Setting the Record Straight on East Lyme Zoning


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To the Editor:

And here we go again…..more misinformation from Nick Menapace.

RE: “Zoning Appointment Denies Accountability to East Lyme Voters,” (Letter, Oct. 5).

He claims there was something shady in how we voted to fill a vacancy on the Zoning Commission recently.  It is the obligation of the Zoning Commission members to fill any vacancies within 30 days of receiving a resignation.  Town Attorneys were contacted and the Commission was advised to fill the position according to Zoning Bylaws.  In Connecticut Law, there would not be enough time to place this newly vacated position on the ballot for the upcoming election. Both parties knew 2 weeks in advance of the vote to fill the vacancy. Both Mike Foley, a Republican and Nancy Kalal, who is already on the Democratic ballot this Tuesday for a Zoning position expressed interest.  The Commission voted 5-1 for Mike Foley, knowing Nancy may be voted in on Tuesday’s ballot.

The Zoning Commission is a nonpartisan commission. Sitting members have never cared who belongs to what party.  In 2015, the commission voted to fill Republican Marc Salerno’s seat with Bill Dwyer, a Democrat.  When Bill Dwyer was pressured to resign by his own party, his spot was filled with another Democrat, John Manning.  When Terry Donovan, a Democrat resigned, his spot was filled by Republican Dave Schmitt, who was nominated by a Democrat. The only people who have ever brought partisan politics to Zoning are Nick Menapace and a couple of his Democratic colleagues during this election cycle. His recent attempt at political theater was to speak during a portion of the meeting which he knew was not open for discussion on the evening’s agenda.   He showed a lack of respect for the commission and a complete lack of understanding for Zoning’s protocol, which has been in place for decades.  

Considering that Nick is running for the Planning Commission, one must wonder why his focus is not issues pertaining to Planning, rather than desperately seeking to undermine Zoning with endless misinformation and bold face lies.

Anne Thurlow
Zoning Commission