August 15, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Despite His ‘Years of Experience’, Griswold is Not Doing a Good Job; Old Lyme Deserves Better

To the Editor:

First Selectman Tim Griswold has been running for re-election primarily on the basis of his years of experience.  In response, a number of people think that this experience has not translated into competence in office, criticizing his lack of responsiveness, carefulness, transparency, information-sharing, timeliness, and judgment.  These concerns were dramatically illustrated earlier this week.  

During a debate hosted by The Day on Monday, the First Selectman admitted that he recently submitted a Petition for Amendment of Zoning Regulations (regarding the Halls Road district) to the Old Lyme Zoning Commission without having even read the proposed regulations.  When asked about that, he replied “I sign a lot of things.”  To make matters worse, the First Selectman submitted the petition to the Zoning Commission without having first shared the proposed regulations with his Board of Selectmen, which would have given them an opportunity to comment and, if they deemed it appropriate, to hold a public meeting or to solicit further information from the Halls Road Improvements Committee.

In the same debate, Tim was asked about a town meeting in August in which an appropriation to cover police overspending was defeated for lack of information.  According to The Day, Tim argued that many topics go to a town meeting with ‘a small amount of information.’  He said people who want to know details should ask for them at Town Hall before the meeting instead of expecting written explanations.  ‘I think when we have all these matters going on, it would be quite a burden to have total information on all these matters,’ he said.”  

This town meeting addressed four matters and lasted 31 minutes. 

These examples are typical of how poorly Tim does his job.  Old Lyme deserves better, much better.  We can rest assured that Martha Shoemaker will do better.  She is notoriously smart, thoughtful, conscientious, careful, responsible, responsive and inclusive.  We must elect her next Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Marisa Hartmann,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Democratic Town Committee.

Letter to the Editor: Why Martha? ‘Nice Guy’ Tim is Not ‘Right Person for the Job Today’ … and More Reasons

To the Editor:

I was stopped the other day by a neighbor and friend, a Republican, who said, “I see all these Martha Shoemaker signs.  Who is she and why should I vote for her?”  I was in a rush, so I told him I’d get back to him.  This is what I said.

Tim Griswold has been around forever, and he is a nice guy.  But he’s not the right person for the job today.  Old Lyme is not in dire straits, but neither is it free from challenges.  We must get sewers installed in the beach area and finance them in a way people can afford.  We need cyber insurance.  We must attract new families to augment our aging and declining population.  Our business community is suffering, impacting local taxes and employment.  There are unsightly, blighted properties in town.  People of all races, backgrounds and incomes must be made to feel welcome.  The list goes on. 

Tim’s forte is in maintaining the status quo.  He is resistant to change.  Under his prior watch, the Economic Development Commission was dormant and he opposed the Halls Road initiative.  Tim was reluctant to support the cost of renovating the high school as new.  No attention was paid to rejuvenating Hartford Avenue.  Tim procrastinates and fails to get things done when he should.  He is accused of failing to respond to taxpayer inquiries, concerns and problems, failing to read what he signs, and failing to provide adequate information to the public.  Tim’s insistence that there is no racism in town, and that the Board of Selectmen need not even discuss the resolution on racism as a public-health crisis, sends the wrong message to our residents and our neighbors.

Without strong leadership and smart planning, Old Lyme will go downhill.   Martha Shoemaker will bring a sea change to Town Hall.  She will help us grow and prosper.  She is a peace-maker and problem solver; she will tackle issues and find solutions.  Martha will identify opportunities and do whatever is required to take advantage of them.  She is a people person; staff at Town Hall will smile more.  Martha will work her heart out for this town.

Martha is smart, candid, hard-working, thoughtful, careful, highly-motivated, tech-savy, energetic and stubborn: she won’t let go of a challenge until it has been met.  Martha is fiscally conservative and practical; she is a former Republican and no idealogue.  Martha will listen to all parties and points of view before making a decision.  She will respond to every taxpayer’s questions.  

Martha’s integrity, and her commitment to the best interests of Old Lyme, cannot be questioned.   Please vote for her and her equally-dedicated running mate, Jim Lampos, next Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Bennett J. Bernblum,
Old Lyme.
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Old Lyme Board of Finance and Democratic Town Committee.

Letter to the Editor: LOLHS Senior Says Adopting Racism Resolution ‘Shows We Care,’ Refusing to Discuss it is ‘Gross Disservice to Community;’ Shoemaker, Lampos “Get It’

To the Editor:

I’m a senior in high school and I live in Old Lyme. Last week I attended a meeting of the Board of Selectman to support, on behalf of the students in Old Lyme, the adoption of a resolution on racism put before the board. Many of my peers feel strongly, as I do, about social justice and the continual fight for equity, and I wanted to make sure I could convey our beliefs clearly. 

