CHAIRPERSONS: Representative Janowski

Senator Duff

SENATORS: Crisco, Doyle, Kane, Looney

REPRESENTATIVES: Dargan, Godfrey, Vargas

REP. JANOWSKI: Please be seated. I would like to convene the Public Hearing of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee. I am Representative Claire Janowski, Co-Chair of the Committee with Senator Bob Duff, who should be here shortly.

There are other committee meetings going on, so if you see Members either not here, or coming in and out, it is because they are attending other business within the building, and/or taking votes in other committees.

Before we start, I would like to have Ethan, the Clerk of the Committee, read some emergency directions that we are required to read before every meeting; the brief version.

ETHAN IVES: In the interest of safety, I would ask you to note the location and the access of the exits. The two doors which you entered are the emergency exits and are marked with exit signs.

In the event of an emergency, please walk quickly to the nearest exit. After exiting, please go to your right and exit the building by the main entrance, or follow the exit signs to one of the exits. Please quickly exit the building and follow any instructions from Capitol Police. Do not delay and do not return unless, and until, you are advised that it is safe to do so.

In the event of a lockdown announcement, please remain in the hearing room, stay away from the exit doors and seek concealment behind desks and chairs until an all-clear announcement is heard.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much.

And with that, we will start -- or begin with the first nominee; and that would be Scott Bates of Stonington, to be a Member of the Connecticut Port Authority.

Please come forward and raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. Please be seated and provide us with a statement.

SCOTT BATES: Thank you, Representative.

As a native of, and resident of, the town of Stonington, I understand the centrality of ports to our shoreline economy, our heritage, and in fact, our identity.

Just this morning I walked to the town dock to see the fleet preparing for another long day of hard work. I walked past the apartments of those who work on the docks, and my town and its port mean the world to me, and I would like to bring my understanding of smaller ports to this newly created Connecticut Port Authority.

As the son and grandson of New Londoners, I can assure you that that strategic port is home to me as well. My father sailed on the Thames River as a Coast Guard cadet, and built submarines on the shores of Groton. All my life I have understood that the revitalization of New London, and prospects for southeastern Connecticut, are tied to the sea. Looking to the future, I want our son Jacob to call Connecticut home; and a prosperous Connecticut, and his prospects for success, will depend on connecting Connecticut with global markets. Our ports will need to be that gateway to the world.

A few words about the experience that I believe I would bring to this position.

As a former Secretary of State of Virginia, and a member of the Governor's policy staff that was charged with transportation and economic development issues, I understand how important ports -- how ports must be tied in with larger infrastructure of a state to be part of a strategic approach of leveraging assets to greatest effect.

As a former Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, I worked for three years on matters of port security. I'm well familiar with the Department of Homeland Security and have an appreciation of how agencies across all levels of government must work together for the efficient and secure functioning of a port in a post 9/11 world.

As the former Police Commissioner and Chairman of the Police Commission in Stonington, I was in the Emergency Operations Center during Hurricane Sandy, and was the first person to say, "What do we do with the fleet?" when word came from Hartford that we might be overwhelmed. These issues are close to my heart and part of my professional experience.

In particular, I want to lend my perspectives in the international realm to the work of the Port Authority. Since the attacks of September 11th, I have been on over 30 missions to the Middle East, working with members of Parliament and government officials in places like Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel. My work in strategic planning takes me to places like London and Sydney, Australia. And as a leader of the Washington, DC-based think tank for over a decade, I was able to keep current with trends in international trade and economics, and made many trips to the heart of global commerce, which is East Asia.

I want to do all I can to help Connecticut navigate its way through the world of increased connection, opportunity and economic competition that all of us face. Marketing the advantages of our ports, coordinating capital improvements and developing maritime strategy for our shoreline communities is one way I can contribute to that cause.

I look forward to helping the Connecticut Port Authority accomplish its mission of becoming a successful driver of economic development along our coastline. With your support, I pledge to preserve and protect the heritage of those who go to sea and work on its shores, while operating new gateways to prosperity for future generations.

Thank you to Senators Duff and Maynard for expressing their confidence in me to become a member of the Connecticut Port Authority, and thank you for your time and consideration.

REP. JANOWSKI: And congratulations on your nomination. This is a volunteer position and appreciate your willingness to serve.

SCOTT BATES: Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: And I looked at your resume and it's quite extensive. I -- I have no doubt that you will be effective as a Member of the Authority.

I do have a question on your, what looks like a bio. You mentioned that you worked as the Secretary of State, and I believe it was for the Governor of Virginia. Would that be former Governor Mark Warner by any chance?

SCOTT BATES: It was before Mark; I'm that old. It was Governor Doug Wilder.

REP. JANOWSKI: Oh, it was before Mark?

SCOTT BATES: Yes, but I'm very friendly with -- with the Senator, yes.

REP. JANOWSKI: Okay. I -- I was going to say, the --

SCOTT BATES: He's really from Enfield, but we don't tell anybody that.

REP. JANOWSKI: I'm sorry, say that again?

SCOTT BATES: He's from Enfield originally.



REP. JANOWSKI: Mark Warner's from Enfield?


REP. JANOWSKI: Well, he may have moved there after he completed Rockdale High School in my District.

SCOTT BATES: Wow. That's --

REP. JANOWSKI: As an adult.

SCOTT BATES: That's awesome.

REP. JANOWSKI: And he often comes back to visit and speak to some of the students about potential involvement in government, our future leaders of tomorrow. So he's -- he's a wonderful person. And his father also lives in my District currently, so.

Just a couple of questions. You spoke somewhat on international trade, and your experiences regarding what you would like to see -- your -- more of your involvement be with international trade.

How can the Authority increase the international focus? I mean I'm not really that familiar with what we're currently doing now.


REP. JANOWSKI: But as a statewide Authority, I would think that together, working in -- cooperatively with the local authorities, we could be doing a lot more with international trade.

SCOTT BATES: So I think this question highlights the very reason for the creation of the Connecticut Port Authority; that, you know, local authorities have just so many resources, but leveraging, especially when you're talking about marketing on an international level, to do so on a statewide basis rather than an individual port authority level, I think that's one of the -- the main areas that we ought to pursue. And, you know, nowadays that -- that's a lifeblood, I think, if you're talking about ports, is that kind of shipping and trade.

So to put together the resources of the local ports, along with serving as a facilitator and a coordinator of activity throughout the State government. There are resources that we should be able to call upon in different agencies across government; in particular, a little bit far afield, but looking at the legislation, you know, working with DEEP and other agencies.

Transportation, we're not going to have all the answers. We're going to have to go out and find them from those agencies.

So, I think leveraging existing assets should help us accomplish our job better than it's being done today.

REP. JANOWSKI: And just one more question. Based on your knowledge and experience, do you think more rail service versus the use of highways for moving things around would be better?

