January 16, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Republican Ticket for Old Lyme Board of Finance Has Always Worked for Tax Payers, in Best Interests of Town

To the Editor:

Seeing all the political signs around town, it’s easy to tell its voting season. We are fortunate in Old Lyme to have many good people willing to volunteer for our boards and commissions.  That is what makes our community strong.  During my 16 years as a member of the Board of Selectmen, I came to appreciate the time and dedication these folks give to our town.  

One of the more important ones is our Board of Finance. They provide oversight on how our precious tax dollars are collected & spent. And if you’ve ever attended a BOF meeting, you’ll witness how well they function in that role. Part of that current team is up for re-election this year: Andy Russell and Jude Read.  During their years on the board, they’ve kept our mill rate low, asked the tough questions, made sure our facilities are maintained. They have always worked for the tax payers and in the best interest of the town.  They have been joined in recent years by Matt Olson and Maria Corrao Marchant as alternates on the Board.  Matt and Maria bring skill sets from their professional lives that fit well with the Board of Finance.  

I encourage you to vote for Row B on November 2nd and re-elect Andy, Jude, Matt and Maria so they can continue their good work on the Board of Finance. 

Sincerely,

Skip Sibley,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author served as Old Lyme Selectman from 2001-2017.

Letter to the Editor: Democratic BOE Candidates Should Not Downplay Critical Race Theory, Dismiss Parents’ Concerns

To the Editor:

I attended the Meet the Candidates Night for the Board of Education.  One of the questions was on Critical Race Theory (CRT). 

This theory is meant for the collegiate level according to the experts and as stated by the Republican candidate Michael Presti, a Social Studies teacher who has a BS in Sociology.  All of the candidates said they were against the teaching of it in our schools.

It was, however, disappointing to hear the Democratic candidates then dismiss parents’ obvious concerns.  It was a topic that, according to the moderator, seemed to have the most questions.  Democratic candidate Martha Shoemaker stated, “Connecticut has not adopted CRT”, “No school in Connecticut has and no school in Connecticut is teaching it.”  Her fellow Democratic candidates went on to say that this topic is being used as a political tool and referred to it as the boogeyman. 

Why the Democratic candidates downplayed this issue I do not understand and find very questionable.  A Manchester elementary school teacher quit over this issue, as have other well qualified teachers throughout the country.  Guilford has been in the center of this debate lately, with one of the consequences being the loss of some accelerated classes.  Last year, I was made aware of at least two assignments that would seem to fall under CRT.  So, when Martha Shoemaker and the Democratic candidates act as though parents should not be concerned, I beg to differ. 

The Meet the Candidates Night was very enlightening. 

Sincerely,

Meghan Anderson,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Nov. 2 Election of Critical Importance for Future of Old Lyme, LOL Schools; Voting for Democratic Slate Essential

To the Editor:

I cannot begin to fully express the importance of voting for the Democratic slate on November 2. My family and I have lived in Old Lyme since 2005, during which time I have never been as concerned for this town as I have been in the last two years.

Incumbent Tim Griswold may have sixteen cumulative years of municipal experience in this town, but I feel that he is no longer a fair representation of this town, nor what it stands for. He has shown, time and time again, that he is out of touch with the town and appears to be stuck in the past when it comes to several aspects of today’s world. In June of 2020, for example, Mr. Griswold chose to discuss & praise the police at a Black Lives Matter rally, rather than address recent events and speak on how he will ensure racism has no place in our town.

Since August of 2020, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal has attempted to get a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis passed, but neither the First or Second Selectman will even discuss the resolution. If Mr. Griswold won’t even consider the resolution, what kind of a message does this send about the town of Old Lyme?

Additionally, I want to express my concern over the Republican Town Committee’s proposed additions to the Board of Education. As has been established by numerous letters to the editors of LymeLine, Mona Colwell has taken a strong anti-vaccination stance. While she is certainly entitled to her beliefs, the language used in Colwell’s Facebook posts is appalling and certainly not becoming of a potential Board of Education member. Colwell’s posts are filled with misspelled words, half-cooked theories, and delusions that the pandemic was created in an American lab to usher in “the Great Reset”. Is this really the kind of person we want making decisions about Region 18 and its school system?

