November 15, 2019

Letter to the Editor: A Post-Election Message To The People of Old Lyme, ‘We Must Go Forward Together’

To the Editor:

The election is behind us and Old Lyme still has a government. I am certain that Bonnie Reemsnyder will ensure a smooth and gracious transition to Mr. Griswold and our re-elected incumbent selectwoman, Mary Jo Nosal, and selectman, Chris Kerr.

Mr.Griswold inherits a fiscally strong Old Lyme that sits on a well-maintained infrastructure. Clearly, the RTC was able to keep the Port Authority issue in front of voters; and that probably made the difference.

So, now that we are past this contentious election, I’ll close with the words of Winston Churchill, who told Parliament and the British people: “We must go forward together”.

Sincerely,

Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Lyme Board of Finance Needs Tyler, House’s Experience

To the Editor:

We need Susan Tyler’s and Bob House’s experience on our Board of Finance in Lyme.  

They are highly qualified, dedicated individuals with deep, professional expertise in budgeting and economic analysis – skills that can greatly benefit this important board.

One look at their qualifications will convince you they’re exactly the people we need working on behalf of our town.  (See our website at LymeDTC.org for their profiles.)

Let’s put these two excellent candidates into office. 

Be a voter on Nov. 5.  

Elect Susan Tyler and Bob House as Board of Finance Alternates.

Sincerely,

John Kiker,
Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The writer is Chair of the Lyme Democratic Town Committee and an uncontested candidate (D) for the Lyme Board of Selectmen.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Realtor Tinnerello Looks to Join Zoning Commission; Offers Open Door With Transparency, Collaboration, Honesty

To the Editor:

I am running for Zoning in Old Lyme and would like to share my letter to residents:

As a resident and realtor in Old Lyme I have decided to run for Zoning Commission. As a realtor, I understand the balancing act between the town’s interests and private property rights. Old Lyme characteristics make us long-time environmentalists- water, beaches, wetlands, woods. Zoning should honor these unique assets without stifling planned growth and development.

I am a results-oriented problem solver who can manage complex issues. I have experience with managing many stakeholder viewpoints which often require compromise. I intend to make thoughtful decisions while always keeping an eye on the long-term effects they have on our town’s character and charm. If elected to the Zoning Commission I believe we should provide new leadership standards, like having neighborhood discussions when there is major change pending, such as sewers or affordable housing. Let our existing boards collaborate with residents and notify abutters when there is an application pending. Transparency will always be at the forefront of my decision-making process.

As a realtor, I am out every day listening to the concerns of property owners, business owners, conservationists and others whose lives are affected by our rules and regulations. People move here for the quiet, beauty and charm. They leave overcrowded suburban communities for the quality of life and character Old Lyme offers. Zoning plays a  large role in setting that tone. We can modernize and protect our community without changing the town’s identity. If I am elected, I will work hard to strike a balance between maintaining the character of the community and allowing for growth of the tax base from both residential and business development in order to manage an appropriate Real Estate tax on the homeowners of Old Lyme. As a newcomer to Zoning, I realize that I will need to work hard to educate myself on all aspects of important town issues. I will reach out to individuals who have knowledge and expertise on these matters. I am, and will always be, open to your suggestions and thoughts. I will have an open-door policy for communication with ALL Old Lyme residents.

For years, people have trusted me with buying and selling their homes. I have earned their trust by listening, communicating and always being honest. I’ve raised my family in Old Lyme because I love our community and I will not let you or our town down!

I am asking for your vote this Tuesday, November 5th!

Sincerely,

Tammy Tinnerello,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme ZBA Alternate Dix Seeks Election as Full ZBA Member, Offers Wide Range of Both Professional, Personal Experience

To the Editor:

Serving effectively on the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) requires substantial knowledge and experience.  The review of variance applications is a highly regulated process defined by state statute, zoning regulations, and case law.  Every ZBA decision can be appealed in court and overturned if all legal requirements are not met, and any appeal of a ZBA decision results in significant legal costs to the town.  Thus, to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to support informed decision-making and to reduce the risk of costly appeals, most new ZBA members first serve as Alternates before transitioning to full Members.   