I'm -- I'm -- I'm assuming that right now most of the movement of goods and -- and services are happening through the highway systems, as opposed to the rail systems. Do you see a potential for an increase in rail use?

SCOTT BATES: Yeah, absolutely. I know that our congressional delegation has worked along with members of this legislature to secure some federal funds in eastern Connecticut, for example, so that the Port of New London, you could ship into New London, and then take cargo by rail. And I think this has to be explored.

It's almost a "Back to the Future" concept. That used to be the way we moved things. But, you know, that's the 21st century. Whoever can move goods, people, faster than anybody else is going to win the competition. So we've got to do a better job.

REP. JANOWSKI: And that certainly will make us more competitive?

SCOTT BATES: Absolutely.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you.

Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you, Madam Chair.

Good morning, Mr. Bates.

SCOTT BATES: Thank you. Good morning.

SENATOR LOONEY: How are you?

SCOTT BATES: I'm well.

SENATOR LOONEY: Congratulations on your -- on your nomination. And I just wanted to ask you a couple of things.

Obviously, being from eastern Connecticut, you are of course intimately familiar with -- with the Port of New London and its operations.

I'd like you to speak a little more broadly if you might about the -- obviously the -- the three ports in Connecticut; New Haven, Bridgeport and New London.

What do you foresee? What -- what would you like to see the status of the ports be, say three or five years from now, after the -- the creation and the -- the new Port Authority getting underway. What might be benchmarks of success for those -- for those three ports?

Because obviously they have to compliment each other, but they are distinct in size, scope, and just your vision about where -- where each of those ports should be ideally if we're making good progress over the next, say, three to five years.

SCOTT BATES: All three of the major ports that you mention also have their struggles in job creation and provision of social services that is dependent on a growing tax base. So we must, and I will advocate for, those ports in particular becoming major hubs of economic activity for this state.

These are the gateways to the world for Connecticut, and we have to make them world class in every way possible, understanding the constraints that all of you are under with your State resources.

But if you're talking about -- you know, metrics for success are one thing; they're based on actual cash and certain realities. If you're asking for my goals and aspirations, I can tell you that that's my aspiration and goal for those three major points -- ports, is that people of Connecticut will think of Bridgeport, New Haven and New London, and think of dynamic opportunity and growth.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you very much.

SCOTT BATES: Yes, sir.

REP. JANOWSKI: Other questions from Committee Members?

Senator -- Representative Godfrey. I was thinking of Senator --

REP. GODFREY: Thank you, Madam Chairman.


SCOTT BATES: Thank you, sir.

REP. GODFREY: The Authority is basically advisory; you have no taxing power or bond power, that kind of thing. Is that -- am I correct?

SCOTT BATES: I believe there is an opportunity for some bonding capacity. I would defer to DECD. But for the purpose of this conversation, I'll assume that yes, it's an advisory --

REP. GODFREY: I -- I have the statute in front of me.


REP. GODFREY: And that -- and it appears that you can develop and recommend to both the Governor and to us, advise on -- on State maritime policies and operations, support the development of maritime commerce and industries, recommend investment and actions, and conduct studies.


REP. GODFREY: So, you -- you -- at least not as of yet.


REP. GODFREY: And -- and has the Authority met? I know you --

SCOTT BATES: No, no, it hasn't.

REP. GODFREY: Not yet? Okay.

SCOTT BATES: No, this is the first step and I believe that we'd probably convene by the end of the month.

REP. GODFREY: That would be good, okay.


REP. GODFREY: One of the more controversial pieces of discussion, mostly on the federal level than here, is the dredging of our harbors.


REP. GODFREY: And where to dump the dredged materials. And there's a controversy, shall we call it, with New York State and over where -- whether we should put that in Long Island Sound.

Now, would you expect -- since you haven't met, would you expect that that will be the kind of thing you'll be raising and talking about as -- as we move forward? And what are your thoughts on that type of issue? Does -- it -- it is a balancing act I assume.

SCOTT BATES: Sure. So I'd expect that our -- our first meeting, and hopefully it will be in the next few weeks, we've got to consider an executive director, composition of committees and so forth. And -- and also we're charging that legislation with doing a comprehensive maritime strategy for the state within the next year.

So I would assume that that kind of issue is something that would likely be addressed when you're talking about a comprehensive strategy for the state. And I know that this issue is of great importance to everybody on the shoreline, and beyond. And EPA, DEP, are considering this.

I know that this legislature is keenly in tuned to the situation too, so I'm sure we'll look forward to hearing and learning from those bodies as well; benefiting from all the hard work that all of you have already done.

And -- but I would expect that yes; these kind of issues would be ones that we have to consider.

REP. GODFREY: I -- and I'm glad to hear that, because I expect this will move faster rather than slower in the next few months or so.

Thank you very much and congratulations again. Thank you Madam Chair.

REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Good morning, Scott.

SCOTT BATES: Good morning, sir.

SENATOR DUFF: And thank you for being here and thanks for taking on this important appointment for the new Port Authority.

One thing, and I apologize if I missed any of your testimony and you have already discussed this, but one of the things that was important to me was we -- obviously in the legislation we talk about a lot of the larger ports, and that is certainly important to us in the state as it relates to our economic growth and -- and really trying to bring in larger ships or other types of commerce to the state.

But, I wanted to also ask you, and because I know we wanted to focus on a lot of the smaller ports as well, and the fact that many of our communities across the state do have smaller ports and -- but there's a lot of commerce that goes in and out of those as well. In Norwalk we have a large oyster industry and they rely on having a dredged harbor and -- and we have recreational boaters and all that -- all of that contributes to our economic wellbeing in the state of Connecticut.

So I want to just, for the record, get your -- some of your thoughts on how you want to kind of position some of our smaller or medium-size ports here in Connecticut.

SCOTT BATES: Well thank you, Senator.

I refer to my comments to Senator Looney who talked about the three major ports; New London, New Haven and Bridgeport, and -- and I see those -- the purpose of this legislation as doing all we can to try to help make those ports be catalytic places of economic growth for the whole state. So, they couldn't be more important. And -- and I have family from New London, so I've been, believe me, keenly aware of the challenges New London's faced for a long time.

That said, I grew up in Stonington, and every day I talk with, you know, fishermen and those that work on the docks, and I see them. And that small port has everything to do with quality of life, for recreational boaters where we are, and livelihood for my friends and neighbors.

So, while I am very optimistic about the prospects for the major ports, and very focused on our need to move them forward, my heart is with the smaller ports. I -- that was probably wrong to say, but that's where I grew up.

SENATOR DUFF: No, I understand. I think, you know, again, there's -- the large ports have a certain role to play, I guess, in the state as far as bringing commerce to -- to Connecticut; whether -- and they're -- whether they're close to rail stations or highways or another way in which we can bring commerce and alleviate some of the truck traffic on I-95.

