So, why did General Electric really forsake Connecticut for Boston? At a forum at Yale University’s School of Management, a GE executive blamed the state’s transportation infrastructure as being more than inadequate – and Gov. Dannel Malloy, who was part of the forum’s panel, agreed.
According to a New Haven Register report on last night’s forum, Ann Klee, GE’s vice president for Boston development and operations, had nothing positive to say about Connecticut’s transportation environment. “The airports here suck,” said Klee. “Transportation is huge for us. We need to get to work, but we also need to get our people around the world … We need to be in a place where we could attract top talent. Our employees walk to work or take public transportation in Boston. That wouldn’t work in Connecticut.”
Klee received a nod of approval from Malloy, who claimed that Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway could be considered as “either a parking lot or a museum.” Malloy added that the highways were a “big drag on the state’s economy” while insisting that he was committed to improving the situation.
“Connecticut didn’t become the problem state that it is overnight,” he said. “And we’re not going to find a solution overnight. But if you deny progress as it’s being made, you discourage more from being attempted.”
But state House Republican Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby), who also participated in the forum, reminded the governor that the state’s coffers did not support his vision. “We don’t have the money,” Klarides said. “I wish we did. What we have to do is prioritize, just like people do their home budgets.”