Furthermore, this brings in to question the qualifications of the other candidates endorsed by the RTC. While they may not hold the same beliefs as Colwell, none of the candidates have come forward to denounce Colwell’s stance or posts. Silence is complicity, and I refuse to believe that we would let such people make decisions that would have such negative impacts on Region 18’s students.  

I am asking every voter in Old Lyme to consider this election, and who they are voting for, very carefully. The results of this election will have a long-lasting impact on both our town and our school system, and it is up to us to make the best choice for our future. 

Sincerely, 

Jacob Olsen,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2019.

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Democratic Candidate Strikes Conciliatory Tone: “We Have a Lot More in Common Than We Think”

To the Editor:

I was recently helping my daughter with a Venn diagram homework assignment and it made me think about the campaigning here in Old Lyme. National news has led us to believe that our parties have circles that don’t overlap at all. But at the local level, I believe that if we respectfully discussed the things we want for Old Lyme and filled in the circles, our red and blue circles would create a big, overlapping, purple area, highlighting all the things we agree on.

We may have different views on how to accomplish goals that we share, and of course there will still be some issues we disagree about. But wouldn’t it be amazing if we could spend more time focusing on the purple and less on the Red vs Blue? 

I think that is a goal worth running for in Old Lyme. Please consider voting for me and Row A on Nov. 2. 

Sincerely, 

Katherine Thuma,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is the endorsed Democratic candidate for an Old Lyme Board of Finance Alternate seat in the up coming election.

Letter to the Editor: Qualifications For Office of All Candidates Endorsed by Old Lyme RTC Should be Questioned

To the Editor:

I have been reviewing the qualifications, postings and information on the candidates running for the Regional School District 18 Board of Education (BOE).  I appreciate the time commitment these community members will be making if they are elected to the four-year terms. But at least one candidate, Mona Colwell, espouses beliefs that are plainly at odds with the health and safety, and therefore the best education, of our children. It is logical therefore to question the qualifications for office of all the candidates who were endorsed by the Republican Town Committee, none of whom have stood up to request that Mona remove herself from this election. Our children and tax-paying residents deserve the best, and that is why I will be voting Democratic in Old Lyme on Nov. 2.

Sincerely,

Russell Fogg,
Old Lyme.
Editor’s Note: The author is a candidate for the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals.

 

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Selectman Kerr Proudly Endorses Griswold, Ward, as a Winning Team for the Town

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to encourage my fellow voters in Old Lyme to select a winning team for leadership on the Board of Selectmen.

After serving on the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen with Tim Griswold for over two years, I can earnestly tell you that no one is more qualified to be our First Selectman for another term.  Tim has decades of experience as a leader in our town.  He knows the needs and challenges facing the town and he listens to the citizens carefully.  No one is more focused on fiscal responsibility while getting the important things done.  Tim is committed to keeping Old Lyme a charming and welcoming community.  He doesn’t simply nod when he hears you.  He actually listens carefully to all viewpoints.  He puts principles ahead of politics.

Matt Ward is the ideal choice to be our Second Selectman.  I have known Matt for many years.  Matt has invested countless volunteer hours to the children in town through LOL Little League and in many other capacities.  Matt has extensive law enforcement experience as a State Trooper including management experience in the Connecticut State Police.  He understands public safety and how to effectively communicate with people.  You will be impressed with his quiet demeanor yet strength of character.  Matt is invested in Old Lyme where he and his lovely wife have five children in our school system.  All who have worked with or interfaced with Matt recognize his exemplary leadership skills.  As a leader of State Police Officers in Connecticut Troops, Matt was known to be a fair minded and motivating manager.

Matt is an unaffiliated voter, but embraces the same goals as Tim does:  Keep the Town safe; get projects done on time and within budgets; maintain the high quality school system; help our kids and our seniors have better lives; and focus on fiscal discipline.

I am proud to endorse Tim and Matt for our First and Second Selectmen on November 2nd.  I strongly encourage you to do the same for the long-term good of Old Lyme.

Sincerely,

Chris Kerr,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Old Lyme Second Selectman; he is not seeking re-election.

Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons Why Colwell is ‘Not a Sound Candidate for Board of Education’

To the Editor:

I recently questioned the judgment of the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee in its endorsement of candidates to the Board of Education.  I illustrated my concern by highlighting the superior experience of the endorsed Democrats, and juxtaposing that against the anti-vax views expressed by candidate Mona Colwell in her Facebook posts, suggesting such policies are bad for the town.  On October 19, Colwell issued a response in which she accused me of attacking her personally.  I did not.  I have nothing against her as a person.  My concerns regarding Ms. Colwell’s candidacy derive wholly from the positions expressed in her public statements, not from her character.  I think it unwise for someone holding her views to make decisions affecting our children. 