But the smaller ports definitely have a -- another part that is important to the state and the quality of life. So I think it's not an either/or, but it's a balancing act in how we view them as all -- all important to the state.

So, I -- I appreciate your comments and certainly understand and know that you will treat -- treat everybody fairly and objectively on that front.

SCOTT BATES: Well, thank you. If I could add to that, Senator, which is that there may be opportunities for smaller ports to leverage with the larger ports.

So there are ancillary services that can connect a smaller port when we're marketing the larger ports, we can talk about that network of expertise and facilities that's available in smaller ports as well.

SENATOR DUFF: Right. Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Thank you, Madam Chair.

REP. JANOWSKI: Other questions or comments?

Seeing none, we have one final question that we ask all our nominees. Is there anything in your background that could prove embarrassing to yourself, the Governor, this body or the members of the General Assembly?

SCOTT BATES: No, ma'am.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much, and again, congratulations on your nomination.

SCOTT BATES: Thank you very much.

REP. JANOWSKI: The next nominee is Lisa Giliberto from South Glastonbury to be a member of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you. Please provide us with a statement.

LISA GILIBERTO: Good morning Senator Duff, Representative Janowski and distinguished members of the Committee. My name's Lisa Giliberto and it is an honor and a privilege to be appointed to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by Governor Dannel Malloy.

My sincere thanks to this Committee for the opportunity to appear before you to speak on my desire to serve on the Commission.

By way of background, I'm a lawyer and a Glastonbury resident. I attended Tufts University as an undergraduate, and obtained my law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. From there, I worked for a small, general practice Hartford law firm, representing a predominantly minority client base in the fields of criminal defense, personal injury, juvenile law, family law and employment law. I moved on to a medium-sized firm representing businesses in the fields of commercial litigation and corporate law, and on to the real estate and commercial transaction department of another downtown Hartford firm.

In 1998 I was appointed as a Human Rights Referee to the Commission which resulted in the most fulfilling work of my career. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member of the first group of Human Rights Referees appointed to clear up the over 20-year backlog at the agency. We guaranteed a trial date within a year of reaching the Office of Public Hearings, as well as providing parties with an orderly, predictable schedule of settlement conferences, discovery dates and pre-hearing conferences prior to a trial. I created the first index of our written decisions, giving parties the first-ever opportunity to research precedent within the agency. We also worked hard to establish our independence from the Commission Counsel's Office, avoiding the pervasive impression held by outside parties at the time of an inherent bias toward a party housed in the same building.

It is this prior experience as a Referee which gives me a unique understanding of how part of the agency operates and will prove helpful in evaluating cases that come before the Commissioners for review. But aside from my previous employment in the Office of Public Hearings, I was most proud of my affiliation with an agency charged with promoting the wellbeing of all Connecticut inhabitants. Its mission to eradicate discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for all, is a cause I deeply identify with and feel compelled to advance, both as a Commissioner and as a mother of two daughters.

Our state is a leader in the civil rights arena, and our agency, under the direction of the Executive Director, Tanya Hughes, the Deputy Director, Cheryl Sharp, and Principal Attorney Charles Krich, has set ambitious goals for the coming years. It would be an honor to work toward achievement of those goals.

As I was appointed to the position this past November, I was fortunate to be able to attend four meetings, and complete eight of the ten hours of training required by statute. I also had the pleasure to meet my co-Commissioners and would be thrilled to have the chance to further the agency's goals and responsibilities with them.

I thank you for your time and attention and welcome the opportunity to answer any questions.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you. Congratulations on your nomination. This is a volunteer position, and I'm pleased that you are from east of the river, which in my eyes -- in my eyes is always a plus, so -- so you've got that going for you and offer that here. I looked at your resume. It's -- it's, you know, it's a great resume.

You mentioned a little bit of your prior involvement with -- as a Human Rights Referee, and I -- I think that's an added plus to the appointment to -- current appointment to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

And you -- this is an interim appointment. You were appointed in November?


REP. JANOWSKI: And have you attended any meetings as yet? I know you said you -- you met your colleagues.

LISA GILIBERTO: No, I've attended four meetings; one was just yesterday.

REP. JANOWSKI: Oh, so you have had the opportunity to attend meetings.

And just a -- just a couple of quick questions. One has to do with the number of discriminations that -- complaints that are filed with the CHRO. And I know you've had limited meetings, but do you see that as the majority of complaints that are filed?

LISA GILIBERTO: Discrimination?

REP. JANOWSKI: Well, the type of discrimination complaints. Are they usually employment kinds of discriminations? Are they --

LISA GILIBERTO: I don't know that I've been there long enough to -- to estimate. I know as a Human Rights Referee, most of what I heard was employment-related. But I mean there's also, you know, housing and public accommodation and --

REP. JANOWSKI: And the other question I have has to do with, how do people know that they can file a complaint to begin with; a discrimination complaint relating to employment, relating to gender, relating to any type of discrimination?

I believe there are notices at the various courthouses that are placed, as I recall. But is there, to your knowledge, any other type of information that is given out to the public so that they know where to go and what to do?

LISA GILIBERTO: Well, I do know that the statute requires certain employers to post, you know, notices regarding where to go and what -- what they can do.

I also know that it is the goal of the agency now to -- to extend outreach and to -- you know, they're meeting in the schools, they're meeting -- they actually have a -- they have people that go out and train employers and -- and -- and just speak to the public. But I know that's a goal of theirs is to have more outreach.

At the meeting yesterday, the Deputy Director, Cheryl Sharp, spoke to us. That's part of our meeting is what outreach has the agency done and she had two pages full.

So, that's a goal. That's also something that as Commission I would like to focus on is how to -- because you can give all the help you can give. If nobody knows that it's there, it doesn't help. So that's something I want to focus on as well.

REP. JANOWSKI: Okay, very good.

SENATOR DUFF: Thank you, Madam Chair.

I appreciate the answers to that question and your -- your testimony. At this point I don't have any questions for you, I just want to congratulate you on your nomination and look forward to the good work you're going to do. Thank you.

LISA GILIBERTO: Thank you so much.

SENATOR DUFF: Thank you, Madam Chair.

REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you, Madam Chair.

Good morning and congratulations on your nomination.

I noticed that you had served previously in -- from 1998 to 2001, on the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. And I -- talk about your experience serving in that capacity back then.

LISA GILIBERTO: Oh, I -- I loved it. It was the best job I ever had. I've got to tell you, it was the most fulfilling work.

You know, I was appointed in '98. There was a huge backlog. We were appointed because there were part-time Referees that previous to that time were handling all the cases. And they just couldn't do it; they just -- it wasn't a priority because they had to run their own law firms and -- and so there was a huge backlog, which was a problem, because law requires that people that are aggrieved have to go to the agency first before they go to the courts. It's supposed to be quicker.