As I said during public comments at the meeting, to deny the presence of racism in Old Lyme is to perpetuate a lie. For example, just last month an Old Lyme police officer, somebody who is supposed to be an unbiased peacekeeper, was suspended for allegedly yelling a racial slur out the window of his car in downtown Old Saybrook. He remains on paid leave. In addition, many other people who spoke at the meeting addressed the lack of diversity in Old Lyme. Why is Old Lyme overwhelmingly white? It is not uncommon for racist microaggressions to be made in schools, too. Last year’s valedictorian addressed this in her commencement speech. Racism is present in Old Lyme and it is harmful to everyone in our community. To ignore that is to be complicit in its damage. A number of speakers at the meeting agreed with Mr. Griswold’s position. It is wrong. By denying that there is any racism in our community and refusing to even discuss the resolution, the First Selectman is doing a gross disservice to our community and to its reputation. 

Some think that declaring racism a public health crisis will somehow paint our town in a negative light. But I believe that it does the opposite; it shows that we know there is a problem. It shows that we care. It shows that we’re ready to work together against it. 

My peers and I are the future of this town. I want to be able to tell my kids that our town was on the right side of history. I want to be able to tell them that our town helped lead the crusade on the shoreline against racism. Adopting the resolution could be a first and important step in healing the racism that divides our town and in communicating our values to the outside world. 

Martha Shoemaker and Jim Lampos support this objective. They get it. Please vote for them on November 2.

Sincerely,

Grace Cassineri,
Old Lyme.

Old Lyme Voters Deserve BOE Members With Skill Sets Other Than Education: Vote the Republican Slate for True Diversity

To the Editor:

When I served on the Board of Education, former Connecticut Superintendent of the Year and Superintendent of Region 18, Dr. Betty Osga, opined that a diverse group of people with different experiences and skill sets often made better decisions than a homogeneous group of “experts.”  Truer words have never been spoken, especially as it relates to service on the Board of Education.

The Democrats would have you believe that having the Board of Education filled with like-minded candidates with extensive teaching backgrounds is the only way to ensure the best education for our children.  The problem with that logic is that an absence of diversity of thought leads to the promotion of a single, myopic mindset.  That single mindset leads to an acceptance of proposals and initiatives without question and creates a slippery slope where differing viewpoints are discouraged, ridiculed and silenced.

Being a Board of Education member entails a balancing act of representing everyone in the community.  Of course, we want the best education for our children, but we also want members to be responsible to the community at large.  Further, being on the Board of Education isn’t just about students, it’s about facilities and finances and human resources, too.  Having members that question and probe the administration’s proposals, curriculum choices or mandates isn’t obstruction, it’s their job.  To do otherwise would be neglecting their responsibilities and dilutes the sanctity of having a local, independent Board of Education.

The Republicans have offered a slate of candidates that have very diverse backgrounds and different experiences, who hold different opinions on a variety of topics.  Candidates shouldn’t have to pass a litmus test or walk in lock step with each other to be considered for office.  Rather, each should be judged based on their unique qualities, skillsets, ability for critical thinking, and their genuine desire to promote excellence in education.

I urge you to join me in voting for all the Row B candidates for the Board of Education because they offer the most diverse set of perspectives and skillsets that will best serve Region 18. 

Sincerely,

Steve Cinami,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: House, Sheiness, Miller Understand Town Values, Communicate Well, Bring Wealth of Expertise; Elect Them to Lyme Board of Finance

To the Editor:

Lyme voters will be choosing three candidates for the Board of Finance. They will remember this past May when Republican board members went rogue and, without talking to relevant commissions, cut half the town’s funding for preservation of open space. Lyme citizens showed disapproval by overwhelmingly voting against cutting the Open Space Reserve Fund at the annual Town Meeting. 

Lyme residents should vote for Democrats Bob House and Alan Sheiness for Board of Finance and Jim Miller as an alternate. They understand the values of our town, communicate well with others and have a wealth of expertise in finance.  

Bob, with a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics, served two years as a Board of Finance Alternate. He worked as a Senior Economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for over 20 years.    

Alan, with over 30 years of financial and executive management experience, held positions as a corporate controller and principal accounting officer. He is treasurer of Lyme Land Trust and a member of its finance committee.

Jim, with a MBA in Finance, has 20 years of experience as a commercial and investment banker with expertise in budgeting and forecasting. 

House, Sheiness and Miller are remarkably qualified to advise the Board of Selectmen. They will protect the things the town values while maintaining high quality services and controlling costs.

Rounding out our election slate this year are several other highly qualified, dedicated individuals who love our Town and whose expertise can benefit our boards and commissions.  They want Lyme to stay the beautiful, historic place that it is.  And they need your vote. (You can read about their qualifications and history of service to our Town on our website at www.lymedtc.com.)

