September 26, 2020

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


Steven Mattson

Steven Mattson has lived in Lyme for 23 years and has served our town for the past 12 of those years as a Selectman and a member of most of our town boards and commissions.  Together with his wife, Maddy, he has helped run Camp Claire for the past several years – steering it back to financial health.  Prior to his career in public service, Steven developed a wealth of business expertise, working for companies that included Anheuser-Busch, Perrier and Proctor & Gamble.

Q1: Why are you running?

I’m running because I love this town and want to continue to contribute meaningfully to its future.  Over the years, I’ve developed a deep personal knowledge of how our Town works.

I have served as Selectman for the past 12 years, and as First Selectman for the past four months following Ralph Eno’s retirement.  During that time, I have also served on the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Open Space Committee, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Board of Finance, the Lyme/Old Lyme District School Board and the Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commission.

As a result, I have developed the experience and the qualifications to run our town effectively.  That’s why I’ve been endorsed for the position of First Selectman by our immediate past First Selectman, Ralph Eno; the editorial board of “The Day”; and former Lyme Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief, Richard Lee Watkins.

Q2: What are the three most significant issues that Lyme is currently facing?

I think the most pressing local issue we face in Lyme is recruiting good, experienced townspeople to help us lead the town in the future.  I’ll speak to how I plan to address that below, in Question 3.

The second most significant issue we face is strengthening our town’s communications with residents on important news, issues and decisions.  I would like to work with the Board of Selectmen to enhance communications about important town decisions and explain how residents can take advantage of available opportunities to voice their support or concerns; and ensure important town decisions include a thorough explanation of applicable regulations and residents’ concerns.  I’m excited about the possibility of seeing John Kiker voted onto the Board of Selectmen as he brings to the table extensive communications expertise from a long career in marketing, as well as a strong personal commitment to community engagement, innovation and volunteerism.

Other important issues I would like to address include continuing to strengthen our financial planning and human resources system.  I’ve spearheaded an effort for the past five years to ensure that, instead of making financial decisions a year at a time, we look forward over several years at a time – and I would like to see that continue.  I would also like to strengthen our town’s human resources system to start planning now for how we develop the in-house talent to replace employees as they retire.

Q3: With reference to your Question 2 response, which issue of the three is the greatest and how do you envisage dealing with it?

As I mentioned above, I think the most pressing local issue we face in our town is recruiting good, experienced townspeople to help us lead the town into the future.  I will work with my peers on the Board of Selectmen to encourage more people to participate in our town government, educate them for positions throughout our local government, and help instill in them a love for the town and a desire to steward the town.

We need good, experienced townspeople to come onboard not only as elected officials, but as volunteers.  In order for our town to run efficiently, we have to staff more than 140 positions on town boards, committees and commissions with volunteers.  If elected, I will work with the Board of Selectmen to actively encourage residents to learn about and serve on these boards, commissions and committees.