Letters to the Editor

​Nickerson is right person for the job of East Lyme CEO

Published October 22. 2019 5:27PM 

There is no better community to raise a family in than East Lyme and I enjoy giving back to this wonderful town.

Twenty years ago, when I was chairman of the Zoning Commission, a young Mark Nickerson showed similar dedication and volunteered to serve as a commission member. When I resigned due to a family medical emergency, Mark accepted the challenge to become chairman and guided the group through many difficult proposals and applications. He later chose to increase his responsibilities in town and ran for the Board of Selectmen and soon was appointed deputy first selectman by Paul Formica.

Across these years Mark has guided our town department interrelationships as first slectman to provide top quality and efficient services while maintaining his love for East Lyme.

I now chair the Board of Finance and I routinely see Mark’s mature level-handed approach managing our town’s fiscal obligations as only someone with broad experience could do, which is why I’m asking you to help me re-elect him as our first selectman. We need him to continue his role as East Lyme’s top executive. He is the right person for the job.

Bill Weber
(Chaiman of the Board of Finance)
East Lyme

​Nickerson has made East Lyme better

Published in THE DAY October 25. 2019 5:39PM 

I may be a registered Democrat, but our support has been behind Paul Formica and Mark Nickerson since my fiancé and I moved to East Lyme in 2012. Paul actually came out to our residence in 2013 to see how bad the mosquito situation was when he was our first selectman. More recently, Mark has become the driving force for the people of our beautiful town and community.

Mark, your dedication to East Lyme is seen everywhere. The facilities at Cini Park, the beautiful new park downtown where we have a brick, the addition of the bandshell to McCook’s, and the fact your door is always open to those who have a concern or just wish to meet with you about making East Lyme even better.

From the newly created Traffic Advisory Council seeking to make our town safer from disrespectful drivers, to the wonderful community connection to create only the second Miracle League Park in the state. We are blessed to live in this town, and most grateful for all you and your team accomplishes to make this the family oriented town it is to many residents. You have our vote this coming Nov. 5.

Lee Edwards

East Lyme​

Architect Bill Silvers, principal of Silver/Petrocelli addresses the Board of Selectmen on October 16th to set the record straight about the process of designing our new Public Safety Building.  "This is a long complicated process, and report of being 'over budget' were pre-mature, sensational, and completely taken out of context."

Watch the full presentation here. >>>>>>>

A leader for East Lyme in tough times

Published October 22. 2019 5:27PM 

East Lyme is a wonderful community. As the former town clerk of East Lyme, a position I was grateful to serve in for 45 years as the assistant and then town clerk, I know firsthand the hard work and dedication of the many citizens who volunteer on behalf of our town. In addition, we have been fortunate to have elected great leaders who have helped to make East Lyme such a wonderful place.

Mark Nickerson is one of those great leaders. He has been involved in our town for 20 years and I know that his heart in in the right place. Mark puts the people of East Lyme ahead of politics, paying it forward to the next generation. He inspires and encourages our town’s department heads and staff to be the best they can be. Mark is a true leader.

These are tough times in Connecticut, and they will be for the next several years. The state is not in a good place and the pressures put on small towns are immense. Only Mark Nickerson has the experience and leadership necessary to see us through.

Mark and his team have my full support on Nov. 5. Please consider a vote for the Nickerson Team.

Esther B. Williams



East Lyme Republican

A smart solution to address East Lyme’s police station problem
Published February 17. 2019 12:01AM 

The Day Editorial

There should be no debate that East Lyme needs a new police station. Built in 1930, it was originally a storage and operations center for electric utility crews, later repurposed as a science center in conjunction with nearby Millstone Power Station. It was adapted as a “temporary” police station 14 years ago.

It is too small for the town’s 23 full-time officers. The makeshift organization of the building does not meet the operational and security standards for a 21st century police station. Officers must transfer evidence to the Waterford police facility for safe keeping, wasting time. And that space is limited.

Because of space constraints, dispatch operations are housed elsewhere.

The station has serious maintenance issues, with water frequently leaking from the roof and seeping up through the foundation, soaking floors and creating mold concerns. When a department has to have a file cabinet on a dolly in the sergeants’ office, ready to be wheeled to a dry spot when the floods come, you know the situation has reached the point of intolerable.

It would make no sense to sink good money after bad to renovate this tired old structure. There is also the fact that it is within the 2-mile Millstone nuclear plant evacuation zone. Dominion, owner of Millstone, rents the town the structure for a token $1 and would transfer ownership if it closes. The .7-acre property has resale value for the town, given its prime location on busy Main Street in the village of Niantic.

So it makes all the sense in the world to close the station, use available state brownfield grants to clean up any pollutants and sell.

