To the Editor:

To say I was surprised when I read the Advisory Board editorial in the May 19th edition of the Law Tribune entitled “An Honorable Ombudsman” is an understatement of major proportions. I thank you for praising my work and especially for mentioning my executive assistant, Maryann Boord, without whom the state Office of Ombudsman for Property Rights would not function nearly so well.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide more detailed information about two activities of the office, mediation and deciding compensation disputes in Superior Court. The latter responsibility was added by the legislature in the waning hours of the 2007 session and can be found at Connecticut General Statutes Section 8-132.

I met earlier this year with Chief Court Administrator Barbara Quinn and arranged for space and court personnel in the event of referrals of reviews of statements of compensation to me by the court. I am also engaged in mediating disputes between private property owners and public agencies with respect to compensation and relocation assistance. Guidelines and procedures governing requests for mediation can be read on the office’s web site www.ct.gov/pro.

I attempted to get legislation passed in the short session just adjourned, and although bills were raised in both the Planning and Development and Judiciary committees that would have provided relief to businesses forced to move and prohibitions against threatening the use of eminent domain in negotiations, they were not enacted.

I have asked the legislature to modify the laws dealing with municipal development projects to provide for closer judicial scrutiny of the eminent domain process. I’m hopeful the 2009 legislative session will be more productive.

Again, my thanks to Gov. M. Jodi Rell for offering me this extraordinary opportunity to serve as Connecticut’s first Ombudsman for Property Rights and for allowing me the freedom to create the office as I have done.

My thanks to the Law Tribune’s Advisory Board for simply taking note of the existence of the Office of Ombudsman for Property Rights and helping me to introduce some of its services to Connecticut’s esteemed bar.n

Robert S. Poliner

Ombudsman for Property Rights

Editor’s Note: The Advisory Board editorial, “An Honorable Ombudsman, in the May 19 edition of the Law Tribune contained an error. It incorrectly identified Maryann Boord as the “former private practice secretary” for Robert S. Polimer, the state Ombudsman for Property Rights. Mrs. Boord previously served as first selectman of the Town of Durham and Director of Boards and Commissions for Gov. M. Jodi Rell.