Malloy hears gripes about CL&P

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy shakes hands as he arrives at the Griswold Town Hall to meet meet with local town officials and concerned citizens regarding restoration of services after Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday. Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony Jr. is at right.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy shakes hands as he arrives at the Griswold Town Hall to meet meet with local town officials and concerned citizens regarding restoration of services after Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday. Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony Jr. is at right. Tim Martin/The Day Buy Photo

With a cup of coffee in hand, Dave Krucek was one of the first to arrive in the parking lot Sunday morning in front of the Montville Town Hall.

Krucek chatted with a couple other residents and Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz at 9:30 a.m. They watched a relatively small group multiply into more than 30 as 10 a.m. approached.

Everyone was there for a meeting with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who traveled to Montville, Griswold and Sterling Sunday to listen to the concerns and suggestions of residents in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

For Krucek, a resident of Montville Manor, communication - or rather, the lack of it - was one large criticism that he had of Connecticut Light and Power's response to the storm.

Other residents in Montville and Griswold shared similar arguments and spent the better part of separate 30-minute sessions with the governor sharing their personal accounts of days without power and the frustration that accompanied their ordeals.

"People would have been less aggressive with CL&P if they explained their course of action," said Krucek, whose power was restored at 5 a.m. Saturday. "You track the outage map (online) and at one point the whole 2nd District was 60 to 100 percent without power."

In his stops in Montville and Griswold, Malloy started by spending a few minutes talking about the storm and its impact.

Flanked by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, and other lawmakers in both stops, he pointed to the increasing number of trees in the state and said that tree trimming and tree maintenance would have to be emphasized moving forward.

Wayne Myers, of Moxley Road in Montville, was the first resident to address the governor in Montville. He complimented the town's response to the storm, but he had a different message for CL&P.

"CL&P's senior executives' response to this was abysmal," Myers said. "They should have to pay the price for it. There should be hearings on this and I hear there's going to be. What they did was unethical and it bordered on criminal to leave public safety at risk because of money."

Jaskiewicz suggested that in the future, he would prefer to have a CL&P liaison and officials from the town's public works, police and fire departments all in the same place. He said that would have made clearing roads of downed trees and power lines a quicker process.

Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony Jr. said that it was the right decision to have a CL&P liaison embedded at Town Hall to answer questions. He pointed out that as bad as the past week was, it could have been worse. Griswold was scheduled to have 99 percent power by the end of Sunday, a CL&P liaison told Anthony.

In Griswold, Paul Madonna, the husband of third selectman Theresa I. Madonna, asked what the governor would do to prevent massive power outages from occurring in a future catastrophic event.

It was a question that Malloy was asked throughout the day.

"It seems to me that once all the hard work is over, we have the hard work of analyzing," Malloy said. "And then we're going to have to change behaviors and have an honest discussion, which will be difficult for a lot of people."

jeff.johnson@theday.com

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