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    Op-Ed
    Saturday, July 20, 2024

    East Lyme zoning is ‘above board’

    It has just been brought to my attention by a Democrat friend of mine that I have been accused of desecrating the United States by saying that “elections are bull….” Unfortunately, this was written by a seriously disgruntled, recently resigned zoning board member while also criticizing three other board members.

    To set the record crystal clear for those of you who do not know me: Elections are the foundation of this country. I learned at an early age to never, ever let the American flag touch the ground. The words that were said to my accuser, Dr. Gary Pivo, during a private conversation at his request, were more like “There unfortunately is a lot of bull…. during elections.” He seemed to agree.

    It should be known that Dr. Pivo’s behavior during his three-month stay on the zoning board was seriously disturbing to the majority of the board members, town citizens, town staff and applicants. One example of this is: After bad-mouthing an application for zoning approval on the Murray Renshaw TV show, and then refusing to recuse himself from his position on the zoning board at the request of one of the best land use attorneys in the state, there remained a surprised board, applicant and members of the public. Had this application not been approved, his actions would have seriously hurt the town’s chances in an appeals court, thereby causing many thousands of tax dollars to be wasted on legal fees.

    Dr. Pivo has since resigned after leaving a board meeting, during which two of his proposals were outvoted.

    I have had the honor of serving on the zoning board since 1989 and am proud of the work the board has done, and have enjoyed working with all the past members, many with whom I remain good friends.

    Contrary to some election-time accusations of “backroom” decisions, I have never witnessed anything but “above board,” fair and legal behavior by a hard-working, proactive group. I can also say that I have never witnessed behavior as demonstrated by Dr. Pivo.

    I would be happy to discuss this, or the board’s thinking on justifying the reinstatement of Ann Thurlow as chair, with anyone personally and may be reached through the zoning office.

    Norman B. Peck III is a member of the East Lyme Zoning Board.

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