And it's supposed to, you know -- they have salaries at risk, and their pensions are at risk, and benefits. So they needed a quicker avenue, and that wasn't working for them because they had these backlogs.

So when we first got there, we had to put them on a schedule. There was no schedule previous to that. So, we scheduled settlement conferences. Half of these claimants had never been, you know, been -- nobody heard their story other than the investigators. They just wanted to tell their story. So we set up, you know, a set schedule and then re-set trial dates and -- and -- with -- with time limits, and they became, you know -- we -- we were able to clear the backlog.

It was -- look at this fascinating work in my career. I had never done just one area of the law. I was like a lowly associate at several law firms. I was more of a Jack of all trades. So, it was nice to specialize in something.

REP. GODFREY: For that perspective, so any attempts to you now that you have that perspective to bring from -- from 18 years ago, to -- to the present.

Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

I wanted to follow up, Attorney Giliberto, of the comments of Senator Looney. You know, looking at your resume, I can see how you -- I was -- Senator Looney asked a question I was going to ask.

But your Human Rights Referee position was like a full-time administrative or lawyer for the Commission?


SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah, back to that.

LISA GILIBERTO: We were essentially Hearing Officers.

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. So basically you're really working on the backlog, so.


SENATOR DOYLE: Now, I'll -- I'll be honest. I've been up here a long time and one of the areas that we get -- at least I get many complaints by constituents, is CHRO for different reasons, for backlog -- I guess the main time, it's not necessarily the performance, it's the -- it's the backlog and delay. I'm not sure where it is today.

But I think it's good that you were actually on the inside, saw it, and were able to work and now you're going to come from the outside and kind of be on the Board of Directors. Because, you know, for whatever reason, there's a lot of frustration by the people out there.

They -- they have their complaints and it takes time and, you know, maybe it's better today, but it's -- it's a -- it's a common complaint I receive from lawyers and from, you know, pro se people who had filed their complaints there.

So hopefully you can bring in -- with your -- I mean the benefit here is you're -- you're not coming in blind, you're coming in with experience from the inside, granted several years ago. But hopefully you'll bring a fresh approach and try to make more progress for the -- the claimants that are -- that are backlogged there.

All right. Well thank you and good luck.

LISA GILIBERTO: Okay, thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Other questions or comments?

Seeing none, we have one final question that we ask all our nominees. Is there anything in your background that can prove embarrassing to yourself, this body, the Members of the General Assembly or the Governor's Office?

LISA GILIBERTO: No, there is not.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. And again, congratulations on your nomination.


REP. JANOWSKI: The next nominee is Cherron Payne from Farmington to be a member of the Commission of Human -- Human Rights and Opportunities.

Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell truth and nothing but the truth?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. Please provide us with a statement.

CHERRON PAYNE: Good morning Representative Janowski, Senator Doyle, Representative Godfrey and Senator Looney, and members of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee. My name is Cherron Payne and it is an honor and privilege to be appointed to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. I offer my sincere thanks to this Committee for the opportunity to appear before you to express my desire to serve on this Commission.

I am a native of Toledo, Ohio and I received my Bachelor's degree from the Honors College at Ohio University. After my graduation from college, I earned a Master's degree in the History of Science from Harvard University where I was awarded the Graduate Prize Fellowship. Thereafter, I received my Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University Law School, and an advanced diploma from Oxford University.

In 2003, I moved to Connecticut to commence my legal career. I worked as an associate attorney at two law firms and I also worked as corporate counsel for the global headquarters of an emissions corporation. In 2010, I started my own law firm where I currently practice in the areas of housing law, litigation, entertainment law, business law and contracts. In 2011, I was appointed by the judicial branch to serve as a magistrate for small claims and motor vehicle infractions.

For many years, I have been active in civil rights initiatives. However, my interest in public service commenced while working for a Connecticut law firm that specialized in housing, specifically public housing. Throughout my work as an associate at the firm, I observed many disparities in income and housing, especially among minorities. This experience catalyzed my desire to serve the underrepresented in this state and to intersect my legal background with public service and social justice.

In my role as an attorney and a magistrate, I have gained experience listening to all sides of an argument, weighing evidence, obtaining facts, and expeditiously making sound and prudent decisions. I have garnered the leadership skills to effectively interact with self-represented parties, effectuate due process, and maintain orderly proceedings.

Since its inception, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has worked to establish equality. Therefore, it is my intent to continue this tradition with the skill, compassion, and commitment that is necessary to solidify standards of equality in the state of Connecticut.

Again, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to serve on the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I embark upon this role of service. Thank you again.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you and congratulations on your nomination.


REP. JANOWSKI: You are being -- of course, it's voluntary, so we appreciate that. And you are being appointed to complete the remainder of the -- a term that looks like there was a vacancy. So, it's a -- a two-year term.

You mentioned -- just -- I just have one question for you. I -- I looked at your resume; it's impeccable. There's -- it's wonderful. You mentioned that you worked a great deal with housing. You have -- some experience with housing issues.

Is -- it was mentioned earlier that employment discrimination seems to be high -- a high-ranking event that happens that -- under this agency, that they get a lot of complaints about. Do you see housing as being quite high as well at this point? Because I know there's a lot of housing discrimination out there in terms of families with lots of children, and various other areas.

Can you comment a little bit on that based on your experience?

CHERRON PAYNE: Yes, there are certainly some issues. There are issues with, for example, private landlords, as well as sometimes even issues with subsidized housing.

Essentially there are some tenants, and I see it more with private landlords at times, where there may be some non-compliance with the Fair Housing Act, where certain people may not be admitted to housing based upon factors that are in non-compliance. It could be for race or a gender issue or the fact that sometimes it's just that they have children.

So the -- the problem is there, and various -- the good part of that is the fact that there are some -- some agencies that are working to certainly eliminate or certain cause a decrease in various types of housing discrimination.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you, because I envision that that will be -- there will be a lot of cases having to do with discrimination in -- in the housing arena. So your background would be, I think, extremely useful in that area.

Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you, Madam Chair -- and congratulations on your nomination.


SENATOR LOONEY: Just a question. As you have, I think, very impressive and diverse experience as an attorney, as -- as an attorney, have you had matters as an advocate before the Commission in the past at all, or in your practice?

CHERRON PAYNE: No, I have not.

SENATOR LOONEY: Okay. Good, but -- so the -- do you have a sense about how -- of how much -- how much of a time commitment this is likely to -- likely to take, or what the -- the workload of the Commissioners is?

CHERRON PAYNE: I -- I've been given somewhat of a sense.

I just attended my first meeting yesterday. So I've had the opportunity to actually see a meeting and be a part of it. And I also have to go through my training.

But, I do have an idea of how much time it's going to take, and plus there are also some other, to be in addition to just the Commission meetings, there are also some other activities. Outreach is a big part of the Commission, and I'm certainly -- a personal goal of mine is to take part in some outreach activities as well.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you very much, and congratulations.


REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Madam Chair.

Attorney -- I mean, Senator Looney -- he's actually an attorney also, but he -- he stole a little of my question.


SENATOR DOYLE: Yes. I -- I am impressed by your resume. I -- I appreciate your serving. But I do have one question for you.

I'm not sure how you have sufficient time for this. Because I look at your resume and you have -- you're a magistrate for the state of Connecticut, an adjunct law professor; you're -- you own a law firm and you are a contract specialist.

So, I just hope you know what you're getting into, because you must have a full plate now, and you're adding more to it, so. As long as you -- as long as you say you're okay with it, I'm fine with it, but you -- you must be busy today.

CHERRON PAYNE: I -- I am -- I am very busy, but that essentially helps me to stay on top of things and be organized. And quite honestly, many of the issues intersect with my -- my practice.

So, I have certainly apportioned an amount of time to be a faithful servant on the Commission.

SENATOR DOYLE: I would say, with those type of skills, you actually would -- could -- could perform in the legislature, because it's the same type of work up here. We're all juggling different jobs.

Yes. West -- she's from West Hartford. But, anyway, congratulations and -- again, I made some earlier comments to the other candidate about hopefully you can get over there and help us try to get the backlog down. That's a serious issue. And hopefully you can help us get in there. A fresh set of eyes will be helpful for, you know, for our constituents and the citizens of the state.

Thank you very much and good luck.


REP. JANOWSKI: Other questions from Committee Members?

Seeing none, we have one final question that we ask of all our nominees. Is there anything in your background that can prove embarrassing to yourself, this body, the General Assembly or the Governor's Office?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much and again, congratulations.


REP. JANOWSKI: The next nominee is Parker Wise from Branford, to be a member of the Connecticut Port Authority Board of Directors.

Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you. Please provide us with a statement.

PARKER WISE: Good day Representative Janowski, Senator Looney, Representative Vargas, Senator Doyle, Representative Godfrey and Members of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee.

My name is Parker Wise. It's quite an honor to have been appointed by Governor Malloy to be a director of the Connecticut Port Authority. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this Committee to address my desire to serve on the Board.

Briefly, my -- my personal background; I'm a Branford resident and the proud parent of three grown children and three little grandchildren. I'm also proud to say I attended Harvard University and Washington & Lee University.

By trade I am a maritime lawyer. I began my career with an admiralty law firm in New York. I moved on to work in-house as a lawyer for two oil majors; first Texaco, and then Conoco in New York and Houston and London.

When I left the UK, I became the president of Scandinavian Marine in New York; a marine insurance adjusting company owned by Norwegian Hull Underwriters. Subsequently, I became general counsel for two American-controlled tanker companies, and at present I am general counsel of Pearl Seas Cruises and American Cruise Line, both based in -- in Guilford.

My professional background has, I believe, prepared me very well for the Connecticut Port Authority Board. That is, I understand the importance of the shipping business and maritime-related trade to the world economy, of course, and to the progress and wellbeing of the state of Connecticut, and of the citizens of the state of Connecticut who derive their livelihood from maritime activities.

I look forward to the coming point in time when the Port Authority will begin in earnest its role of attracting expanded marine trade to and from Connecticut ports, and of improving access to and the capacity of Connecticut ports as part of that process.

I am eager to serve on the Connecticut Port Authority Board because I feel my maritime experience will be of immediate use, and honestly it appears to me to be an appropriate time for me to offer what maritime abilities I may have to my home state.

I've worked for companies and clients that own and operate marine terminals, refineries, tugs and barges, tankers, bulk carriers, reefer vessels, and, of course, now cruise ships. So, I believe that I know the fundamentals of maritime trade. Shipping is, of course, by nature an international business, and I've carried out my various shipping-related assignments throughout the United States and internationally.

In summary, I feel I have accumulated extensive maritime experience that should be of real and immediate use to the Port Authority.

Thank -- thank you for inviting me to appear before you and I would welcome any questions you may have.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you and congratulations on your nomination.

PARKER WISE: Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: This is also -- obviously, it's a volunteer position and -- and I do appreciate your willingness to serve. It looks like you also have a full plate.

The -- you do bring quite a bit of experience in the maritime trade industry, as well as you have a great deal of international exposure. Those are both very terrific things to have to -- to serve on -- on this -- on this Authority Board.


REP. JANOWSKI: I have one question I wanted to ask you, and that has to do with since this is going to be a statewide port -- or a statewide Authority, do you have any suggestions on how we might be able to, as a state, compete a lot better with larger ports like New York?

Right now we have, you know, the various other ports, but is there some way that we might be able to become more competitive?

PARKER WISE: Well, I don't think we'll compete with them directly, but I think ideally Connecticut and states, other similar states with smaller ports and smaller marine operations, can -- can become involved in an adjunct fashion.

What many people have in mind, and what I think is ideally would happen, is that large ships, large container vessels particularly, will come to some of the larger ports on the U.S. east coast. And from there, cargos will be trans-shipped to the smaller ports. And the same process would work in reverse for exports.

And there has been some talk about that, and I certainly hope that is what happens, and that's what I'm going to work toward myself.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you. Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you, Madam Chair for that.

Good morning, sir and congratulations on your -- on your appointment; among your other sterling qualifications and blessings. I see your spouse is here with you as well, a distinguished member of --

PARKER WISE: My best accomplishment.


And I would like to -- obviously Representative Reed is one of the leading lights of the entire General Assembly.

And I would just like to ask you the question I discussed with Mr. Bates earlier, about your sense of what might be benchmarks for success of the -- of the Port Authority looking, say, three to five years ahead in term of looking at all -- all three ports; looking at New Haven, looking at Bridgeport and looking at -- looking at New London. Obviously they are of different size, different depths; somewhat distinct in their -- in their potential missions and growth patterns, but all in a position to contribute more to the state's economy than they have been up to this point.

So, do you have -- if you just had a sense of what you would -- what you would like to see in the -- in the -- in terms of that development in the next, say, three to five years.

PARKER WISE: I would like ideally to see Connecticut companies; manufacturing companies for example, establish strong trading relationships in the -- in the export context with companies and countries in foreign lands, so that they will begin to export more.

And -- and, of course, I would hope to see similar relationships developed with foreign companies and countries that would lead to increased imports to the state of Connecticut. It remains to be seen, but I think it -- it can happen.

SENATOR LOONEY: Right, and any thoughts you might have on the -- the role of -- on the Army Corps of Engineers and their discussion over -- over dredging and -- and disposal of materials and things of -- of that nature as it might affect the ports, because obviously there is probably some -- some deepening needed and dredge removal needed, especially in Bridgeport probably, but also in New Haven as well, I think.

