Jeff Lloyd Interview:
This is file 42, cycle 2. Today’s date is September 10, 2016. This is Jean McMillen. I am interviewing Jeff Lloyd. He is going to talk about a lot of things including his recollections of the Grove, starting the Jane Lloyd Fund, the Salisbury Board of Education, and the Zoning board of Appeals and anything else that tickles his fancy. First we’ll start with the genealogical information.
JM:What is your name?
JL:My name is Jeffery A. Lloyd.
JM:When were you born?
JL:I was born on September 14, 1960.
JL:I was born in Port Chester, New York.
JM:Your parents’ names?
JL:Jack w. Lloyd and Anne Knowlton Lloyd.
JM:How did you get from Port Chester to Lakeville?
JL:My father was practicing physical therapy somewhere in New York City. There were three of us at the time and we were living in Harrison, New York. My father got an offer to be Head of the Physical Therapy Department at Sharon Hospital. My grandparents owned the Woodland at the time; they used to summer at silver Lake and that is how they got to know the area. They used to come up from Jackson heights, New York, Brooklyn.
JM:What were your grandparents’ names?
JL:Donald and Katherine Knowlton.
JM:Oh that goes back a long way.
JL:Yes they bought the Woodland in 1955.
JM:I know you have siblings.
JM:Would you please name them?
JL:I had a brother Steven Lloyd who is deceased. I have an older sister Susan Lloyd. I have a younger sister Jane Lloyd who is deceased. I have a younger brother and sister who are twins, Billie and Donna.
JM:What was your education after high school?2.
JL:2 years of college
JM:You said it was Southern Connecticut State?
JM:What do you remember about the Grove because you grew up here in Lakeville?
JL:The Grove was our Utopia, if you would. We lived there. That was my mother’s babysitter. She would go off to work and we would all hang out down at the Grove. We sort of watched each other; it wasn’t a time in the world where you had to have to have a parent watching everything you do. You just dropped the kids off. It was fine back then. The kids just went to the Grove and that’s where everybody looked out for each other. Frank Markey, Fred Romeo, and Harold Brien they all pitched in and looked after all the kids. It was fun.
JM:Were there any sock hops at the Grove building.
JL:Yes there were hops during the school year.
JM:Tell me about the Jane Lloyd fund. Where did the idea come from?
JL:The Jane Lloyd Fund came about when my sister was ill; she was on her death bed and there was nothing that we could do for her. So I came up with something that would insure that she was not forgotten. I decided and spoke to my sister-in-law at the time and said that it would be great if we could do a fund that would help families out the way the community helped my sister out. What we do is we take care of the daily living expenses so if there is no money coming in, at least they can pay their bills and stay in their house.
JM:Is it for one specific disease?
JL:Yes it is for cancer.
JM:is it just breast cancer or…
JL:Cancer in general, any family that is living with cancer.
JM:What are some of the events that you have?
JL:The main thing that we do and one of the people that helped me start this was Tanya Tedder. She does the clambake every year. That is the major fund raiser.
JM:Is it a real old fashioned clambake?
JL:Yeah, it is like a New England clambake where you are out at the beach. You do the pit, the rocks, the seaweed and the tarps; things like that.
JM:When is that generally held?3.
JL:that is usually at the end of July, the last weekend of July.
JM:You have raised a lot of money?
JL:Yes. We have raised a lot of money.
JM:With the Bissell fund, and the Family Services and the Jane Lloyd fund we have a lot of things to take care our community.
JL:The Jane Lloyd Fund does not just include Salisbury. It includes all of Region #1. We go to all the towns in the Region #1 area. We take care of everybody.
JM:Marvelous. How long has that been going on?
JL:It will be 12 years if I am not mistaken.
JM:Shall we go on to the Salisbury Central boards of Education. When did you run for the office?
JL:It would have been about 9 years ago which is 2007.
JM:Why did you want to be on the school board?