I currently serve as a ZBA Alternate, and I have enhanced my knowledge and experience by attending two Land Use courses:  an introductory UConn course, and a full-day course that is offered every two years by the CT Bar Association entitled “CT Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions”

I am also a practicing professional engineer with an undergraduate degree in planning and relevant professional Land Use experience, including the planning of an Open Space Planned Unit Development (PUD) on a 120-acre farm in Michigan that is recognized as a model for maximizing preservation and utilization of natural resources within a development. 

Old Lyme faces many Land Use challenges, including its being a shoreline community facing sea level rise.  I feel my experience and training will enable me to bring a valuable perspective to the ZBA, and help the ZBA balance the need to provide relief to property owners that can demonstrate a legal hardship and the need to protect the town’s comprehensive plan that is intended to protect the greater good of the community.

With my experience serving as a ZBA Alternate, I understand the importance of electing ZBA members with relevant Land Use experience, training, and a demonstrated commitment to our community. 

Please allow me to continue to serve on the Old Lyme ZBA by electing me a Full ZBA Member on Tuesday, Nov 5th.  Thank you.

 Sincerely,

Stephen P. Dix,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Tooker Has One of Best Collection Rates in State, Vote For Her to Continue as Old Lyme Tax Collector

To the Editor:

The choice in the election for Old Lyme’s tax collector is clear, Judy Tooker deserves re-election. Judy has dutifully served Old Lyme during her tenure and has a collection rate of about 99% – one of the best in Connecticut. Old Lyme depends on these taxes to fund its schools, town services, and public safety. As an Old Lyme taxpayer, it makes me feel good knowing Judy is so consistent, efficient, and hard working.

Judy is also a lifelong resident of Old Lyme who has built strong relationships with so many people and organizations in town. This goodwill is due to her many years of service and her dedication to our community. She is always out supporting local organizations such as the Old Lyme Fire Department and the Lyme’s Senior Center and her entire family lives in Old Lyme. She is engaged with all aspects of the town, including our schools.

Her commitment to ensuring Old Lyme’s success is apparent to many in town. There is no reason to change course now. Put politics aside in this race and vote for the only candidate with the experience, knowledge, relationships, and strong record. Vote for Judy Tooker.

Sincerely,

Lisa Knepshield,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme BOF Alternate Burrows is ‘Deeply Committed’ to This Community, Seeks Fourth Term as Alternate

To the Editor:

I, Adam Burrows, have served three terms as an alternate member of the Old Lyme Board of Finance. I now seek a fourth term. I believe that the role of the Board of Finance is to wisely use the local, state, federal and other dollars available to the town to maintain appropriate services and to support those projects that reflect the current and projected needs of our community. This requires careful development of a reasonable budget for the local taxpayers to review and approve at the annual town meeting. 

My deep commitment to Old Lyme has developed over many years. I was the principal of Old Lyme Center School from 1985 to 2005 and was one of the founding members of the Lyme/Old Lyme Education Foundation and served as president for three years. Our family has resided in Old Lyme for 25 years. JoAnn, my wife, is a retired Region #18 teacher. We have three children. Heather resides with her husband in Wallingford. Meredith resides in Willow Grove, Penn. with her husband and two daughters, Eleanor and Eliot. Adam, our son, is a 2008 graduate of Lyme/Old Lyme High School. 

I would greatly appreciate your vote on Nov. 5. 

Sincerely,

Adam Burrows,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Planning Commission Alternate Klose Seeks Full Seat, Brings Unique Perspective as Planner/Engineer Who Understands Town

To the Editor:

I attended a meeting of the Halls Road Improvements Committee this past February and came to recognize the need for economic development and growth in Old Lyme.  Shortly thereafter I began to make a contribution by joining the town’s Planning Commission as an alternate. I am now seeking your vote as a regular member of this Commission.

