Danenhower on Voting No on Halls Road Overlay Plan, ‘Leave Politics Out of It”


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To the Editor:

This letter is in response to Sandra Rueb’s letter published on October 17, 2023, regarding the Zoning Commission vote on the Halls Road Improvement Committee’s overlay plan on March 27th 2023. Rather than state the reasons I gave on the record for my NO vote, she personally attacked me, and Michael Barnes the other NO vote in her first sentence by stating, “sometimes members promote their personal agendas” Quite an insinuation!  

Despite being an unaffiliated voter for decades, she calls me “nominally affiliated, but normally voting as Republican”. I serve as a volunteer and had absolutely no interest, personally or pecuniary in the outcome of the Halls Road Overlay Plan vote. My ONLY interest was to cast a vote in what I firmly believe was in the best interest of the town of Old Lyme. The town I grew up in and Love. It is a personal insult to “float” these innuendos.

I have sat on the Zoning Commission for dozens of meetings and rarely if ever have seen Ms. Rueb at the meetings.  She should also know the commission is made up of Democrat, Republican and unaffiliated members.

The overlay plan that was presented on the night of my NAY vote was seriously flawed. So flawed it came to the Zoning Commission with a NEGATIVE referral from the Planning Commission, not to mention major changes were considered right up to minutes before the vote.

The approval by the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance were NOT factors in the Zoning Commission vote because those two entities gave only a broad-brush approval. They were not involved in the details of the plan as the Planning Commission was. 

Regarding the 2020 survey: “80% of those responding to the survey conducted for the town are in favor”. In fact, the respondents numbered 700, (according to Ms. Twining, chairperson of the H.R.I.C.), meaning 560 were in favor; <8% of the population of Old Lyme. A stunted margin. Nobody knows what percentage of our community NOW supports or opposes the plan that was presented.

Lastly, Ms. Rueb asks the citizens of Old Lyme to vote for incumbent Paul Orzel who has been endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee. Mr. Orzel has been the longtime chairman of the commission and brings great knowledge. What she neglects to say is Mr. Orzel has also been cross endorsed by the Republican Town Committee. Why was this significant fact omitted?

Please Ms. Rueb, refrain from making erroneous and or misleading statements about my NO vote. And leave politics out of it.

Respectfully submitted,

Sloan Danenhower
Old Lyme

Danenhower is an Alternate on the Old Lyme Zoning Commission