JL:I think what happed was that I got a little irritated by the empty school buses. I think what precipitated it was one morning I was coming from Salisbury to Lakeville; I was at the traffic light. A parent was in such a hurry to get their kid to school because they were late; this one person did a left hand turn at the signal coming from Lakeville to Salisbury. That turn signal is delayed; then it goes yellow. The people from Salisbury get a green light and they keep going. What happened was this one woman was in such a hurry that she followed a car across the lane, but on the side which I could not see. She was blind to me as she was next to the car going up the hill. I almost hit her. I got really upset with that. The child was on my side. So I went to the school principal and said, “There has got to be something done here. Something has to happen or somebody is going to get hurt. There is just too much traffic to make people rush to school. I just don’t understand why people don’t get on the bus.” Well you can’t tell a parent that you have to put their kid on the bus. You cannot tell a parent what to do with their kid. Then I got a phone call from Roger Rawlings saying that there was an opening coming up because one of the board members went to be on the Board of Selectmen. They cannot be on both boards. “We have a vacancy, would you like to come and fill it?” That is how I got on the school board.
JM:Is there a term of office?
JL:4 year term.
JM:How many terms can you have in succession?
JM:How many people are on the board?4.
JL:there are 7.
JM:Do you have children in the system?
JM:Is it a mixture of community individuals like yourself and parents?
JL:I think the majority are parents.
JM:When do you meet and where do you meet?
JL:We meet on the last Monday of the month and it is at the school library. That may change because they made a Maker’s Space in the library which took up our little area so I am not quite sure where we are going to be meeting.
JM:Library in the lower building?
JM:Both buildings have changed so much.
JL:Oh yes I think the Lower School has more changes. I am so disappointed with what6 they did. It was such a fun building when I was there.
JM;Tell me about the Lower Building when you were there.
JL:I think the best part of the Lower Building was the old gym where we used to have the Friday might movies. Bob Kofsuski would put the Friday night movies; the AVA was the group of kids that got together to show the movies. It was great because it was almost like a professional movie theater because we had two projectors side by side. We would look through the little window and wait for the little dot in the upper corner. We knew when we saw the second dot we had to change projectors. It was set up; it was really cool because everybody got an idea who was part of the AVA and got an idea what it was like to be a real projectionist. It was fun. Bob Kofsuski was the projectionist at the Millerton Movie House and few other places.
JM:Fred Romeo sort of monitored.
JL:Yes, he was the monitor.
JM:Now that you are on the school board, what specific job do you do?
JL:Yeah, I am the chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
JM:That entails what?
JL:It entails the upkeep of the buildings and the grounds. We go over what we need to do for summer projects, because summer is really the only time where we can even do any real maintenance on the school. We have two months. We do not want to disturb the kids during their school time. We review contracts for snow plowing, and for mowing in the summer. We make a list of projects for the summer. Then there are things like school improvements paving, furnaces, that type of thing.
JM:You have two buildings, how much acreage do you have?
JL:I am not quite sure how many acres, but quite a few. It is probably one of the bigger campuses in the region for a grammar school.
JM:I would think so. How much of a time commitment is your job?
JL:As I say we meet every last Monday of the month for the year. Those meetings sometimes go for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Then it is usually every Thursday morning we meet for 1 to 1 ½ hours of the Building and Grounds Committee because we do have a project coming up next summer that is going to be major repair works, paving and things like that.
JM:Do you have to have any special training for the school board or is it just your work experience through life?
JL:There are CABE meetings; I have never really been to one. I don’t have the time to break away from work. I think it is just life experience.
JM:With what you are doing, that makes sense.
JHL:From what my contribution is to the board, it is more work experience. Sometimes I am in the dark a little bit with all the policies because I don’t have a kid in the school so I don’t have the experience that my child is doing such and such as to what this program does or that program does. I feel strongly about something I do speak up why do we do this? Or why do we do that? I don’t have the hands on day to day living experience as I would if I had a child in the system, knowing that this program is affecting my child this way.
JM: Maybe it is good to have an unbiased opinion for that.