I feel qualified for the position as I am a Civil and Land Development Engineer working mostly in residential, commercial and retail design. Having lived in Old Lyme for over three years, I now understand the need for development as well as the concerns of our residents. I am confident that as member of the engineering/planning industry I can provide a unique perspective on ways to develop our town that do not detract from its charm and the New England shoreline character most of us cherish. 

I love Old Lyme and want to help encourage sustainable and purposeful development that promotes economic growth while also reinforcing why Old Lyme is such a great place to live!  If this resonates with you, please vote for me on November 5, at Cross Lane Firehouse. Polls are open from 6am-8pm.

Sincerely,

Alexander Klose,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Zoning Alternate Gemme Now Seeks Full Seat on Commission

To the Editor:

I love living in Old Lyme.  Of all the towns my wife and I explored, this community was clearly our first choice to raise our children. I hope to be part of the decision-making process which guides our town in the 21st century. I want Old Lyme to be a place where my children can continue to flourish, and where people from all walks of life and economic status can live. 

I decided to run for a seat on the Old Lyme Zoning Commission because, as a social worker and Army veteran, I feel it is important to give back to my community. I have been volunteering as an alternate member on the Zoning Commission for the past two years. During this time, we have worked on routine matters, such as residents wanting to put up a fence, or add an addition to their existing home. We also have worked on a few controversial topics, such as the introduction of affordable housing, discussion of the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, and the sewer pumping station.  I believe I have made a significant contribution to these discussions and want to continue the opportunity to represent my neighbors.

I would greatly appreciate it if you take the time to vote, for me and the rest of the Old Lyme Democrats, on November 5th

Sincerely,

Harvey Gemme,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Kemp Hopes to Contribute to ‘Ongoing Success’ of LOL Schools by Serving on Region 18 BOE

To the Editor:

I decided to run for the Region 18 Board of Education in Old Lyme because I care greatly about the top-rated school system we have and I want to contribute to its ongoing success. I have lived in Old Lyme for about seven years, joining my wife, Kimball Robbins, who already had two daughters in our schools. We now have another child, just starting out in Center School, and I have seen why this town draws so many families concerned about their children’s development. 

My household has a mix of skills, needs, and ages. I believe our schools should be a place for all children to develop academically, athletically, musically, and artistically, from wherever they may start. We must also be fiscally responsible to protect the interest of every town resident, with or without children in our town. My education in law, as well as my career spent mediating and evaluating family disputes through the court system, have given me the experience and skills needed to critically assess the requests of the school system and balance the needs of our children and the other residents of our town.

 I would greatly appreciate your vote on November 5, at the Cross Lane Firehouse.

Sincerely,

Jason L. Kemp,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Tracy Wants to bring ‘Fresh Voice, New Ideas’ to Old Lyme ZBA

To the Editor:

I am running for the office of Zoning Board of Appeals in the town of Old Lyme.  

I have been a resident of Old Lyme for fourteen years and I consider my home here a part of heaven!  I value my home and my neighbors who share this beautiful place with me. I live near the shoreline and I believe the members of this community need to have a stronger voice in town governance.  

Giving back to the community that I enjoy so much is one of the main reasons I decided to run for office. I have seen the positive growth of the town with the current administration but I also believe more voices need to be heard.  I hope to work with our town leaders to unite our town for the benefit of all. I have not always been pleased with the current ZBA and I think it could use a fresh voice and new ideas. I believe my background as an educator has given me the skills to think critically about situations presented to the ZBA and also make choices that will take into consideration all points of view.

I would appreciate your vote on November 5th at the Cross Lane Firehouse.  Together we do make a difference!

Sincerely,

Kathleen Tracy,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Go Forward in Old Lyme with Reemsnyder, Not Backward with Griswold

To the Editor:

The Day recently published an interview with Tim Griswold, candidate for Old Lyme First Selectman.  Apparently his principal objective would be to maintain Old Lyme as it is today (or was yesterday), at the least possible cost, with no view to the future and no advice from outside experts.

In the interview Griswold seems most proud of “his extreme fiscal prudence while in office.”  But towns suffer from over-zealous frugality. For example, in 1978, when the state was reimbursing 80% of the costs, Old Lyme and Lyme cheaply built a new high school.  Within 25 years it was falling apart and had to be largely rebuilt, for more than $35 million. 

