December 16, 2018

Courtney Comments on Trump’s Decision to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

Rep. Joe Courtney (D)

Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement after President Donald Trump announced he would be unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iran in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Despite repeated confirmation that Iran is following the nuclear deal from UN weapons inspectors on the ground, to the President’s own Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and our closest allies, President Trump has recklessly decided to pull the U.S. out of the agreement,” said Courtney.

He continued, “This isolates our nation at the very moment we should be rallying international support to denuclearize North Korea. I will support every option possible in Congress to reconstruct and strengthen the progress we have already made toward keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands. Unfortunately, the President has seriously undermined that effort today.”

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State Rep. Carney Votes in Support of Pay Equity Legislation

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies in the House.

Bill Passes CT House with Bipartisan Support

On Wednesday, April 19, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), voted in favor of H.B. 5386An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.

The bill aims to strengthen labor protections for employees in an effort to discourage gender wage discrimination in Connecticut.  The bill would prohibit employees from asking about a prospective employee’s wage history, unless the prospective employee voluntarily discloses the information or the employer is authorized by law to ask.

In Connecticut, the average woman will make $529,000 less in earning over her lifetime than a male and it is estimated that women in Connecticut lose a combined $5.5 billion due to the wage gap.

“There is no justifiable reason why women receive less pay for the same work,” said Rep. Carney. “This proposal aims to eliminate discriminatory hiring practices that still exist and instead seeks to create an equal playing field within the 20thcentury workforce. I am hopeful that this proposal will pass out of the Senate chamber as well.”

Although the law makes changes to the hiring process, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association helped the lawmakers reach the compromise and supports the measure.

H.B. 5386, as amended by LCO 3879, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 142-4-4. After its passage in the House, H.B. 5386 now heads to the State Senate for consideration.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Representative Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the community of Lyme as well as those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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State Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Hold Legislative Update This Morning; All Welcome

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Representative Devin Carney and State Senator Paul Formica will hold a Legislative Update at the Vicki Duffy Pavilion, 150 College Street, Old Saybrook on Thursday, April 5, from 8 to 9 a.m.  This event is being hosted by the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and all Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce members are welcome to attend, as well as the general public.

Admission is free but registration at this link would be appreciated.

The event will be an informal discussion highlighting legislative issues and bills, and State Rep. Carney and State Sen. Formica’s hopes for what might be achieved

in Hartford. Time will be allotted for Q&A.

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Carney (R) Seeks Third Term as State Representative, Democrat Pugliese Announces Challenge

State Rep. Devin Carney

UPDATED 3/7 10:09pm: Devin Carney, a Republican who ran unopposed for a second term in 2016, has announced his intention to seek a third term as State Representative for the 23rd General AssemblyDistrict, which includes the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook. But this November, Carney will be challenged by Old Saybrook resident and Democrat Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, notes in a press release that, “The frustration that our community feels is palpable.  The community wants change, wants new voices.  I’m running for state representative to help lead that change.   I’m a listener, and a leader who believes in building consensus, finding compromise and getting things done.”

Carney, who works as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Old Saybrook. explains his decision to seek a third term in a press release in this way, “Over these past two terms, I have always put the people of the 23rd District first.This community is everything to me. I was raised here and I understand the unique values and needs of my constituents. In these difficult and divisive times, it is important that the state has leaders with a proven track record of putting people over politics and who will work together to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order.”

Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a resident of Old Saybrook, has spent his career working in the non-profit theatre industry, beginning at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  He served as the Executive Director at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre in Middletown, CT and now is the Executive Producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, based on UConn’s Storrs campus. Pugliese holds his BA in Theatre (’04) and his Masters in Public Administration (’17), both from UCONN. Pugliese said, “My work in the arts has been about activism.  It is about bringing together diverse audiences and creating opportunities for dialogue.  That is how we solve problems.  Every day running a theatre is about creative, problem solving and strategic thinking. The intersection of the arts and government – that is community.  That has been my professional career for 15 years.”

