow for some signatures being rejected during the review process.

Barbara Crowley, the owner of The Chocolate Shell on Lyme Street, has confirmed to us this morning in a phone call that she collected 54 signatures yesterday while Griswold has confirmed to us in an email shortly after that he has 27, also noting, ” a couple of others also have petitions.”  He added in a further email just an hour ago, “We may hit our goal by the end of today.”

The petition can be signed at The Chocolate Shell today and tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.  The store will be closed on Sunday and Monday.

 

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