  • Steven Mattson for First Selectman
  • John Kiker for Selectman
  • Fred Harger for Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Toni Phillips for Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate
  • Mary Stone for Library Board of Directors
  • Laura Mooney for Library Board of Directors
  • Anna James for Board of Education
  • John Kiker for Board of Assessment Appeals

Vote Row “A”!

Sincerely,

Phyllis Ross,
Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Re-elect Proven Experience on Old Lyme Board of Finance

To the Editor:

When we think of local election candidates, we generally concentrate on the Board of Selectpersons and the Board of Education. While both are of paramount import to the Town, the Board of Finance (BOF) is often overlooked. In many ways, it represents one of the most important voter selections in the election. 

The Board of Finance is responsible for the distribution of tax revenue and approval and planning of Town spending. Working in cooperation with Region 18 Board of Education, our disciplined Board of Finance members are diligent about balancing our obligations to our Regional School District with other valued and necessary community priorities. This includes considering and approving funding for roads, buildings, emergency services, recreation, and other town services

The Board of Finance must balance these necessary investments and spending on additional services with increased expenses against the goal of maintaining one of the lowest mill rates in the State. This is a challenging and painstaking job where requisite financial experience and sound judgment and prior service on the Board of Finance is essential

This is no time for inexperience on the Board of Finance. This is why on November 2nd, I am voting to re-elect Andy Russell and Judith Read along with alternates Matthew Olson and Maria Carrao Marchant. I encourage you to do the same.

Sincerely,

Steve and Kathy Wilson,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Griswold Demonstrates Lackadaisical Approach to Governing; Shoemaker Will Be Attentive, Thoughtful, Conscientious Leader

To the Editor:

There is a general lackadaisical approach to governing by First Selectman Griswold, as illustrated at two recent meetings I attended as an interested new citizen. At one, a payment request (about overtime during COVID) would have passed had he offered any clarifying information justifying the line item. He seemed uninformed and had no figures to present. At another meeting he displayed “selective hearing” about an issue being brought up by another selectman. I learned later from the newspaper that he just didn’t want to deal with this issue.

I strongly recommend a change on November 2.  What I’ve learned about Martha Shoemaker has convinced me that she will be a strong, attentive, thoughtful, conscientious leader.

Sincerely,

June K. Davison,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor:  Vote for Candidates Who Support Local Zoning Control, Will Not Be Hartford Democrat Puppets

To the Editor:

In past elections, few voters in Old Lyme paid much attention to zoning commission candidate party affiliation. Both parties over the years have typically been on board with enforcing our zoning regulations and have been supportive of local zoning control. But this year is very different.

There is a movement for legislation in Hartford supported by the democratic candidates for the Zoning Commission that, if enacted, would give the state government complete authority in local zoning regulations. This legislation would irreversibly erode local control by requiring town governments to remove certain language from its zoning regulations such as “maintaining the character of the town”. One democrat party candidate might view the lexicon “maintaining the character of the town” as racist.

Don’t support candidates that favor encroachment from Hartford into our local authority. Old Lyme has been well served by local zoning control with preservation and why it is such a desirable place to live.

We need to retain the beauty, charm, and quality of life that make Old Lyme such a special place. Maintaining local control of zoning is how that will be accomplished.

I urge you to vote for Republicans Jane Marsh and Sloan Danenhower for Zoning Commission on November 2nd.

Sincerely,

Deb Czarnecki,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Reiter Has Brought Community Commitment, Energy, Enthusiasm, Laser-focused Attention to Old Lyme Board of Finance

To the Editor:

I have closely watched Anna Reiter’s performance on the Old Lyme Board of Finance since she joined as an alternate member in 2017.  (She became a regular member in 2019.)  Anna has brought energy, enthusiasm, and laser-focused attention to a sometimes-sleepy board.   She may well be its most-conscientious member, keeping her own, thorough notes of every meeting (which are not infrequently referred to in subsequent meetings), always doing her homework, and typically raising questions about issues that others may not have recognized.   She is adamantly opposed to spending the taxpayers’ money when not necessary, and outspoken about funding projects in the most cost-effective manner.  Anna has her ear to the community and its concerns about taxes and the town budget, and she shares this useful insight with the BOF.

Anna is among Old Lyme’s most civic-minded citizens.  In addition to her service on the BOF, she is the board’s representative on the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library building committee and was an active participant on the library expansion team.  She has for years volunteered with LOL Jr. Women’s and the school system and was instrumental in developing the new playground at Cross Lane Park.  Anna’s commitment to the community, combined with her background in environmental engineering, project management and construction, make her a perfect candidate for the BOF.

Please join me in re-electing Anna to the Board of Finance on November 2.

Sincerely,

Adam S. Burrows
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is an Alternate Member of the Old Lyme Board of Finance and a member of the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee.

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.