Understanding Lyme’s Boards and Commissions

Introduction

The Town of Lyme’s form of local government enables the residents of our town to govern themselves directly, ensuring that residents maintain ultimate control over what happens in our town and to our town. 

Our residents govern themselves through their participation in:

  • The Plan of Conservation and Development survey – where our responses define the guiding principles and goals for our town boards and commissions to follow;
  • Municipal elections – where we choose the individuals to represent us on town boards and commissions; and
  • Town meetings – where all major decisions recommended by the boards and commissions are voted on by our residents.

Our control begins with the survey which the town conducts every 10 years to develop an updated Plan of Conservation and Development for local government to follow.  Once residents’ answers to the survey are analyzed and summarized, their wishes become the goals of the town’s boards and commissions.

All 19 of Lyme’s boards and commissions perform important functions on behalf of our residents – and our town could not operate as well as it does without the dozens of individuals who volunteer to serve on these boards to care for our town.  Four of these boards have a major impact on the town’s operations due to their ability to write and enforce regulations, or their responsibility for the town’s financial condition and budget. 


Board of Selectmen

The Board of Selectmen (BoS) is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the town and ensuring the town meets its financial obligations and goals – within the limits of the budget approved by the residents each May at the town meeting.  The BoS is responsible for preparing the annual budget for the Board of Finance to review and ultimately present to residents for approval.  The BoS also has the power to appoint residents to fill vacancies on most other town boards and commissions, should they become available between election cycles.

The residents of Lyme elect the three members of the BoS, who then serve for two-year terms. The current board members are:

  • Steven Mattson (D) – First Selectman
  • Parker Lord (R) – Second Selectman
  • John Kiker (D) – Third Selectman

Typically, the BoS meets the first and third Monday of each month at 3:30 p.m. at the Lyme Town Hall.  You can find the minutes of BoS meetings here.


Board of Finance

The Board of Finance (BoF) oversees and proposes the town’s budget and spending plan, and decides on the Mill rate that is used to compute the annual property tax.  The members of this board review the town’s progress in meeting financial goals and obligations; manage the independent auditor who monitors and reviews the town’s financial reporting; and work closely with the BoS in setting strategies for future expenditures.

The residents of Lyme elect the six members and three alternate members of the BoF, who then serve for five-year terms.  The current board members are:

  • Dan Hagan – Chairman (R)
  • David Brown, Sr. (R)
  • Judith H. Duran (D)
  • Peter S. Evankow (R)
  • Herbert Ross (D)
  • Kathryn Wayland (R) – Clerk

The alternate members, who serve in the event a board member is unable to attend a meeting, are:

  • Lori Caine (R)
  • Jarrod M. Leonardo (D)
  • Vacancy

The BoF meets on an as-needed basis throughout the year – usually on selected Tuesday evenings. You can find the minutes of BoF meetings here.


Planning & Zoning Commission

The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission writes and enforces the town’s zoning and subdivision regulations, which enable the town to maintain its identity as a beautiful, historic, sparsely developed municipality.   The commission also considers and reviews any special permit requests that residents may apply for, and makes a final decision whether or not to approve such requests.

The residents of Lyme elect the seven members of the P&Z Commission, who then serve for five-year terms.  The current board members are:

  • Ross C. Byrne (R) – Chairman
  • William T. Koch, Jr. (R)
  • Ann Rich (D)
  • Phyllis Ross (D)
  • David J. Tiffany (R)
  • Kelvin N. Tyler (R)
  • Hunter Ward (R)

Typically, the P&Z Commission meets the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Lyme Town Hall.  You can find the minutes of P&Z Commission meetings here.


Conservation Commission
(acting as the Inland Wetland and Watercourse Agency)

The Conservation Commission – acting as the Inland Wetland and Watercourse Agency – oversees all of the inland wetlands and watercourses in Lyme and determines what activities are allowed or prohibited along our streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.  The commission has the authority to write new regulations and to enforce existing regulations should violations be committed.

The seven members and two alternate members of this Commission are appointed by the Board of Selectmen, who then serve for two-year terms.  The current board members are:

  • Paul Armond (D) – Chairman
  • Patrick Crowley (R)
  • Beverly Crowther (D)
  • Roger Dill (R)
  • Priscilla Hammond (R)
  • Ben Kegley (R)
  • Thomas Reynolds (R)

The alternate members, who serve in the event a board member is unable to attend a meeting, are:

  • Susan Hessell (D)
  • Steven Kurlansky (R)

Typically, this Commission meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Lyme Town Hall.  You can find the minutes of this Commission meetings here.


Closing

If you’re interested in serving our town by volunteering for a board, committee or commission, please talk to:

  • one or more of the current members serving on the board that interests you;
  • one of our three town selectmen; or
  • the local Democratic or Republican Town Committee.