Jodi Rell Reflects On Six Years As CT Governor

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – On January 5, 2011, Jodi Rell leaves the Connecticut state capitol after about six years as governor.

WCBS 880’s Pat Carroll and Michael Wallace with Jodi Rell

Rell, a Republican, took over after Gov. John Rowland was forced to resign in a corruption scandal in 2004. He went to jail.

WCBS Newsradio 880’s Pat Carroll asked Rell what she is most proud of after six years in Hartford.

“You know, there are so many things and I know I could run through the list. Transportation, open space, legacy – you know, the things that we’ve done – education and the investments. But I have to tell you the one thing that I feel the best about was our ability to save the sub base in New London,” Rell said. “I will tell you when it was slated for the BRAC commission closure, I think all of us felt that it was just the most devastating news we could get and we worked so hard. I mean, we put a team together. I led the team. We made our case to the BRAC commission up in Boston and when they announced, in late August, that ‘You know, you made your case. You made it very well and we’re going to keep that base open.’ I think you could have peeled us all off the ceiling. We were so happy.”

Not only is the base staying open, but Rell, who is going to visit the base on Thursday, points out that she has signed a deal with the Navy to improve it.

Rell also pointed out that, “We are the first state in the nation, and others are looking at following suit, that actually will be making investments on the military base. I mean, that’s unheard of for the state to do that.”

Rell also spoke of the tough economic time we’re in, saying “It’s been a tough go these past couple of years. States all across the nation are facing difficult economic conditions. Many states – New York is a classic example – facing multi-billion-dollar deficits and, you know, it’s going to be some tough choices for the next governors, across the states, to decide how much cuts in spending they can do, how much in revenue they will have to raise. And so, I certainly can understand the turmoil, if you will, that all of us will be living through in the next several months.”

Things are not all doom and gloom though. Rell said, “There are some bright spots on the horizon and I tell people that. Just look at this holiday season. We’re seeing more shopping. So that translates into more sales tax. People are going back to work, though unemployment is still high. So that translates into income tax. So, all of these are positive signs that we’re seeing and, hopefully, hopefully, we’ll see a real turnaround in the economy in the next year.”

Dan Malloy, a Democrat, will be sworn-in on January 5.

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