A lifelong resident of the district, Carney graduated from Old Saybrook Public Schools and currently lives in Old Lyme. He is the Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, meaning he is the highest-ranked House Republican on the committee, and he serves on the Environment Committee and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. In addition, Carney chairs the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus, was the founding House Republican of the bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus, and serves on both the bipartisan Tourism Caucus and bipartisan Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus. He has also served as the Connecticut House Republican State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Pugliese comments in the release, “Non-profit organizations need to run efficiently and effectively.  We know how to get the most out of every dollar.  My experiences in the non-profit sector in Middlesex County really opened my eyes to the incredible need we have in our community.  We have young people and families facing the most extreme and basic risks.  But we also have incredible resources in our community to draw upon.  That is what makes our district a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”

Over his first two terms, Rep. Carney says he advocated for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors, tourism, small business, local public education, and improving I-95. In 2015, he voted against the second largest tax increase in Connecticut’s state history. In 2017, he voted against the SEBAC agreement, but supported the bipartisan budget compromise in October.

Pugliese’s community involvement includes Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission since 2015, of which he was recently elected Chairperson.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce for two years.  He served as the co-chair of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County Live Local Give Local 365 initiative when it was launched in 2011.  In 2012, Pugliese was named to the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his professional work and civic involvement.

Carney’s community activities include serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Board of Directors at Saye Brook Senior Housing. He is a member of both the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, a lector at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook, and serves on both the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee as a member and the Old Saybrook Republican Town Committee as an honorary member.

Public education is a key issue for Pugliese. He comments in the release, “When I think of our communities, I think of our strong public education systems. I will fight for the funding we deserve from Hartford necessary to support our schools.  I believe we need to invest in our higher education system. We want to have a vibrant university system to educate our young people, ensure their access to this education, and keep them here as part of our workforce in Connecticut.”

Commenting on his achievements in the past four years, Carney says, “I have pushed back against drastic tax increases to residents, defeated a federal rail proposal that would have devastated the region, supported bipartisan initiatives to combat our opioid crisis, and fought Governor Malloy’s proposal to push teacher pension costs onto local school districts. I have always put the taxpayer first and engaged with the community.”

Pugliese is an advocate for paid family leave, ensuring rights for women and minorities and championing arts, culture and tourism.  He adds, “Part of the identity of our community is the incredible cultural resources we have in the 23rd district. These resources drive tourism, which is critical to the economy of the towns in our region.  We need to ensure the viability of our cultural assets, and the public infrastructure needed to support tourism.”

Carney highlights in his press release, “I have never missed a vote,” adding, “Connecticut is at a crossroads and our residents and businesses cannot afford the same tax-and-spend policies that have put the state into this mess. It is imperative Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook continue to have a strong voice at the table during this tough fiscal reality.”

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Rep. Carney Declares Testifies to Government Administration and Elections Committee,

Rep. Carney testifies Feb. 26 in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified during a public hearing of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee on Monday, Feb. 26, in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts. This proposal would require greater executive and legislative oversight of quasi-public agency contracts by requiring the submission of certain contracts to the Attorney General and relevant legislative committee

Rep. Carney said, “Connecticut is currently in the midst of a fiscal crisis due to overly generous employee contracts and poor management of said contracts. Folks throughout this state are feeling the pinch of higher taxes and poorer state services while at the same time reading about quasi-public agencies giving away six-figure salaries and bonuses without any oversight from the General Assembly.”

He continued, “It is time to change that culture and this legislation, if passed, would allow the people to have a voice before contracts over $100,000 are approved.”

While testifying before the GAE Committee Rep. Carney pointed to the Connecticut Airport Authority and the CT Lottery as two examples of this current issue with “quasi-public” agencies.

Rep. Carney said that this proposal would allow for more transparency and oversight, which Connecticut residents desperately need as they are feeling the burden of the state budget and, at times, asked to pay more.

He added, “There is no reason these quasi-public agencies are allowed to avoid tough questions about their practices and provide answers surrounding bloated pay and benefits while others are asked to cut and save wherever possible.

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Republican Ziobron Joins Race for 33rd State Senate Seat, District Includes Lyme

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) who has announced her candidacy for the State Senate 33rd District seat.

