April 5, 2020

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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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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