AP NEWS

Lamont Names Two Men To Build His Cabinet

November 19, 2018

HARTFORD — Governor-elect Ned Lamont hasn’t hired anyone to his administration, but on Monday he announced two more members of his transition team, who will be responsible for vetting the people he hires.

Lamont announced that Kevin Myatt, senior vice president of human resources for Yale-New Haven Hospital, and John Denson, a senior client partner at Korn Ferry in Stamford, will be going over the resumes submitted through LamontTransition.org.

Lamont said he knows how important hiring the right people was in his private life.

“I was a sociology major and I was building telecommunication systems,” Lamont said. “I had to have really good people who complimented my skills.”

Lamont founded Lamont Digital Systems back in 1980. He sold the company before announcing his run for governor.

Lamont said he’s looking for Myatt and Denson to vet the resumes they receive, but also to recruit talent.

Lamont is responsible for hiring commissioners and deputy commissioners in some cases, which means he will directly be hiring a over 100 people before January.

Lieutenant Governor-elect Susan Bysiewicz said she didn’t know exactly how many hires they will need to make, but “expect one person to lead each commission.”

“I want the best and the brightest to be our commissioners,” Lamont said. “That’s for darn sure.”

He said he’s going to set an example by not taking a salary or benefits, but he can’t ask his commissioners to do the same.

“I don’t think the salaries will be an issue for getting top talent,” Bysiewicz said.

She said they’ve already heard from people who love the state and want to serve.

Lamont said they have meetings with all the commissioners and plan to get an update from them on their priorities for their state agencies, “but I am looking for a fresh start.”

He said he’s likely going to keep some agency heads.

Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz, Department of Corrections Commissioner Scott Semple, and Emergency Management and Public Safety Commissioner Dora Schriro have already announced their departure from state service.

Policy Progress?

Lamont said he’s facing a $75 billion structural budget deficit that he’s going to have to work through.

He declined to offer many details about how he plans to charge his transition team when it comes to creating budget police.

He said he feels like he was clear on the campaign trail when he talked about the “big buckets” of the state budget “where we need to make changes.”

“I spent a lot of time talking about health care and what we can do there,” Lamont said.

Lamont’s health care proposals related to the budget were vague on the campaign trail. He talked about regional purchasing of pharmaceuticals, but was vague about his plans for the Medicaid population. And he offered no promises of universal coverage or a state-based individual mandate.

Lamont also cited “stretching out our pension payments for a period of time so we don’t have any cliffs,” as a solution to the budget pressures.

Those pressures he learned are more acute in Connecticut than in western states.

Just back from his first National Governors Association meeting in Colorado Springs, Lamont said at the end of the day he couldn’t tell who the Democrats were and who the Republicans were.

He said he didn’t even hear President’s Trump name come up over the 72 hour period.

“It’s a very different world when you start moving into governance,” Lamont said.

What he quickly learned was the states who receive revenue from oil and gas have it better than Connecticut where the largest source of state revenue is the personal income tax.

He joked that one governor was complaining that his $20 billion sovereign wealth fund was only going to pay for 65 percent of his budget, instead of 70 percent, due to reductions in oil and gas prices.

He said another governor was talking about improving transportation structure with an excise tax on fracking.

Connecticut’s special transportation fund was on the verge of insolvency earlier this year, which is why Lamont has proposed a toll on out-of-state truckers.

Lamont’s agenda today including a briefing on emergency management and a meeting with the Department of Economic and Community Development. On Tuesday, Lamont will be meeting with the Office of State Ethics to make sure they are in compliance.

AP RADIO
Update hourly