During his administration Griswold skimped on building maintenance. Even the renovation of Town Hall, one of Griswold’s claimed accomplishments, was done poorly enough that problems continue to be addressed.  Furthermore, he failed to pursue a grant available for that renovation, costing the taxpayers $400,000.   

Once in office, Bonnie Reemsnyder’s administration spent substantial sums repairing poorly-maintained systems, implemented planned maintenance programs, and hired a facilities manager.  While absolutely committed to preserving the character of our town, Bonnie and Mary Jo Nosal strive to identify needs and opportunities so they can be addressed proactively and cost-effectively.

Let’s not go backwards.  Please vote for Bonnie and Mary Jo on November 5.

Sincerely,

David Woolley,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Current Old Lyme ZBA Chair Hutchinson Seeks Re-election, Offers Wealth of Experience

To the Editor:

As a 23-year resident who loves Old Lyme and wants to continue supporting our beautiful community, I am seeking re-election to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).  I have served on the ZBA over 5 years, was unanimously elected ZBA Chair by my peers in 2018, and have successfully completed extensive training in CT Land Use Law and Procedure.  As a retired research scientist and executive with 7 years’ experience as a senior regulatory professional, I also bring extensive professional knowledge to my role on the ZBA.

As ZBA Chair, my contributions include: hosting a UConn Land Use Training Course in Old Lyme that was open to all local Land Use Board/Commission members, leading the creation of a “Residential Variance Application Guide” to help applicants understand and navigate the highly regulated variance process, and bringing the ZBA into timely compliance with FOI requirements.  Working with the ZBA Attorney, we also reviewed and updated our ZBA processes and decision-making to ensure the ZBA was current with evolving state statutes and case law.

My volunteer service beyond the ZBA includes: being a member of Lyme-Old Lyme High School Building Committee; being a ‘Safe Graduation’ Chaperon, leveraging extensive scientific and regulatory research to aid the Zoning Commission in rewriting the town’s Aquifer Protection regulations, and helping to organize multiple local voter registration drives as a member of the League of Women Voters of SECT.

I remain an ‘Unaffiliated Voter’ to underscore my unbiased dedication to supporting our community and my willingness to work with other local volunteers and elected officials in support of Old Lyme regardless of political affiliation.  As an ‘Unaffiliated Voter’ seeking re-election to the ZBA, I applied to both Political Town Committees for possible endorsement, and I thank the Old Lyme RTC for endorsing my candidacy based on my solid record of achievement, training and experience.

Please allow me to continue bringing value to the Old Lyme ZBA.

Sincerely,

Nancy Hutchinson,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Lowry Seeks Election to Old Lyme ZBA, Believes in Retention of Spirit, Integrity of Zoning Regulations’

To the Editor:

My name is Mara Lowry and I am running for the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals because, as a long-time area resident and mother of two young children, I am invested in continuing the safety and unique character of Old Lyme. I believe firmly in maintaining the spirit and integrity of our zoning regulations, as they are intended to uphold these values.  At the same time, I understand that occasional common-sense exceptions are vital to ensuring the livability of our town. 

If elected I will listen carefully and consider respectfully the perspectives of all stakeholders. I am committed to fairness and equity before the law and will put the quality of life in Old Lyme–now and for generations to come–over the interests of any individual or interest group. I hope that you will allow me the opportunity to serve as your representative to the Zoning Board of Appeals by voting for me this November.

Sincerely,

Mara Lowry,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Reiter Loves Old Lyme, Presents his Qualifications to be Town Treasurer

To the Editor:

My name is Michael Reiter and I’m running for Old Lyme Town Treasurer. Since moving to Old Lyme eight years ago I’ve seen how important local government is to the things important in my daily life, from schools to playgrounds to roads and bridges.  My job as an engineer at Pratt and Whitney, and past volunteer and professional experience have taught me the skills necessary to do an excellent job as your Treasurer.  I had a two-year term as treasurer of the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program, responsible for monitoring the organization’s finances and ensuring that all funds were spent according to the agreed plan.  Professionally I’ve been a Project Manager for almost 15 years, responsible for budgeting and tracking my group’s spend on every project I’ve been a part of.  My wife, three children and I love Old Lyme and are committed to promoting its best interests. I would greatly appreciate your vote on November 5th.