PARKER WISE: Well, as I understand it, there is some dredging that needs to be done; more dredging, and it's an ongoing process, and I think it -- it has to be done.

I think the state needs to be careful, and I think it is being careful to make sure that contaminated dredge is properly disposed of. But I -- I feel I'm certainly going to learn more about it as we go along, but I -- I feel its something that we -- that we really have to do. If it's done carefully and, as I understand it, the individuals within the State government who are already involved in that process, are very much aware of what needs to be done, and we will try and help them make sure it is done.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you very much and thank you for your willingness to bring your experience and -- and knowledge in the subject of a distinguished career to this new and important position.

PARKER WISE: My pleasure, Senator.

REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Doyle, followed by Representative Godfrey.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

Good after -- good morning still, Attorney Wise.

PARKER WISE: Good morning.

SENATOR DOYLE: I first want to say with your resume, it's crystal clear that you are a real specialist in maritime law, and that is -- I can't envision the legislature when we created the Port Authority last year, having someone of your skill, or dream of it. I mean it's really a wonderful thing, and we should be appreciative of a person of your skill agreeing to serve on our Board, because, you know, real-time experience is helpful.

Sometimes we -- we appoint people that don't really have any direct experience. You certainly have it.

PARKER WISE: Thank you for that, Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE: And I look forward to you helping us there.

I have one personal question for you. I'm curious, when you graduated from Washington & Lee Law School, how does a young lawyer decide to go into maritime law? I mean it's -- I -- I went to law school and that wasn't the first thing, so I'm curious how -- how you got intrigued and moved right there.

PARKER WISE: Well honestly my -- my father was in the shipping business. He was at one point in charge of the -- the tanker fleet for what became Mobil Oil. And all my life as a boy, I admired what he did and I thought it would be a good way for me to become a lawyer and still be involved in what he knew and did.

SENATOR DOYLE: That makes perfect sense. That's why I'm here too, because of my father, so in different ways, so.

In terms of the actual operation of our Port Authority, it seems to me -- and you kind of touched upon it earlier -- but in a lot of areas, Connecticut -- you know, we're criticized for a lot lately, for a lot of different reasons and over -- over the years.

But I think there's always a benefit to be being between Boston and New York. And if you can work and try to -- can we show -- you know -- and you made the -- the valid point is we're never going to compete directly with Boston and New York. But if we can be, you know, the intermediary between -- between the two big ports and try to beef up ours of local and smaller work, I think that could -- could benefit. And that some -- that's what the dreamers were of this legislation. Is that what you think we can head down there maybe, that sort of --

PARKER WISE: Yes, I think we can. I -- I -- I supposed it remains to be seen, but the idea is that we would -- we would be able to take certain cargo, some smaller vessels, and trans-shipped cargos would come to Connecticut ports, or leave from Connecticut ports, and I think there's a lot of room for that to happen; and certainly that's what I will work toward.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, and I'm -- I'm sure my colleague, Senator Looney of course, would like you to focus on the New Haven harbor, to try to help New Haven.

I'd like you to try to -- I don't know if it's possible, but I'm from the greater Hartford area, like Representative Vargas. I don't know if there's some way you can kind of go up the Connecticut River and help us up near the Hartford/Wethersfield area, if you could try to make a port. Wethersfield Cove, maybe get a port out of there.

On a more serious note, thank you for agreeing to volunteer, and we look forward to your, you know, able guidance to this great Authority.

And thank you very much.

PARKER WISE: Thank you, Senator.

REP. JANOWSKI: Representative Godfrey, followed by Representative Vargas.

REP. GODFREY: All politics are local, I understand how that works. It -- it's a tidal river, remember that; that's the name.


PARKER WISE: Thank you.

REP. GODFREY: I am just stunned by -- by your -- by your resume, it's just a delight to see someone with your extensive knowledge and experience willing to help the state of Connecticut out in what's becoming a very important part of -- of import/export.

Our current largest trading partner is, of course, Canada; with Quebec being the providence with which we do most business. But I don't think I have to point out to you that Halifax is a really big port, and it's usually a lot cheaper to ship things by sea than it is by any kind of land or air carrier, simply -- and -- and not only cheaper, but more environmentally friendly because you're using much less in the way of fuel.

And I'm delighted to hear that you're interested in helping to build up import/export by sea in other places; because I -- I agree that that's a huge opportunity to both bring in goods, but certainly for Connecticut manufacturers, but -- and whether it be parts or -- or finished products to -- to sell their -- their products and increase our industrial base which is important. I love to sell stuff out of state and bring money in, because that -- that counts very -- very much in building up our economy.

But, of course, in the 21st century, there are other -- there are other concerns, and I'd -- I'd just like you to let us know if there's anything in your experience that has -- that can help you deal with this.

We've -- we've mentioned the dredging issue, which is political, and the competition between Connecticut and New York is a part of it. But it's also environmental, so there's -- there's another area that needs to be dealt with.

And then Senator Duff, of course, mentioned rail; several people mentioned rail, and one of the issues in some of the smaller ports, especially where there are marinas and that kind of thing, is our aging rail infrastructure is using drawbridges that were -- that were built when James Buchanan was President, and get stuck every once in a while.

So I -- I'd like you to let us know a little bit about yeah, your sensitivity to these not-so-obvious issues that could face the Port Authority.

PARKER WISE: Well, certainly environmental concerns would be an ongoing concern of the Port Authority, I would think.

I'm not quite sure what -- what else I could comment upon. The relationship with adjoining states is always touchy; New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey.

I think as a Port Authority begins down its -- its road, it will -- it will recognize these problems and -- and deal with them properly. Connecticut, as a relatively small state, I think has always been conscious of the various issues with adjoining states, and certainly with environmental issues, and I know the Port Authority will be conscious of these things.

Does that address your question?

REP. GODFREY: Have -- have you had any experience dealing with these issues in your -- in your own career?

PARKER WISE: Certainly with environmental issues. I spent much of my life, my working life, working for energy companies, oil companies; and even 20, 30 years ago, they recognized that they had environmental issues that had to be addressed. And so I am conscious of them, although I do believe that within careful confines, commerce has to go forward.

REP. GODFREY: Thank you.

PARKER WISE: Yes, sir.

REP. JANOWSKI: Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS: Well, I want to join my colleagues in thanking you for your willingness to serve on the Port Authority, and I feel a personal connection. I had an uncle who was an administrator with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority for many years, retired now, and I think it's exciting.

I just wanted to -- to mention that the greater Hartford area which Senator Doyle was talking about is home to one of the largest concentrations of West Indian community; a large, large community, mostly Jamaican, but from many other Caribbean islands. And they've been working very hard to try to establish and create between Connecticut and Jamaica, and make it a center of trade for the islands. And I wanted you to keep that in mind as you, in your role, you can try to move that agenda along.

