If you haven’t guessed, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is big on communication. In good times and in bad, in snow storms and during West Nile virus outbreaks, expect to hear directly from the governor.
“That’s what I do,” Malloy said today.
Malloy delivered live televised briefings at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. as a storm dumped record snowfalls Wednesday. He smiled when asked if he had made a “conscious effort” during the storm to be seen as in charge during his first week as governor.
“It’s exactly what I did for 14 years as mayor,” Malloy said, taking another turn at a lectern, this time outside his office at the State Capitol. “This is what you do. You inform people. You work with people. You keep them on board. You work through the media.”
Malloy said there is no substitute for directly communicating to the public during an emergency, whether the issue is a Nor’easter, a hurricane or an outbreak of West Nile virus, all things he experienced as mayor of Stamford.
“You can call it what you want,” Malloy said. “I think it is a contingent part of being a leader.”
Malloy began his televised briefings Tuesday at the Emergency Operations Center at the State Armory in Hartford. He said he believes the publicity clearly helped keep motorists off the road, allowing for a relatively quick and uneventful cleanup.
“I know sometimes you think I’m fooling you, but I also am very appreciative of the role the media played in getting the message out.,” Malloy told reporters. “I think it’s one of the reasons that people actually did stay home and didn’t venture out early yesterday morning.”
In some ways, Malloy has it easier as a governor than a mayor when it comes to snow clearance. Urban chief executives have parked cars and traffic impeding plows.
Before the storm, Malloy commiserated with New York City Michael Bloomberg about the criticism he faced after the previous storm. In Stamford, he was responsible for 331 miles of roads, which means at least 662 miles of plowing, once on each side.
Malloy said his office did get complaints about snow removal.
” ‘Too much snow.’ ‘You took too long.’ And then, of course, there is the old standby, ‘I just dug myself out of my driveway, and a truck came along and blocked my driveway,’ ” Malloy said.
Malloy said the state was exploring eligibility for federal aid because of the record nature of the snow, which he says dropped a low of 14 inches in Scotland and a high of 30 inches in North Haven, at least according to preliminary reports.