JL:Right I feel that I sort of represent the people that don’t have children in the system. The thing is I live here in town so I hear “Why do they have to have this? Or why do they have to have that? They never had that when I was in school.” Education has changed tremendously. The unfunded mandates that the state puts on us is tremendous and we have to follow them. You have to have a bus that holds 42 kids or you have to have a bus big enough to take every child home on that bus route even though they do not take the bus, even if they never set foot on the bus. I learned that as it is a state mandate.
JM:Lisa Carter I am assuming is on the school board. Who was the principal before her?
JL:Chris Butwell. He was there for a short period on time.6.
JM:He took my job when I retired in 1991. Then he came back again as a principal. Is Lisa pro-education, pro-building improvement?
JL:Oh God yes. She is. That woman spends more time at that school than you could believe. It is her life. She has really taken a big interest in the grounds; she wants to bring the classrooms back into the 21st century. Some of those classrooms have never been touched since the day they were built. The cupboards are still the same with those little sliding doors. The custodians do the best they can, but there is probably dust that has been there since 1955.
JM:It is precious dirt; I was in a lot of those classrooms. Education has changed. I have been out 26 years and it has changed a tremendous amount. The basics are still there. You still try to nurture a child and work to their strengths and improve their weaknesses. They all have weaknesses. That has not changed. The presentation, the technology has changed.
JL:The other thing is that post Sandy Hook, the school has changed in the security aspect. We have had to coat the windows with a special coating so that they can’t be broken into if there is an intruder. We have had to take vegetation out around the buildings so they can’t hide. There are cameras everywhere. The glass on the inside where the doors are going in is all reflective glass so that people can’t look in, but the teachers can look out. It has changed tremendously post Sandy Hook as far as security at the school goes. You have to check in; you have to be buzzed in through the front door. There is just no walking in to the school any more.
JM:I know. The first time that I went up and I was looking at this buzzer and this black button and what do I do? A parent came along and showed me what to do. I went to the front desk and said to Patty Stevens, “I used to work here!”
JL:She’ll say that I work here and I still have to do this.
JM:I was doing a program with somebody and we had to have a name tag. So I started putting in MRS. The lady with me said, “No your first name.” My first name is Mrs.! Nobody is going to call me by my first name. Anything you would like to add about the school board before we go on to the Zoning Board of Appeals?
JL:I don’t think so.
JM:When did you run for the Zoning Board of Appeals?
JL:15 years ago, 2001.
JL:I think somebody just asked me if I wanted to be on the Zoning Boards of Appeals. Sure why not? I can check it out and see what it is like.
JM:How many are on the board?7.
JL:There are 5 with 3 alternates.
JM:When do you meet and where do you meet?
JL:We meet the first Tuesday of the month at 5:00 at the Town Hall. Our public hearings are at 5:30.
JM:Term of office?
JL:It is a 4 year term.
JM:How many terms can you serve consecutively?
JL:You can serve as many terms as you like. The board chair is only a 4 year term and then they have to step down for at least a year.
JM:Who is the board chairman?
JL:Right now it is Rick DelPrete.
JM:What is the purpose of the Zoning Board of Appeals?
JL:The Zoning Board of Appeals is to help people who have been grieved by the zoning regulations. If they wanted to put an addition on their house and the Zoning Enforcement Officer says, “No you can’t do it.” It is a way for you to see if you can get a variance. To get a variance you have to show hardship because of the zoning regulations causes you a hardship. A hardship cannot be self-made or financial.
JM:Are there other specific grievance stipulations?
JL:No those 2 are usually it. Most of the time it is a special characteristic of your property that you would get a variance for
JM:You gave me the example of the Daffodil House. Would you tell about that?
JL:The Daffodil House has the town road which goes to the side of it, makes a right hand turn and goes to the front of the house. They wanted to put a detached garage on the property. But where is the front of the house? It was determined that the front of the house was where the front door was. So that would place the garage by the house because of the configuration of the road out around the property.
JM:For the Zoning board of Appeals do you have to have specific training or again life experience?
