Sunday, July 21, 2024


A Civil Night Out for a Governor Defending a Tough Budget

By Mark Pazniokas

State employees objected to his demands for concessions. Taxpayers questioned his common sense, along with his $1.5 billion proposed tax increase. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s town hall meeting in Bridgeport went as expected tonight, with one exception. His standing-room audience was civil, if Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy faces a crowd tonight in Bridgeport. photo

His security detail was attentive. One plainclothes trooper moved toward a speaker who mentioned—jokingly, it seemed – he came prepared to throw something at Malloy. But the vibe of the room was laid back, even as Malloy acknowledged a case of nerves at the start.

“I have to admit to you I’m a little nervous,” said Malloy, who is conducting 16 more of the town hall-style public meetings through April, when he hopes the legislature will be through picking over this budget. “This is the first one.”

Occasionally sipping from a white ceramic mug, Malloy seemed fatigued standing at a lectern for hour in the City Hall Annex, facing a crowd that Mayor Bill Finch generously estimated at 500. He opened with a 20-minute introduction about his budget proposal that his audience seemed to tolerate more than it absorbed.

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