Sincerely,

Michael Reiter,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Lawyer Rubino, Running for Board of Finance, Hopes to Help Keep Old Lyme a “Special Place”

To the Editor:

I decided to run for office in Old Lyme in 2008 while sitting at a desk overlooking the Caspian Sea.

A plan nearly eleven years in the making hatched halfway across the world requires explanation. I’m a human rights lawyer, and in 2008 I was working in an oil-rich dictatorship. The country had elections, and I was excited to see how its unfamiliar system would work. To be blunt, it didn’t: stuffed ballot-boxes, university students forced to vote by armed soldiers, journalists arrested on false charges, and opposition parties silenced.

I vowed then never to take American democracy for granted.

For nearly twelve years I directed long-term international projects with multi-million dollar budgets. Through this process I not only learned how to be fiscally prudent, but also how important making thoughtful spending decisions can be to the success of a community. The Board of Finance, therefore, seemed a natural fit.

I have a law office in town and two young children in our superb schools. I moved to Old Lyme because it is a special place. I’m running for the Board of Finance because I want to be a part of keeping it that way.

Sincerely,

David Rubino,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: State Rep. Carney Hopes to be Old Lyme ZBA Alternate, Urges Vote for Whole Republican Team

To the Editor:

On November 5th, I’d ask voters to support the Old Lyme Republican team. It is comprised of experienced residents who are dedicated to ensuring Old Lyme is a great place to live, learn, and raise a family.

Tim Griswold and Chris Kerr have decades of local government experience and are ready to lead Old Lyme. Tim’s 14 years as First Selectman allow him to start on day one to tackle the challenges our community faces.

Tax Collector Judy Tooker has provided over 2 decades of outstanding service to the people of Old Lyme. Her 99% collection rate is one of the best in the state and ensures our necessary services are funded.

The rest of the ticket includes seasoned public servants such as Janet Sturges, David Kelsey, Jude Read, Steve Ross, Harold Thompson, Nancy Hutchinson, Stephen Dix, and Dave Evers – all of whom have served the town well and deserve re-election. Newcomers include Matt Olson, Tammy Tinnerello, and Mike Miller – all of whom have impressive private-sector resumes and will be good additions to our government.

Row B’s Board of Ed Candidates, Suzanne Thompson, Jennifer Miller and Steve Wilson are committed to our schools and ensuring our kids continue to receive a top-notch public education.

In addition, I’d ask for your support for Sherry Johnston and myself for ZBA alternates.

Please join me in supporting the entire Row B slate on November 5th. Thank You!

Sincerely,

Devin Carney,
Old Lyme.

 

Share

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.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Reiter Seeks Re-Election to Old Lyme BOF, Commits to Respect Every Tax Dollar

To the Editor:

When I was 17, if you had told me that in 20 years I would be living in Old Lyme, raising my own family and running for a seat on our Board of Finance, I probably would have said, “That’s a possibility.” I grew up in Old Lyme and have always had a love of civics and an interest in the inner workings of our town, state and federal governments. When I was approached several years ago to run for a seat as an alternate on the BOF, it was an easy decision to make.

For the past two years I have thoroughly enjoyed being an engaged member of the BOF, listening to funding requests and thoughtfully discussing what is best for our community. My background working in environmental engineering has been helpful in figuring out how and where to best allocate our funds, while at the same time respecting and appreciating our low mill rates.

I value every dollar my family has and I promise to respect every tax dollar of yours. Our small town is very special, I moved back to this town when my husband and I decided to start a family. I want to see this town vibrant and strong long into the future, I would be honored to serve again on the Board of Finance. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 5 at the Cross Lane Firehouse.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Anna Reiter ,
Old Lyme

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share