JL:There are some workshops, but it is mainly what we do is interpret the zoning regulations.
JM:Who makes the zoning regulations?
JL:The zoning regulations are made by the Planning & Zoning Board.
JM:So you are separate?8.
JL:We are separate.
JM:Now if I have got this right. P&Z make the regulations. If somebody comes to you, you interpret the regulations so that people don’t have a hardship either done by themselves or financially.
JL:Right. If the party is grieved by the zoning regulations, they come to us. What it is is a decision by the Zoning enforcement Officer that they come to us. If the Zoning enforcement Officer says no, you have a chance to appeal her decision.
JM:Is she on the P&Z.
JM:She is separate?
JL:She is separate; she worked for the PZC, the Planning Zoning Commission; she is their enforcement officer. So she is not a voting member of the P&Z. She is an administrator to the Planning & Zoning Commission. If you have a grievance with the P&Z Commission, you do not come to us you go to Litchfield, to the court in Litchfield. That is where the whole Lime Rock PZC is coming in now; that is all Litchfield.
JM:Time Commitment? Is it a large amount of time?
JL:It depends. It has in the past: it has been very contentious sometimes because of some of the things that have gone on in town like projects being stopped in the middle because of lack of oversight. In the 15 years there have been 4 properties that have building put up and they should not have been built. 2 of them just recently have had to alter the foundation after the house was framed up. 2 of them got really contentious through personalities, lawyers and other things. We were the ones in the middle. It is not fun. Plus it costs the taxpayers thousands of dollars in lawyers’ fees.
JM:You said something about a Poland report. Tell me about that.
JL:The Poland Report came after a house had a second story added when it was not supposed to be because of the non-conforming building. The regulations clearly said that you were not allowed to expand any non-conforming building in any way including up. But there was an issue with somebody saying it is OK to do that, but the regulation was never changed. The lawyer that we were using before that case, we started talking about having somebody come in and analyze our zoning regulations. So we had Don Poland come in and he went through our zoning regulations. It took a month or so; he went through them to analyze them. He wrote a report and we presented it to the town.
JM:How much did that cost?
JL:I don’t remember.
JM:But it was significant money?
JL:Yes it was. He more or less said that people will not buy property in a town with weak zoning regulations and enforcement because it does not protect them or the property. People think zoning prevents them from doing things on their property, but what it does is to prevent your neighbor from doing things on their property that would affect you. Has the recommendations had been taken seriously? I don’t think so because we have had 2 buildings that we have had to alter after the fact at the owner’s expense.
JL:In your situation with a conforming house in a sub division, with 1 ¼ acre of property that was accepted by the town. In a sub division you can’t put any more houses than were accepted.
JM:We can’t add any more houses. The Poland Report was made but has not been implemented.
JL:I should say fairly two things 1. The regulations were rewritten, they were gone through, they had a person come in and rewrite them. 2. I think it is the enforcementpart that is the problem.
JM:So they are not equitably enforced?
JL:Right I did a project in Greenwich, Ct. last summer there were 8 surveys that had to be done in order for you to build your pool and pool house. You got a zoning permit; you had to have a surveyor come out and plot the building as per the accepted site on the land. They dug the foundations; the surveyor came back out and plotted the footings as per the accepted plan. Then the foundation was done, the surveyor came back out. They did another survey where the foundation is as a point on the accepted plan. Then the Zoning Enforcement Officer signs off on that and then you get your building permit. You cannot build this particular structure until you have a proper foundation exactly where it is on the accepted plan. That does not happen here. I can see in some places if you are in the middle of a field you would not have to worry about that, but when you have places like on the lake where it seems to be where all the issues are happening. The 4 projects have been on Lakeville Lake.
JM: Is there anything else that you would like to say about the Zoning Board of Appeals before we close?
JL:I don’t think so.
JM:Anything in general you would like to add?
JL:It has been a great town to live in! It has been a great place to grow up and a lot of people like me end up coming back.
JM:That is nice. Thank you so much.
JL:You are welcome.