But where do the police go? The administration of First Selectman Mark Nickerson has come up with a solid, if not perfect, answer to that question. Voters have a chance to provide their stamp of approval in a referendum Wednesday.

The plan is to purchase and convert the soon to be vacant Honeywell office building at 277 West Main St., just west of the entrance to Rocky Neck State Park and near the border with Old Lyme.

If voters approve the $5 million bond referendum question, East Lyme would pay $2,775,000 for the 30-year-old, 30,000-square-foot structure, leaving $2,225,000 to carry out the renovations to convert it to a public safety facility.

Building a new police station would cost approximately $12 million.

About 20,000 square feet of the Honeywell building would be used for public safety operations, allowing the town to consolidate the town’s dispatch center, emergency operations and the fire marshal’s office together with police.

There is ample space for a large evidence room, proper arms and ammo storage, and for officer meeting space and training. A basement warehouse has a large garage door entrance, providing a near readymade sally port, meaning a secure area to bring people arrested in for processing.

Engineers have found the building in good shape with a 50-plus years useful life expectation. The 10,000-square-feet not needed for the police station would be available for other town space needs. The 17-acre parcel provides ample space for the proper impoundment of vehicles, which is not the case in the current location, and potentially for storage of school buses, said Nickerson.

Currently, holding cells are not in the budget, but could be added later. In the meantime, the Waterford station would continue to be utilized for lockups.
Is the location ideal? The answer is no and yes.
The answer is no, because it is not centrally located to serve East Lyme. But it does have quick access to Interstate 95, which means quick access to most of town. In any event, most officers are dispatched from their patrol points to a crime or accident scene, not directly from the station.
The answer could be yes, however, if preliminary talks with Old Lyme about merging into a single police force become reality.
This is a smart and economical approach to a problem that desperately needs addressing. We recommend voters cast a “yes” vote in Wednesday’s referendum.

Thank you for your support Bill and for your service to our town!!


You've been there every step of the way.  Thank you Rita for your support.

Making East Lyme roads safer the grassroots way
Published August 09. 2019 4:28PM 

By The Day Editorial Board   

In East Lyme they have a pretty good idea of what does not work to calm traffic — random stop signs, speed bumps — but also a notion of what might make all the difference: empaneling representatives from various neighborhoods to develop a public safety awareness campaign.

The first principle of grassroots problem solving applies: The more concerned citizens involved in resolving an issue, the more buy-in the solutions will get.

Many residents have reacted with distress to an accident in early July in which a 78-year-old man was struck and seriously injured while walking near the vehicle exit road of his condominium complex. First Selectman Mark Nickerson, after hearing their concerns at an informal meeting, announced a consensus that a safe driving campaign overseen by a special advisory panel could help town officials and police.

Help is definitely needed. A sprawling town of neighborhood clusters linked by so-called "collector roads," East Lyme has many examples of the get-from-here-to-there dynamic in which drivers on a mission behave as though on a launchpad. On residential streets and inside condo developments and beach communities, that's an entirely different mindset than the pedestrians and cyclists are expecting. Neighborhoods in town tend to have no sidewalks and narrow streets. It's a poor and risky combination.

Nickerson is right to say that every town struggles with speeders, stop sign ignorers and impatient drivers, but East Lyme is bringing a genuinely New England, grassroots attitude to tackling the problem within its boundaries. That is wise and welcome. That said, officials know, and panel members will have to work with, the layers of government that affect traffic control. The town has many miles of state roadway — routes 1, 156 and 161 form the basic grid of crosstown connections — where state highway department rules will prevail, and there are federal highway standards as well.

An energetic and organized group of citizens can do much to reduce the dangers and, if that's what it takes, embarrass drivers into driving the way they had to in order to pass the operator's license test. Public awareness is the part of the mission that they can do best. The job will include trying to reach the thousands of seasonal residents and visitors who drive on town roads for just a few weeks each year, and showing them how it's done in East Lyme. We wish the panel great success, because even one avoidable accident is too many.

Again elect the best, vote Nickerson team in East Lyme

Published October 20. 2019 12:01AM 

The election in East Lyme this year is simple. We as a community have elected the best in the past for a reason. Our leaders have served us well. They have proven it in all they have done.

First Selectman Mark Nickerson and his Republican team have given us a town to be proud of. We need to let them continue to do their job.

So, when you cast your ballot Nov. 5, all you have to do is select the best again. Vote for the Nickerson team to preserve the progress we have made and continue to move the town forward.

Rita Palazzo

East Lyme

There is no one who is more respected in our town than you Esther.  Your support and guidance along the way means the world to me.  Thank you!