Letter: Griswold Offers Measured Leadership to Challenges Facing Old Lyme

in Elections/Letters/Old Lyme

There are many reason to support Tim Griswold for first selectman of Old Lyme, but here are three issues that I believe we should carefully consider before voting in the November 5 election.

Halls Road

For 5 years, the current administration has outsourced Halls Road improvements to an ad-hoc “Halls Road Improvement Committee” with no results except for a cost of $40,000 paid to the Yale School of Urban Design (YSUD). 

Alan Plattus, of the YSUD, stated in a public meeting that: “Halls Road is Broken.” I think that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Halls Road, specifically the Old Lyme Marketplace currently offers about 25 shops/ business places within the quarter mile — as specified by YSUD — walkable radius. 

Tim Griswold’s views to improve Halls Road begin with a measured approach of what can the town realistically do. Tim believes, and rightfully so, that the Town of Old Lyme should not be in the business of real estate development, but rather help foster private investment by engaging the property owners and working with zoning to get improvements done.  Likely the town can improve sidewalks, crosswalks and signage all within a reasonable amount of time and at an acceptable cost.  

The measured approach and shifting the burden of improvements from the taxpayer to the property owners shows leadership that has been lacking with the current administration and process.

Regionalization

Recently there has been a movement afoot in the current town administration to regionalize our police force by joining it with East Lyme and relocating the facilities to East Lyme.  This idea is bad from the word go.  How can Old Lyme benefit by giving up control of public safety to another town?  As resident’s we know our current group of police officers and they know us, our neighbors and our children.  They are responsive, and available any time of day.  With regionalization, we will most certainly lose this. 

Tim believes in keeping our Resident State Trooper system because it simply works and we as a town have control over it.  If it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it.  

Affordable Housing

For the last two-plus years, the residents of Old Lyme have watched with dismay and frustration as the boondoggle of a housing project planned for Neck Road was approved by Zoning. Fortunately, those plans have been withdrawn by the developer.  The process as it unfolded was flawed for many reasons from the outset: There were incomplete applications, conflicts of interest and total incompetence of running the public hearings. 

Tim’s approach to affordable housing is clear: He supports it. He will launch the Affordable Housing committee called for years ago by the town’s plan of conservation and development.

Tim also firmly believes there are opportunities currently within the town to fill the some of the needs quickly without new development.  These would include existing Accessory Dwelling units (in-law and garage apartments).     

Tim Griswold is running for office with no agenda beyond serving the town.  He does not have higher political aspirations.  He is not distracted by the effects and fallout of being fired from a state agency.  He is not conflicted with associations to other organizations. 

Please join me in supporting Tim Griswold and the rest of the ROW B candidates on November 5th.

Rod Clingman
Old Lyme Resident for 17 years.