A veritable library of anti-vax rhetoric populates Ms. Colwell’s Facebook page.  Her musings include befuddling assertions that those who support vaccine mandates are akin to “child pedos grooming kids for sex and trafficking,” that the pandemic was created in a “bat lab funded by our own government,” and a video which she notes is “worth the watch and listen maybe a few times over.”  That video’s content? A rambling interview with an “expert” claiming the entire pandemic was staged – by Bill Gates among others – as part of the “Great Reset bringing in the New World Order” which, via “nanotechnology” in vaccines, aims at creating a “perpetual state of slavery that they’re trying to impose on humanity.”  I quote these posts and their content verbatim.  Even my suggestion that Colwell offers “conspiracy theories” derives from her own words.  On her wall, she posts “U.S. facing ‘massive shortage’ of conspiracy theories as all of them have come true” and “Even if you’re not conspiracy minded, something in your soul must be telling you something isn’t right with any of this!”

Colwell is clearly entitled to hold these views and to state them publicly.  She is not, however, entitled to complain when people read them and suggest that they be taken into account.  Indeed, the very fact that Ms. Colwell seems to view criticism of her policy positions as a personal attack is further reason to question the legitimacy of her candidacy.  If every public servant viewed policy disagreements as “personal attacks” debating important issues would be nearly impossible. 

In deciding whether to vote for a candidate, little is more important than understanding their positions, values, and clarity of thought.  It is therefore hard to understand why one would question the relevance or appropriateness of calling the public’s attention to Ms. Colwell’s own statements, which to many reflect counter-factual ideas and irrational thinking. Colwell may be a nice person, but she is not a sound candidate for the Board of Education.

Sincerely,

David Rubino,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author supplied the link for the video that he mentions. We do not wish to publicize the link to our readers since we find the content disturbing, but will, however, supply it if a request is made by email to editor@lymeline.com`.

Letter to the Editor: Candidates Endorsed by Old Lyme Democrats for Region 18 BOE Are Impartial, Consider All Sides, Bring a Wealth of Experience

To the Editor:

As a former member for 11 years of the Salem Board of Education (BOE), I can attest to the importance of BOE members being impartial and willing to look at all sides in any discussion or debate.  They must be prepared to ignore any ideological differences among their members and make a careful, thoughtful and considered decision after a full examination of the matter at hand.

The four candidates endorsed by the Old Lyme DTC offer these attributes.  Additionally, they all have considerable experience in the education or child advocacy fields:  Martha Shoemaker, currently on the Region 18 BOE and a retired teacher with 35 years experience; Alexander Lowry, presently a middle school science educator with two young children in the Region 18 school system; Jason Kemp, armed with a law degree, now a family counselor with the Family Services division of the Connecticut court system; and Marisa Calvi-Rogers, with a doctorate in Educational Leadership, retired after 25 years as an educator, ending as a high school principal.

I have no doubt that these individuals will not only come to the BOE with a deep understanding of the needs of our children and the issues confronting Region 18, they will be prepared to consider all points of view as they make the decisions required to best prepare our students for the future.   Please give them your vote on November 2nd.

 Sincerely,

Christine Gianquinto,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Chair of the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee.

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Resident Submitted Letter July 5 to Griswold Detailing Library Lane Safety Concerns; Still Awaiting Response

To the Editor:

On July 5th of this year, I submitted a letter to our First Selectman, Tim Griswold, regarding the unsafe conditions that exist on Library Lane. I shared that the volume of traffic on this road has increased greatly in the past few years and without sidewalks, it is a very dangerous situation. Foot traffic grew during the pandemic. Additionally, vehicles are making no effort to slow down and are moving much faster than the speed limit. The one posted speed limit sign of 20 mph is ignored by a majority of vehicles who are often going twice the limit. Neighbors have discussed this issue and agree there should be more speed limit signs erected, and if possible, within reason, a police presence to enforce the proper speed.

