Raising Questions about East Lyme Zoning Members’ Priorities and Transparency

Image Credit: Robin Breeding


TwitterFacebookCopy LinkPrintEmail

To the Editor,

I attended an East Lyme Zoning Commission meeting on October 5th. One of the proposals was to assess if the East Lyme Parks and Recreation’s Pickleball court proposal complied with zoning regulations. The crucial point here is that this project was already approved by town residents through the budget vote. However, during the commission’s discussion, they veered off course, debating whether residents liked Pickleball or preferred Pickleball over tennis. This irrelevant tangent showcased a lack of professionalism that was hard to ignore.

A few months ago, a significant project was introduced on Main Street, triggering widespread resident dissatisfaction. When concerned citizens voiced their objections to this new development, the commission remained passive, effectively brushing aside their concerns. This was despite the project’s contentious aspects, such as the absence of a traffic study for a central town location and the developer’s plans exceeding the lot’s capacity.

The contrast between the commission’s rigorous scrutiny of the Parks and Recreation Department’s project and their indifference to a massive Main Street development raises questions about their priorities and transparency. It appears to be a pattern where certain members prioritize their interests over the town’s welfare.

Adding to these concerns, the recent actions of Zoning Chairwoman Anne Thurlow have raised even more significant questions about the commission’s integrity and its commitment to the best interests of our town. Chairwoman Thurlow, who was previously a member of the East Lyme Democrats, made a surprising switch to the Republican ticket. While political shifts can be a normal part of an individual’s choices, the timing and implications of this move demand scrutiny.

What is particularly troubling is Chairwoman Thurlow’s involvement in the placement of alternate David Schmidt into a position that had previously been held by a Democrat. This strategic maneuver occurred during her tenure as a member of the East Lyme Democrats, only to be followed by her shift to the Republican Party. Such a sequence of events raises a series of crucial questions: Was this maneuver conducted in good faith and best interests of the community in mind? Or does it suggest an attempt to manipulate the composition of the commission for political advantage?

Luckily for the residents of East Lyme, the East Lyme Democrats offer a more promising choice for our town. Dr. Gary Pivo, Nancy Kalal, and Denise Markovitz are fantastic candidates for the Zoning Commission. Dr. Pivo has been a professor of urban studies, natural resources and sustainable real estate for 35 years, Denise Markovitz currently serves on the Zoning board as an alternate and Nancy Kalal’s family has been farming since the late 1800’s in East Lyme and she is passionate about conserving our town’s environment and aquifer. Everyone on the East Lyme Democratic slate prioritizes issues that genuinely matter to our community and they embody the values of honesty, integrity, and transparency. I encourage all East Lyme residents to vote for Line A on November 7th.


Nick Menapace
Democratic Candidate for East Lyme Planning Commission