Old Lyme deserves competent leadership, Democrats will bring about the change we need

For the publisher:

Tim Griswold, the current First Selectman at Old Lyme, is not responding to the town’s concerns. Griswold’s years of inaction during the Black Hall Pond flood and months of inaction during the Tantummaheag Landing conflict contributed to anger and division within the community.

Additionally, Griswold allowed Old Lyme’s cyberattack insurance to expire. Griswold’s failure meant that if Old Lyme were attacked, the city would have to pay substantial costs. For a city that spends a lot of time worrying about per mile rates, this fiscal irresponsibility is inexcusable.

Griswold also seems to live by different rules than the rest of us. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and masks are mandatory at the town hall. The mask requirement is clearly and prominently on the home page of the city’s website.

Despite this clearly stated requirement, Griswold did not wear a mask during recent public meetings. The rules apply to all of us, and this city deserves leadership that does not ignore the rules by which the rest of us must live.

Griswold’s position on the resolution on racism as a public health crisis is inconsistent. Griswold’s position – which is supported by the second Republican selectman – appears to be that Old Lyme as a town doesn’t even need to discuss the impacts of race. This position is absurd at first glance and ignores the reality that Old Lyme does not exist in a bubble. We cannot cover our ears and shout out points of view that make us uncomfortable. We need leadership that models adult behavior. Griswold has failed to lead, and his Republican running mates seem to be fine with that.

An example of what Republican race leadership looks like can be seen in this public comment made by a school board candidate on the Republican list. This comment was left in an editorial on racism as a public health issue:

“While the members of the Congregation are distracted by resolutions created by Marxist terrorists that have nothing to do with the laws of our city, a big and real problem of sex trafficking is alive and well in the country that represents the most child pornography in the world. . “

Republican candidates could correct or reject extremist views, but that did not happen. Instead, Republicans doubled down and tried to argue that public statements shouldn’t be relevant.

We need leaders who can speak coherently about race, who live by the same rules as the rest of us, and who respond to the needs of the city. We need leaders to listen and learn from criticism. Based on public actions and statements by Republican and Democratic candidates, we have an important choice to make. Old Lyme deserves capable leadership, and Democrats will make the change we need.

William Fitzgerald
Old Lyme, Connecticut

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