I offered my services to meet and further discuss the formulation of a plan to resolve this unsafe condition on Library Lane. It has been over four months and I have not heard one word from the First Selectman or his office. They have not acknowledged my letter or the concerns of the residents on Library Lane. No action has been taken at all. This is not the response I am looking for from a highly effective local government.

Sincerely,

John J. Angelico,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Political, Personal Agendas and Extremist Rhetoric Have No Place at Board of Education Table

To the Editor:

Parents and taxpayers of Old Lyme, please pay close attention to this year’s November municipal elections, particularly to the candidates for the Region 18 Board of Education.

Old Lyme enjoys a school system that is broadly recognized for its quality across the region, the state, and indeed the nation.

Based on my tenure of sixteen years as a former member and chair of the Region 18 Board of Education, I cannot adequately stress the importance of having a Board composed of well-qualified members to maintain that level of quality.  Political and personal agendas and extremist rhetoric have no place at the Board of Education table. The top priorities must always be preserving a highest standard of educational excellence, and protecting the health and safety of the school community.

In my personal experience, the Old Lyme Democrats have always put forth responsible, qualified and reasonable candidates for the Board of Education seats, and they have done so again this year. They clearly understand their role in delivering quality education to our students, as well as responsible budgets to the taxpayers. 

In our electoral process, political parties have a principal role in nominating suitable candidates. When that process fails, it becomes even more important for the electorate to be informed and active, and most importantly, to vote.

Choose wisely, Old Lyme!

Sincerely,

Susan Fogliano,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Griswold Has Misrepresented Old Lyme’s Values, Embarrassed Residents by Refusal to Discuss Racism Resolution

To the Editor:

I am embarrassed that Old Lyme’s values have been poorly represented by First Selectman Tim Griswold.  Over a year ago, in August 2020, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal proposed that the Board of Selectmen adopt a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, as well as measures to address it.  Despite the fact that the Connecticut legislature and numerous municipalities have adopted similar resolutions, First Selectman Griswold, joined by fellow Republican Selectman Chris Kerr, rejected that proposal, arguing that Old Lyme did not have a racism problem.  Selectwoman Nosal has repeated her request every month since, to no avail; Mr. Griswold has refused even to put the topic on the Board of Selectmen agenda for consideration or to discuss what revisions to the words of the resolution he would support.

The question is not, of course, whether Old Lyme residents are racists, but rather whether we will clearly and publicly acknowledge that racism is a societal problem (public health and more) which Old Lyme soundly opposes. The refusal of our town leadership to recognize this reality sends the contrary message, much to our shame and the dismay of most of our citizens.

Martha Shoemaker and Jim Lampos support taking a stand on this very important issue.  Our town’s embarrassment will end if they are elected on November 2.

Sincerely,

William J. Belluzzi,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is a Democratic member of the Old Lyme Affordable Housing Commission.

Letter to the Editor: Shoemaker, Lampos Will Prioritize Responsive Government By, And For, All The People of Old Lyme

To the Editor:

Martha Shoemaker and Jim Lampos will bring common sense back to Old Lyme government. They will prioritize responsive government by and for the people. Regardless of party affiliation, please join me by voting for Old Lyme residents who share this goal, and vote Democratic on November 2nd.

Sincerely,

Paula Melillo,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Lowry Explains His Reasons for Running for Region 18 BOE, Notes Democratic Slate Offers 90 Collective Years of Education Service

To the Editor:

I am running for a seat on the Lyme-Old Lyme Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) because I believe that my experience and ability will enable me to make a strong contribution to the continued excellence of our well-regarded school system.  Through my 22 years of experience as a professional educator, I have gained first-hand knowledge of the policies, procedures, and vernacular pertinent to district-level decision-making. 

I am committed to life-long learning and accustomed to assimilating new concepts and skills.  I am flexible in my thinking, consider the reasoned positions of knowledgeable others, and adjust readily to an ever-changing playing field.  Over the years my critical thinking skills and self-reflection have improved my teaching and ability to create student success.  I am confident that these attributes will assist me in making informed and thoughtful decisions on the BOE.  My wife, also an educator, and my two children, who attend school in Region 18, appreciate the quality of life we have in Old Lyme. It seems only right to contribute to the town and institutions from which we benefit.

I hope that when you step into the voting booth this November 2nd you will cast a vote for me and the other well-qualified Democratic candidates.  We will bring 90 years of collective educational service to the students and families of Old Lyme. 