We're -- we're trying to -- we're working too with the Airport Authority trying to see if we can get direct flights between Hartford and Kingston, and people are very excited about that. And with such a huge community looking for products from the islands, it would be an ideal situation if we could move that along and it would have an economic impact on the state, and on the islands.

Any thoughts on that?

PARKER WISE: Thank you, Representative Vargas.

Certainly that's noted. I -- I will definitely keep that in mind.

REP. JANOWSKI: Other questions or comments?

Seeing none, we have one final question that we ask all our nominees, and that is, is there anything in your background that can prove embarrassing to yourself, this body, the Members of the General Assembly or the Governor's Office?

PARKER WISE: No, there is not.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much; and again, congratulations on your nomination.

PARKER WISE: Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: The next nominee is Nancy DiNardo from Trumbull, to be a member of the Connecticut Port Authority Board of Directors.

Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you. Please provide us with a statement.


REP. JANOWSKI: I was looking at my watch because I guess it's good afternoon and not good morning now.

NANCY DINARDO: Good afternoon Representative Janowski, Senator Looney, Representative Vargas and then going on, Representative Godfrey.

My name is Nancy DiNardo and it is an honor and a privilege to be appointed to the Connecticut Port Authority Board of Directors by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

I would like to thank this -- this committee for the opportunity to appear before you and speak about my desire to serve on the Port Authority Board of Directors.

I worked in the Bridgeport Public Schools for 30 years; first as an elementary school teacher, then as a school psychologist, and then 16 years as Director of Psychological Services. After retiring from education, I volunteered at the Democratic State Party before becoming chair in 2005. I stepped down last year as the chair and I am currently vice chair. I also served as the chair of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee for 30 years.

As a result of my commitment to serving, I have striven to achieve leadership positions in my time spent at the Democratic Party. I serve on the Executive Committee of the Association of State Party Chairs and the Democratic National Committee. I was elected by my peers up and down the eastern coast as the Chairman of the Eastern Regional Caucus for the Democratic National Committee, a post on which I have been serving since 2010. It has given me an opportunity to network with other party and elected leaders in our neighboring states. As a result of my national engagement, I have exposure to a great deal of issues that are being discussed in our region. But my commitment lies in serving local government and for non-profit agencies at home.

I served in Trumbull on the Town Council, the Board of Finance, the Board of Health and the Police Commission. I also was an EMT for the Trumbull Emergency Medical Services for ten years. During that -- part of that time, I was the assistant to the executive director of TEMS. While on the Board of Health, I served on a committee to develop the Bridgeport area Hospice program. I am also on the board of directors at Griffin Hospital which I am on the Quality Assurance and the Development Fund Committees.

I am honored by the Governor's appointment because I believe this is a critical time for us to strengthen our port system, and this Board will govern the new quasi-public agency to facilitate the development of state ports and maritime economy.

I want to commend the Transportation Committee for the two years that they spent in collaborating across the aisle on making this a reality; especially Senator Maynard, Senator Boucher, Representative Guerrera and the former Representative Scribner, as well as others here today from the Transportation Committee who helped champion this legislation in 2014.

This is particularly important at a time when the legislature is considering plans on how to make major investments to transform our state's transportation system. We know well that transportation is of paramount importance to our residents and our businesses, and our ports should be an important factor in the conversation.

As an agency, we need to maximize the economic potential of our ports. With a new structure like the Connecticut Port Authority, we will be poised to attract investment, secure investments in addition to state and federal funding. But just as important, with one agency focused on our ports, we can take advantage of the studies that have been commissioned by this legislature in conjunction with DECD and DOT, and execute a comprehensive strategy to improve our maritime economy.

As we all know, currently ships cargo -- deliver cargo to the ports of New York and New Jersey, and their products are brought to Connecticut by trucks on I-95. But with smart, strategic investments in infrastructure, Connecticut ports will attract business. This will undoubtedly increase jobs, improve our economy and decrease the burdens on our highways.

If confirmed, I will be excited to continue my decades-long pursuit of public service, having worked in local government, alongside state and federal elected officials. I have always had the desire to lead, and I believe this will be a unique opportunity to which I can commit myself in the coming years. Like all of you sitting before me, I know how important it is to serve and volunteer for boards and commissions, and to recognize the dedication needed from newly appointed board members as we build this agency, and I know I am up to the task.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to serving on this Board and helping Connecticut re-position the maritime economy and realize the full potential of Connecticut's ports.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. Congratulations on your nomination. Good to see you.


REP. JANOWSKI: And I'd just like to reiterate that this is a volunteer position, and that we appreciate again your willingness to -- to serve. It is part of public service, volunteer public service, and I think it's wonderful when anyone makes that commitment.


REP. JANOWSKI: Just -- I noticed when looking through your resume, that you served on -- for ten years on the Trumbull Police Commission.


REP. JANOWSKI: And, I think, six or seven years on the Trumbull Board of Finance.

On the Police Commission, usually there's a lot of involvement with Traffic Authority type of issues such as highways and expansion of highways, and a lot of DOT kind of interfacing. Is that something that you have been involved with on that commission?

NANCY DINARDO: Well, we had -- a little. I mean it's in Trumbull, and so there's not really -- I mean, and there are parkways there, but we do have state roads and yes, we often had to discuss whenever there was any new development, certainly the Traffic Commission.

So yes, I am familiar with that.

REP. JANOWSKI: Because I -- having new development generally that is -- that is brought before the Planning and Zoning Commission in any town, has to go through the Traffic Authority, the local Traffic Authority, who basically has a lot of interface, and has to also get, whenever it's needed, approval from the State Traffic Authority as well; or the State Traffic Commission I think it's now called. So, there would be considerable -- at least at the local level, there would be considerable interfaces.

So, I like that. That -- that's a good thing.

And the Board of Finance, how involved -- what kind of -- what kind of involvement was that? That was for about six or seven years that you served there.

NANCY DINARDO: Yes. Well again, you know, the First Selectman would present the budget, and then we had to look at it and decide what, you know, we needed to keep in, or add, or make cuts to.

I would have to say in all my years of serving, I felt that the Board of Finance was the one where I learned the most about the town. It's because every, you know, board came before you and discussed what their needs were, but you also learned about the functions of all of them. So, I was very involved with that in making decisions on where to put cuts, and where to make sure we maintained programs.

REP. JANOWSKI: And usually a Board of Finance would also be involved with capital improvements projects.


REP. JANOWSKI: Generally, I know in my town, there's a ten-year capital improvements plan that has to go before the council, and then the finance director and sort of like a -- a mini-board of a review of some sort to make sure that it's a strategic plan, and that the financing is there, to make sure those things happened. So --

NANCY DINARDO: That's correct. It would be proposed by the First Selectman; because we don't have a Board of Selectman anymore. So the First Selectman would call upon a staff to make the capital improvements, which he would present to the Board of Finance, and then to the Town Council.

