LYME – After five years as the town’s chief elected official, Steve Mattson is retiring as Lyme First Selectman next week.
Mattson, a Democrat, announced at the Board of Selectmen meeting last Tuesday that he will retire at the next board meeting on Tuesday, July 5. He was first appointed to the position in 2017 following the retirement of former First Selectman Ralph Eno.
“It’s time,” Mattson told CT Examiner on Monday. “I’ve been working for the town for a total of 27 years, 17 on the Board of Selectmen, and it’s time to pass the reins to someone else.”
Mattson said he is going to be entering his “second retirement,” and looks forward to spending more time with his wife, traveling, and back on the golf course.
After Mattson formally retires at the July 5 meeting, the remaining two selectmen will vote to elect a replacement – either from among themselves or from outside the board. If the selectmen elect one of themselves to replace Mattson, they would then also elect someone to fill the vacant selectmen position.
“There are numerous things that still need to be done for a small town with a small staff,” Mattson said when asked if there was anything he felt he was leaving as unfinished business. “All I can say is, follow the path and continue to improve.”
Mattson said he was most proud of being able to forgo a property tax rate increase during his five-year tenure, and was still able to fund large infrastructure projects, including two bridge replacements that are underway. During Mattson’s tenure, the mill rate increased once in 2019, but taxes did not increase that year because revaluation had decreased the town’s grand list.
“I originally was elected as a bridge, not intending to serve three or four terms, so my expectations were to get things under control and move forward to the next people to run the town,” Mattson said. “I think I stayed a little longer than was originally planned, but I think we’ve made a lot of accomplishments, especially in financial controls, as well as infrastructure.”
The Lyme Board of Selectmen is scheduled to meet at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5 at the Lyme Town Hall.