Republican State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) has announced her candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District a day after Democratic Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman (D) had announced his campaign for the same district. which includes the Town of Lyme.  This is Ziobron’s first run for a State Senate seat while Needleman ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for the 33rd District seat against then incumbent State Senator Republican Art Linares.

Linares is not seeking re-election in 2018 and has announced his candidacy for State Treasurer.

Ziobron is in her third term as State Representative for the 34th District comprising East Hampton, East Haddam and part of Colchester. Needleman is in his fourth as Essex First Selectman.

Ziobron explains in a letter to her supporters that her decision to run for the Senate seat represents, “a change in course,” so that she can rise to , “the greater challenge of serving as State Senator in the 33rdDistrict.” She notes, “This larger, 12-town district includes three towns I’ve been honored to represent — East Hampton, East Haddam and Colchester – and nine more in the Connecticut River Valley that I will be spending many hours meeting new friends and voters this spring.”

Ziobron says in her letter that the reason why she is running is simply, “Because I love the 34th State House District, and the CT River Valley Towns of the 33rd State Senate District, and our entire state – I want to see all of our friends and neighbors prosper.”  She mentions the challenges of the current budget situation and states, “It’s no secret we urgently need to address the state’s chronic over-spending!”

Laying out what she sees as the requirements of the incoming 33rd District State Senator, Ziobron writes, “We need a strong voice in the State Senate who: 1) is a proven fighter and has a reputation for putting their constituents first, fighting full-time for their small town communities, and 2) can immediately and effectively navigate the difficult legislative landscape, with the proven and dedicated commitment needed to focus on the budget, and 3) fights for fiscally conservative policies and has a record of implementing them, with bipartisan support, at the Capitol.”

Ziobron comments that she has, “thought a lot about one question,” which is, “How can I best help my state first survive over the near term, and then thrive over the long term?” She responds to her own question, “No matter which legislative chamber I serve, I will work to protect my district and offer the same high level of constituent service, and active community involvement – along with a laser-like focus on reducing wasteful and unneeded state spending,” concluding, “The bottom line: I can help more people in our state in service as your State Senator.”

Noting how well she knows the 33rd State Senate District, Ziobron describes it as, “an amazing treasure,” saying, “I’ve never imagined myself living anywhere else,” adding, “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to expand my many years of dedicated public service to this beautiful part of the state, I love.”

For more information on Ziobron, visit www.melissaziobron.com

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Norm Needleman Announces Campaign for State Senate, 33rd State Senate District Includes Lyme

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman who yesterday announced a second run for the 33rd State Senate District.

Yesterday, Essex First Selectman and successful businessman Norm Needleman announced his campaign as a Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, promising to use his business and small town leadership experience to bring people together to get Connecticut back on track.

The seat will be vacant due to the incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) moving out of the District and announcing his candidacy for State Treasurer.

“Leading a small town and building a business taught me that the best way to get things done is to put people and their needs ahead of party politics,” said Needleman. “I respect taxpayers’ dollars because I know how hard you’ve worked to earn them.”

He continued, “That’s why as First Selectman, I brought Democrats and Republicans together, found consensus, solved problems, and kept property taxes among the lowest in the state without cutting services. If elected State Senator for the 33rd District, I will make a clean break from the decades of bickering and harmful policies that have come from Hartford, and I will get Connecticut working for the towns in our district.”

“As an elected town official, I’ve seen the work Norm does as the First Selectman of Essex,” said Colchester Selectman Rosemary Coyle. “Norm governs in a fiscally responsible manner, making sound decisions. His hands-on, small town government experience in the legislature will benefit our communities and help us build a brighter future for our children and families.”

Needleman, who campaigned for the seat in 2016, is currently in his fourth term as Essex First Selectman. He has over 20 years of experience advocating for his small town, having previously served as an Essex Selectman, a member of the Essex Zoning Board of Appeals, and a member of the Essex Economic Development Commission.

Needleman is also a member of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, helping the 17 member towns coordinate various government functions. He is also a board member of Valley Shore Emergency Communications, a center formed by local pubic safety professionals to handle emergency call processing and dispatching needs for communities throughout the region.

“Building a company from the ground up has given me invaluable experience on how to grow jobs and create a region where businesses want to start and thrive,” said Needleman. “I will be a State Senator who will create good-paying jobs in our towns and throughout Connecticut.”

