To the Editor:
In my letter of November 2 to LymeLine I asserted that Nancy Hutchinson’s letter of November 1, in which she argued that a Reemsnyder administration would mean excessive tax increases for Old Lyme, was based on misleading information. For example, I pointed out as incorrect her statement that “this year we face a 9.8% increase in Town expenditures,” when the actual increase in “Total Expenditures,” as stated in the Town’s budget, is 3.67%.
Mrs. Hutchinson again wrote to LymeLine on November 6 and claimed that her 9.8% statement was correct. It was not. As she admits in this letter, she was not referring to total town expenditures, but only the 28% of those expenditures for “Total General Government and Capital Outlay,” omitting the 72% of the budget going to our schools.
Taxes were the subject of Mrs. Hutchinson’s original letter. They are a function of the entire budget, not 28%. When Mrs. Hutchinson referred to “a 9.8% increase in Town expenditures,” she made no mention of the fact that she was talking about only a fraction of those expenditures. The reader was therefore led to believe that the entire town budget went up 9.8% and, therefore, that taxes would likely rise in a similar amount. She cannot credibly claim that the phrase “Town expenditures” is the same as “Total General Government and Capital Outlay.” Her 9.8% phrase as written was not accurate and the message it conveyed was clearly misleading.
Bennett J. Bernblum,
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Old Lyme Board of Finance, the Democratic Town Committee, and the Halls Road Improvement Committee.