To the Editor:
On November 7th, the voters in Old Lyme have to decide whom they trust as our next Tax Collector. With long time public servant Judy Tooker retiring, the town electorate is faced with a choice between a woman with an impeccable track record of ethical private sector and public service experience, and another woman with a questionable past with trust.
Suzanne Thompson, the Republican candidate, has a professional background in a Federal financial regulatory agency. She serves on the Old Lyme Board of Education. She has worked in the Old Lyme Tax Collector’s office as Assistant to the Tax Collector since early this year. This collective experience makes her extremely qualified to be our next Tax Collector.
Suzanne has also served as a volunteer member of the Old Lyme Solid Waste & Regulatory Committee and many other town organizations. She has an unblemished record of private and public sector service characterized by high ethical standards and the trust of the community of Old Lyme.
Conversely, the Democrat candidate, Bonnie Reemsnyder, has considerable unethical baggage on her record. In 2019, she was called to step down from the Connecticut Port Authority Board by Governor Ned Lamont. While on that Board, Ms. Reemsnyder’s daughter was paid $3,000.00 by the Port Authority for six (6) photographs hung in the Authority’s Old Saybrook office.
On July 30, 2019, the New London Day’s columnist David Collins wrote,“On Port Authority books, Reemsnyder payments appear to be disguised.”
Collins went on to state, “Of course it’s bad enough that the agency was buying anything from the daughter of a board member but it’s even more alarming that it was evidently done in a way so as not to disclose the payment on Port Authority’s books.”
What is more, this unethical behavior occurred when Ms. Reemsnyder was the Chairwoman of the Port Authority.
Governor Lamont was quoted in the Hartford Courant on July 24, 2019, as saying, “Chairwoman Reemsnyder’s actions are inappropriate and unacceptable given the importance of this board.” The Governor went on to call for her resignation.
Not only was this purchase a major conflict of interest, it was hidden in the Authority’s bookkeeping.
Reemsnyder’s actions represent the very antithesis of the trust one must have in a Tax Collector. It is disturbing that the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee would endorse such a candidate for this important position.
Ms. Thompson will start the Certificated Connecticut Municipal Tax Collector professionals (CCMC) program this fall, which is the State’s training services for municipal Tax Collector professionals. Suzanne is committed to maintaining our 99% tax collection rate while enhancing the tax payer’s experience with multiple payment options. She also has enhanced our tax collection IT capabilities.
You are encouraged to vote for Suzanne Thompson for Tax Collector because trust matters.