Sincerely,

Alexander Lowry,
Old Lyme. 

Editor’s Note: The author is a candidate in the upcoming election for the Region 18 Board of Education.

Letter to the Editor: Griswold Offers Experienced Leadership, Keeps Steady Hand at Helm

To the Editor:

As a young Naval Officer, Tim Griswold helped guide large aircraft carriers through storms in the Pacific.  It was an invaluable learning experience for the role he was destined to fill, our First Selectman.

Tim learned to work with others from diverse backgrounds, races, religions, and educations.  Perhaps even more important, he learned not to overreact to dangers.  He developed a steady approach to any problem that came his way.  He would gather facts, listen to others, seek out advice, and then decide on a course of action.  All the while being respectful to those who may have offered differing viewpoints.

Like the aircraft carrier, Tim has guided our town through the stormy waters of building a new high school, implementing the new sewer system, addressing commercial growth, managing town government through COVID, and keeping costs under control.

This is no time to change course.  Vote for experienced leadership and keep a steady hand at the helm.

Vote for Tim Griswold First Selectman on November 2nd.

Sincerely,

Rod Clingman,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Selectwoman Nosal Endorses Shoemaker, Lampos for BOS; Both Will Place Needs, Concerns of OL Residents First

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Martha Shoemaker for Old Lyme First Selectwoman and Jim Lampos for Selectman. I have worked with each of them for years and can say two things without hesitation: they are extremely talented and they always put the needs and concerns of Old Lyme residents first. Martha’s professional career as a teacher for 35 years, union negotiator and project manager, and her tireless commitments as a volunteer on school committees, the Library and LYSB, have prepared her well to be the CEO of our town. We have all benefited from Martha’s long history of collaborative, can-do support for local education and non-profit organizations. She has the requisite skills and good judgment to make thoughtful, fair and sound decisions on behalf of Old Lyme. Illustrative of her civic-minded, generous character is the example she and her family set in hosting Coast Guard cadets for eight years and providing them a home away from home.

For the last 10 years Jim has contributed as a volunteer to valuable, cost-effective, Sound View improvement projects. The sidewalk installations enjoyed grants saving Old Lyme taxpayers over $800,000. Jim’s pragmatic approach to solving community problems and his insightful appreciation of the history of Sound View reflect his careful approach to addressing community concerns and his strong advocacy for local engagement.

Martha and Jim will protect our assets and the quality of life we treasure in Old Lyme. They will engage the community and seek input on town matters. They will actively pursue grants and effectively budget for important projects, like safety improvements on Halls Road. They will assure that budgets are respected, our bills are paid on time, our local police have the resources needed to protect the community, and that Town Hall is responsive to all residents.

Please join me in voting on November 2 for the team that Old Lyme needs: Martha Shoemaker and Jim Lampos.

Sincerely,

Mary Jo Nosal,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author has served as Old Lyme Selectwoman since 2011. She is a candidate in the upcoming election for the Old Lyme Zoning Commission

 

Letter to the Editor: BOE Members Should be ‘Smart, Empathetic, Focused’: Democratic Slate Meets That Need

To the Editor:

Reflecting back on my nearly eight years of service on the Region 18 Board of Education, I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished with the support and encouragement of the broader Old Lyme and Lyme community.

As I approach my final month on the Board, I am optimistic and excited to support four candidates with exactly the backgrounds needed as the Board engages in strategic planning and a review of potential facility upgrades to four schools that were last substantially updated nearly two decades ago:  educational credentials and a focus on children.  Life-long educators Martha Shoemaker (retired teacher), Marisa Calvi-Rogers (doctorate in education, retired principal) and Alexander Lowry (current teacher), along with Jason Kemp (family relations counselor, CT Judicial Branch), will bring over 90 years of collective public service in support of children to the Board.  Alexander and Jason are also the parents of current R18 students.

We need smart, empathetic, and focused leaders who view challenges as opportunities and can widen the realm of possible solutions through creative problem-solving.  Our small town needs Board of Education members who understand public education and the needs of children and families, as well as the importance of incorporating into their decisions the wide variety of viewpoints held by our community members.

I strongly encourage you to elect these four Democratic candidates to represent our Old Lyme community on the Region 18 Board of Education.

Sincerely,

Jean Wilczynski, CFP®,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author currently serves as treasurer of the Regional School District 18 Board of Education.

