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Lyme Republicans lose finance board majority

Lyme — Republicans on Tuesday night lost their majority on the Board of Finance, which was at the center of a philosophical debate about how much money to keep in reserve for future open space purchases.

The election of Democrats Bob House and Alan Sheiness made for a tie on the six-member board. An alternate position went to Democrat Jim Miller. 

In a contentious move earlier this year, the Board of Finance lowered the open space reserve fund goal from $1 million to $500,000 despite vocal opposition at a remote public hearing. Open space advocates spoke about the town's demonstrated history of preserving open space and the continued importance of putting the town in a strong position to buy more property. Opponents argued the town should not be keeping that much taxpayer money in reserve.

In uncontested races, First Selectman Steven Mattson was elected to his third term alongside incumbent Democratic Selectman John Kiker and Republican David M. Lahm.

Elected to the Region 18 Board of Education was Democrat Anna James, the only candidate for the seat being vacated by fellow party member Stacey Leonardo. James will join Lyme's other representative on the school board, Republican Mary Powell-St. Louis.

Planning and Zoning Commission incumbents Phyllis Ross, a Democrat, and David Tiffany, a Republican, were returned to the commission without any competition. Alternate seats went to incumbent Democrat Mary Stone and unaffiliated candidate Frederick Gahagan, who ran on the Republican line. Democrat Anne Littlefield was the only candidate for the six-year alternate seat being vacated by Humphrey Tyler, also a Democrat.

Returning to the Zoning Board of Appeals with Lahm is Democrat Fred Harger, along with alternate Democrat Toni Phillips.

Seats on the Library board of directors went to Laura Mooney and incumbent Mary Stone, both Democrats.

e.regan@theday.com

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