Ledyard mayor seeking re-election

Ledyard — Mayor Fred Allyn III said he isn't a career politician, but he at least wants a full term in office to finish what he's started.

Allyn, a Republican endorsed by the Republican Town Committee last week, will be seeking re-election in November. A former member of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission and Town Council, he was appointed as interim mayor in the spring of 2017 after the departure of Mike Finkelstein, now chief of the East Lyme Police Department.

According to town charter, a mayor appointed mid-term has to run for re-election on the ballot during the next municipal election in order to finish out the term; Allyn said his appointment was the first time the town had to use the rule. Since Finkelstein's term would have ended this year, Allyn ran unopposed in November 2017 for a two-year term.

Allyn said he has enjoyed serving the town as mayor, and he said his experience on other town boards was instrumental in learning how municipal governments function. He said he was most proud of working to make the town government more lean and efficient, as well as reducing the town's role as a landlord.

He cited the successful sales and reuses of the former Gales Ferry School on Hurlbutt Road and Ledyard Police Department building on Lorenz Parkway as examples of ways a town can turn surplus public property from a maintenance liability to a source of tax income. He said he was looking forward to seeing the Ledyard Center School sale follow suit.

As a brand new mayor, Allyn also led the town through state budget uncertainties in 2017, saying he went "from the fire into the kiln" in dealing with major cuts. Through staff furloughs, spending freezes and restructuring of the town's two library branches, a move he said worked out better for everyone in the end, the town was able to weather the cuts and send out the smallest allotted supplemental tax bill to residents last year.

If re-elected, Allyn said he wants to continue focusing on economic development, especially the Ledyard Center School development and town green projects, as well as town efficiency. He said the food pantry was another example of a way the town can relinquish control of services that can be better provided elsewhere; thanks to the partnership with Ledyard Congregational Church, the pantry is now open on evenings and weekends, rather than Town Hall hours, to better serve working families.

a.hutchinson@theday.com

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