Needleman founded Tower Laboratories, an Essex manufacturing company, 38 years ago. The company has grown to become a leader in its field, employing over 250 people. As a leading CEO in the region, he serves as a board member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a board member of Valley Shore Emergency Communications, a center formed by local pubic safety professionals to handle emergency call processing and dispatching needs for communities throughout the region.

“Norm asks the right questions, and is willing to listen to all options,” said Centerbrook businessman and Clinton resident Gary Stevens. “I believe that with Norm’s insight into the way that a successful business (his) is run and considering the wasteful and unnecessary spending habits of the State, he could go a long way to make the government a more responsible entity.” Stevens, an unaffiliated voter who has known Needleman since the 1980s, owns Stevens Excavating, Inc. and has worked with Needleman on numerous projects.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and a portion of Old Saybrook.

Needleman lives in Essex with Jacqueline Hubbard, the Executive Director of the Ivoryton Playhouse. His two sons and their families also live in Essex.

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Carney Hosts Office Hours This Evening in Lyme

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Rep. Devin Carney will hold office hours in a number of locations in the 23rd District between Thursday, Jan. 11 and Thursday, Jan. 18. This evening, he will be at the Lyme Public Library, Community Room, located at 482 Hamburg Road from 6 to 7 p.m.

These sessions will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government.

State Senator Paul Formica  joined State Rep. Carney at the Old Lyme and Old Saybrook Office Hours.

Details of the times and locations are as follows:

Old Lyme: Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, located at 2 Library Lane from 7 to 8 p.m.

Old Saybrook: Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Acton Public Library, Grady Thomas Room, located at 60 Old Boston Post Road from 6 to 7 p.m.

Lyme: Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Lyme Public Library, Community Room, located at 482 Hamburg Road from 6 to 7 p.m.

Anyone with questions about these events can contact Carney’s office at 860-240-870 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov, or Formica at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov. You can also sign up for their respective e-news by visiting www.senatorformica.com or www.cthousegop.com/carney.

State Rep. Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that covers Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

State Senator Formica represents the 20th State Senate District that includes Old Lyme along with Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, and Waterford.

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Courtney Hosts Town Hall Meeting in Waterford Today to Discuss New Tax Laws, Listen to Resident’s Concerns

Rep. Joe Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney will hold a public town hall-style meeting today at 10 a.m. in the Waterford Town Hall auditorium to hear local residents’ concerns about the newly passed tax overhaul.  All are welcome.  Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

He will discuss the recently passed GOP tax law — the largest such change in tax law in 30 years — and its potential impact on Connecticut residents. Courtney’s office has heard from thousands of residents from across the Second Congressional District concerned about how the new tax law will affect their families, businesses, and communities.

The Waterford Town Hall auditorium is located at 15 Rope Ferry Rd, Waterford.

Courtney represents the 2nd Concressional District, which includes both Lyme and Old Lyme.

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Courtney Releases Statement on Final GOP Tax Overhaul

Congressman Joe Courtney

Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), whose Congressional District includes Lyme and Old Lyme, released the following statement after the GOP released the final draft of a tax overhaul that was negotiated between Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and Senate:

“It’s no surprise that the Republicans are introducing their massive tax overhaul late on a Friday because this entire process has been one secret, backroom deal after another,” said Courtney. “They want to get this bill passed before the holiday break because they need to get it done before the American people know what hit them.”

He continued, “This bill is one gigantic gift for corporations and the wealthiest Americans in exchange for next to nothing for average middle-class and working families. Passage of this bill will create a new structural deficit that is a prelude to an assault on Social Security and Medicare, which Speaker Ryan has brazenly promised.”

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Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record for 2017 Legislative Session

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23),, whose district includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern section of Westbrook, earned a 100 percent voting record for the 2017 legislative session according to recently released data from the House Clerk’s office. There were 417 votes cast during the 2017 regular session and special session. This marks Carney’s third year in a row with a perfect voting record.