Letter to the Editor: Colwell’s Beliefs, Her Endorsement by Old Lyme RTC, Raise Serious Questions

Editor’s Note: Commenting on this letter is now closed. Thank you all for a lively debate on this letter.

To the Editor:

The candidates chosen by a town’s political committee to run in an election must be assumed to reflect the beliefs and platform of that committee.  For example, Old Lyme’s Republican Town Committee has endorsed Mona Colwell for election to the Board of Education.  According to her Facebook page, Mona questions what brought down the World Trade Center, regarding which she wrote, “Will we ever know the truth?  Does it even matter?”  Another example is our 2018 gubernatorial election, which Ned Lamont won by 44,372 votes.  Not so, says Mona: “I do believe the election was rigged when thousands of UConn students were bussed in and through other means.”

To illustrate Mona’s logic of thinking, she asks on Facebook: “. . . someone PLEASE explain to me . . . how is a non-vaccinated person a threat to a vaccinated person? . . . What am I missing here, other than tyranny?”  Is she unaware that unvaccinated, infected people infect others, whether vaccinated or not, and that the spread of infections throughout the country provides the breeding ground for serious mutations?

Mona should not be making decisions for our children, and the RTC’s judgment in endorsing candidates should not be trusted.
Sincerely,
Aaron Emma,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Unaffiliated Matt Ward Endorsed for Selectman by Old Lyme Republicans Due to His Integrity, Community Involvement

To the Editor:

The members of the RTC of Old Lyme have enthusiastically endorsed Matt Ward, an unaffiliated voter, as our candidate for Second Selectman in November’s municipal election. This choice was made because we felt Matt’s values of integrity and community involvement closely matched the needs of the town. Matt’s history as a resident of Old Lyme is replete with examples of his commitment to the town. He served 3 years on the Board of Directors of the LYSB, 10 years on the LOL Little League, and many other town activities. In addition, Matt is a Planning Commission Alternate. 

Matt has recently retired after 20 years as a State Police Officer. Matt and his wife Tara, well known in the community, have five children in the school system. He is a man of great energy, integrity, and commitment to our town. I ask you to elect Matt Ward as our Second Selectman on November 2nd.

Sincerely,

David Griswold,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Multiple Reasons to Support Halls Rd. Master Plan, Improvement Committee Commended for its ‘Thoroughness’, ‘Clarity’

To the Editor:

We are writing to express our interest and support for bringing the Halls Road Master Plan to fruition. We reviewed the Plan and had attended one of the recent information sessions.

We want to acknowledge the thoroughness of the analysis completed by the Halls Road Improvement Committee [HRIC]; and the clarity of both the recommendations and the thoughtful vision for the future.

The Plan seeks to develop Halls Road into a district that would “resemble the small-town, mixed-use neighborhood that Lyme Street was before 1960”.

We applaud the HRIC in prioritizing improvements to roadways and sidewalks required for the safety of walkers and bikers.  The team’s vision is to create pedestrian and bicycle connections amongst Old Lyme’s town center, the “Arts District”, and the proposed “Halls Road “Village District”.

We are walkers, and crossing Halls Road towards the Lyme Art Association can be very perilous. Creating this “safe and attractive pedestrian and cyclist route” will be a daunting challenge. Halls’ position between and amongst four exits and entrances to Interstate 95 North and South will require creative traffic management. Certainly, speed and traffic jams on Rt 156 and Boston Post are good barometers for issues on the interstate.

That said, we are also excited about the reconstruction of the Bow Bridge and access to some new green space along the Lieutenant River. That could provide an historic connection to, or at least a reminder of, the American Impressionists residing and working at Miss Florence’s boarding house.

In closing, we want to congratulate the team’s proposal for the creation of Design Guidelines that will help ensure that new development along Halls Road is required to go beyond the “nuts and bolts” of zoning regulations to assuring the “look and feel” is compatible with Old Lyme’s “small town feel”.

We are very glad that the team recognized that the residential aspects of the “Village District” will not only provide options for those moving into the community, but also enable older residents’ attractive opportunities to remain in Old Lyme.

It’s time to put a Halls Road, whose primary goal is to serve as an interstate service area pit stop, in our rear-view mirrors.

Sincerely,

Christina J. Gotowka and Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: This is a shortened version of a letter submitted by the authors to the HRIC in support of its Master Plan.

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