“It is my duty to be present for every vote and I am glad to have accomplished that for the third year in a row,” said Rep. Carney. “My first priority is to ensure that the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook always have a voice in Hartford.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as the top House Republican on the Transportation Committee and is also a member of the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

The next regular legislative session will convene in February 2018.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2017 legislative session visit the Office of Legislative Research website:www.cga.ct.gov/olr/Documents/year/MA/2017MA-20170620_Major Acts for 2017.pdf

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Lyme First Selectman Candidates Respond to Our Questions

To assist our Lyme readers in making their choices regarding for whom they should vote tomorrow, we posed three questions in writing to the candidates for Lyme First Selectman as follows:

  1. Why are you running?
  2. What are the three most significant issues that Lyme is currently facing?
  3. With reference to your Question 2 response, which issue of the three is the greatest and how do you envisage dealing with it?

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

We thank both candidates sincerely for responding in a timely manner 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:

Steven Mattson (D): Candidate (Incumbent) for Lyme First Selectman

Mark Wayland (R): Candidate for Lyme First Selectman

 

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Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Candidates Respond to our Questions

To assist our Old Lyme readers in making their choices regarding for whom they should vote on Tuesday, we posed three questions in writing to the candidates for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen as follows:

  1. Why are you running?
  2. What are the three most significant issues that Old Lyme is currently facing?
  3. With reference to your Question 2 response, which issue of the three is the greatest and how do you envisage dealing with it?

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

We thank all the candidates for responding in a timely manner 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

Judith “Jude” Read (R): Candidate for Old Lyme First Selectwoman

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

Chris Kerr (R): Candidate for Old Lyme Selectman

 

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Letter to the Editor: (Still Unfinished) Boathouse Project Cost to Town Now $550K Over STEAP Grant/Donations; Elect Read to Regain Fiscal Responsibility

To the Editor:

Old Lyme Town Ordinance 20-8 states: “The responsibility for the management, control and development of the Town’s recreational facilities and expenditures made in connection therewith is vested in a Parks and Recreation Commission” (PRC). Thus, PRC requested that it review and approve plans proposed by the ad hoc Boathouse/Hains Park Improvement Committee (BHPIC), as it did for the original Boathouse in 1987 and all three phases of Town Woods Park.

While PRC supported the plan to upgrade the existing Boathouse submitted with the $478,000 STEAP grant, PRC raised serious objections to subsequent BHPIC plans involving $405,000 in Town funds.  So, First Selectwoman Reemsnyder decided to overrule Ordinance 20-8, and requested the previous Town Attorney justify her decision. That factually inaccurate “justification” was unambiguously refuted by a highly respected local attorney on legal grounds.  However, Ms. Reemsnyder continued to ignore PRC concerns about BHPIC-proposed Boathouse plans and likely cost overruns.

The result:  the Boathouse phase of the project exceeded the budget presented to the community in Jan 2016 by over $175,000 – primarily due to structural and code issues and related design errors and omissions; and the project is still not complete, due to on-going drainage issues.

Because the Boathouse cost overrun consumed funds earmarked for the project’s second phase:  upgrading the park’s ADA accessibility and restrooms for use by both rowers and the public, Ms. Reemsnyder requested an additional $150,000 be incorporated into Old Lyme’s 2017-18 Annual Budget to complete the project.  This brings total Town costs to $555,000, in addition to the STEAP Grant funds and donations.

We need experienced community leadership that respects important checks and balances, and will restore governmental and fiscal responsibility to Old Lyme.

Please elect Jude Read First Selectwoman!

Sincerely,

Bob Dunn,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note i): The author is the Old Lyme Parks & Recreation Commission Chairman, former chairman of the Town Woods Park Building Committee.

Editor’s Note ii): The author is also a member of the Boathouse/Hains Park Improvement Committee. We apologize that this detail was omitted from the original posting of the letter.

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Letter to the Editor: Wayland, Lord Are Both From Lyme, For Lyme, Understand Lyme

To the Editor:

I am pleased to have served the Town of Lyme for many years as a selectman, school board member and for 30 years as state representative in Hartford. During that period, I worked with some great selectmen in Lyme who knew the importance of maintaining our essential services with one of the lowest property tax rates in the state.

I am now confident that, when elected, Mark Wayland will continue with our tradition of having exceptional people serve our town as its chief executive officer. He grew up in Lyme and knows firsthand what our residents appreciate and in fact why many have moved here from other towns in the state.

I hope you will vote for Mark and his running mate, long time Board of Selectmen member, Parker Lord, on Nov. 7. They are both from Lyme and deserve to be elected.

Sincerely,

John J. Tiffany II,
Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Wayland Has All The Required Qualities To Excel As Lyme First Selectman

To the Editor:

Being the first selectman in a small town comes with unique challenges. The first selectman is expected to cheerfully solve issues ranging from taxes and zoning, to neighborhood disputes and unsightly guardrails.

In order to be a successful first selectman of a small town, one must not only be a problem solver, but he or she must also be kind, patient, and understanding. This is why I know that Mark Wayland will excel when it comes to the job. His endless knowledge on the Town of Lyme, his compassionate, caring nature, and his no-nonsense intelligence will help him solve any problem that comes his way, big or small.

William T. Koch Jr.,
Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is a former first selectman of Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Former Republican First Selectman Eno Endorses Democrat Mattson for Lyme First Selectman

To the Editor:

This November, Lyme will experience its first contested election for the Board of Selectmen in more than a decade.  If Lyme is to maintain its longstanding tradition of fiscal responsibility and attendant low mil rates, it is imperative that the next First Selectman be thoroughly conversant with the budget development process, as well as its implementation and management.  A positive relationship history working with Lyme’s Board of Finance will be key as well.

Over the years, Lyme has had a history of electing candidates with the skills and experience necessary to provide the best possible outcomes for the town, regardless of his or her political pedigree.  History bears out the fact that this time-tested practice has served Lyme extremely well – keeping counterproductive, divisive politics out of the management of local government on both a day-to-day and long-term basis.

Steve Mattson is the First Selectman candidate most qualified to lead Lyme for the next two years.  He has a comprehensive grasp on all facets of the budget process and has developed critical thinking and administrative skills over his years of service on multiple town boards and commissions to both lead Lyme and protect its interests from the misguided interference of a foundering state government, which puts all Connecticut’s small towns at risk.  This experience will be key to preserving Lyme’s cherished rural character and quality of life at this critical juncture in the state’s history.

I urge voters to set aside partisan considerations and hold true to the proven practice of doing what is best for Lyme. That means voting for Steve Mattson for First Selectman this November.

Sincerely,

Ralph Eno,
Readfield, Maine.

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Lyme DTC Launches New Website

As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage local residents to learn more about – and get more involved in – town government, the Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) has announced the launch of a new website at www.LymeDTC.org.

With just a few clicks, visitors to the new website can:

From left to right, candidates for, respectively, Lyme Selectman and First Selectman, John Kiker and Steve Mattson stand together.

Contact their local, state and federal legislators.

Find out how to register to vote or obtain an absentee ballot.

Learn more about the Democratic candidates running for office in November.

Find out when the next meetings of many town boards, committees and commissions are going to be held.

Keep tabs on local news, issues and information.

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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 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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State Orders Recount in Republican Primary for 33rd District Probate Judge; Delia Wins by Nine Votes in First Count

Tuesday’s unofficial winner, Anselmo Delia.

The Connecticut Secretary of State has informed all the towns that comprise the 33rd District Probate Court that they need to conduct a recount of Tuesday’s Republican Primary.

Tuesdya’s race between the party-endorsed candidate Attorney Anselmo Delia of Clinton and challenger Attorney Kevin Hecht of Old Saybrook ended with a 859-850 win for Delia after all the unofficial results had been declared in the nine towns.

Unofficial results given on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s webpage for Lyme show Hecht winning by a more than 2 to 1 margin.  The final count was 44 votes for Hecht and 20 for Delia.

Results from the remaining eight towns in the district were as follows:

Chester: Hecht 23 – Delia 12
Clinton: Delia 444 – Hecht 228
Deep River: Delia 24 – Hecht 14
Essex: Delia 79 – Hecht 59
Haddam: Delia 140 – Hecht 37
Killingworth: Hecht 78 – Delia 53
Old Saybrook: Hecht 277 – Delia 46
Westbrook: Hecht 90 – Delia 41.

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