REP. JANOWSKI: And that would include capital improvements with regards to roads, with regards to bridges, with regards to any type of improvement having to do with waterways and -- and that -- those sort of issues?


REP. JANOWSKI: Okay. I have one question that I wanted to ask you, and that is basically, do you at this point -- I -- have you had a chance to attend that, or --

NANCY DINARDO: No, there hasn't been any, and the first one is tentatively February 29th.

REP. JANOWSKI: So it's probably not an -- it's probably an unfair question. But I just wanted to get a feel from you as to if you have, at this point, any ideas with regard to how we can improve the way that we transport materials from our current ports.

I know that the focus has been on highways more than anything else. But I see a role of rail, an increase in rail, as being also a way of transporting goods and services. How do you see that?

NANCY DINARDO: Well, I would agree with you. You know, I -- I always talked that -- as I listen to some of the other members and the questions that were asked, you know, we've talked about the dredging and we've talked about the big ports.

But I think the small, as Senator Duff had said, you know, the small ports are equally as important. And I think that we have to look at all of this when we are going forward, including the rails, because -- the reason why I had wanted to come on this Board was, as you can see, my resume isn't of, you know, one that would make, you know, logical sense.

But I -- I've always felt passionately that this is an area that we have, for a long time, not looked at, and not developed to its fullest potential. And I do think it would be, you know, beneficial to us to make sure that we increase, you know, the capabilities of all of our ports, and work in conjunction with the rail systems.

As I said, you know, earlier, you know, it always amazes me that all of the cargo goes to New York and Boston as someone just said, and New Jersey. And then, you know, the trucks picked up the containers and drive them on our roads.

And I mean if we can build our ports to be more efficient, I mean that'll cut down on the highways -- the problems on the highways; I hope significantly. I mean long term I would like to see it be a major difference.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. And I see strength in your resume. Because anybody who can deal with a school system and provide psychological services to children, to me has to be pretty -- pretty high up there, in addition to all the volunteer, you know, services such as serving on the Trumbull Police Commission. I mean that's -- that's kind of such a diverse, you know, step to be able to do that. So I -- I do see that as a strength.

And then, of course, the Board of Finance, the Board of Health and, you know, I mean, Town Council. I mean, that's -- that's -- that's really good.

So -- and I thank you for again volunteering.


REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you, Madam Chair.

Good afternoon, Nancy. And I want to just thank you for all of your service to the state in so many capacities, and for being willing to take this on, because it is certainly a very important undertaking that -- you know, we are all committed to economic development and -- and the future of our ports is going to be critical to that in the next few years.

So, I wanted to ask you what I asked the other -- the other nominees. Do you have a -- a particular sense about things you would like to see or -- or ways we could measure the success of -- of this enterprise of the Port Authority and the advancement of our ports say over a three to five-year period?

And I know you're, you know, particularly close to -- being from Trumbull, very familiar with the operations in -- in Bridgeport; and -- and also to take a broader view of the others as well; New Haven, New London and how they should work in synergy to -- to give us the maximum benefit that we should be able to see from the fact that we do have these -- these ports that are -- have always been greater potential resources than they've turned out to be in -- in realization.

NANCY DINARDO: Certainly, Senator.

I think, you know, one of the most obvious positions though, or roads that we would see, is if in the next couple of years we do go forward with the dredging and were able to improve the ports, that we should see increased commerce coming both in and out. We should be able to export from them.

So I'm hoping there will be, you know, within five years, if that's possible, to see a very tangible difference in, you know, what is happening and the increase of uses of our ports.

SENATOR LOONEY: Good. Well, thank you, thank you very much, because we are going to be depending on the -- the leadership and the vision of the Authority to help guide us in a lot of these important decisions, because there -- there's a whole array of areas regarding economic competitiveness for our state and -- and this undertaking is going to be one of the most important.


REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Doyle, followed by Representative Godfrey.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Madam Chair.

Good afternoon, Ms. DiNardo.

I first want to incorporate the comments by Representative Vargas and Representative Godfrey. You were in the room when they made their good comments, so hopefully you'll -- since you were in the room, you'll incorporate their comments.


SENATOR DOYLE: I do -- I do appreciate one of your comments in your memo though that we didn't really touch upon.

If we can, and you talk about it; if we're able to develop our ports -- because right now currently things -- I'm not aware of it -- mostly goes into New Jersey and New York, and then they got to -- they have to be driven up by trucks on 95, which is a huge problem with Representative Guerrera and others.

So, this actually could help our 95 corridor, if -- if you guys could do that. So I think that's a good point. And I hope that's a serious motivation for the legislature, because the Governor's transportation and issue of one thing, but if we can get more trucks off the -- of the roads and get the cargo directly into the state of Connecticut, that would help us on the shorelines.

So, keep -- keep that in mind when you -- when you get appointed, because I think that would be great for the state.

Thank you and good luck.


REP. JANOWSKI: Representative Godfrey.

REP. GODFREY: Thank you.

Good afternoon, Nancy.

NANCY DINARDO: Good afternoon.

REP. GODFREY: It should be no surprise everybody here knows you. And we're -- I'm so grateful that you're -- you're not stopping your public service; you're actually expanding on it. And certainly as Representative Janowski referred to, your experience herding cats, can't hurt at all, in -- in getting this.

And I'm very much impressed by the -- the substantive part of your -- your testimony on -- on the need to maximize the economic potential of our ports. But I can also connect the dot of that particular focus that Port Authority will have, with your ability to kind of see the forest, and not -- not create a Port Authority that is yet another silo not connected to the other parts of the Connecticut economy and the Connecticut transportation.

We've alluded more than once to rail, and I'm a big rail fan. My daddy was a railroad brakeman, and his daddy was a railroad engineer. So, I actually grew up playing on prototypes; not just with models.

And -- and Connecticut has been hurting since the 1970s because while rail had made -- freight rail has made this, like, the comeback of the 20th and the 21st century, it stops at the Hudson River, because there's no bridge across the -- no real freight rail bridge across the Hudson River south of Albany.

So, you're absolutely right. We do need to develop our ports to be able to pick up the stuff -- the goods, particularly produce, that's coming from the rest of the country stops -- but stops in Selkirk, New York, to be able to get it into Connecticut without continually congesting 95, and from my point of view in Danbury, 84.

So, I -- I think your -- your ability to bring the general knowledge that you have, the general experience that you have, your ability to connect the dots, your ability to be able to say this -- this piece affects this other piece, is a huge strength that -- that I think will make the Port Authority a very strong right from the get-go.

And I'm hoping in the future, and I'm sure we'll be talking about this as time goes by, that we can give the Port Authority and the Airport Authority more -- more abilities and powers to interact and to -- to help us out.

It's starting out advisory; I hope that it grows. And I hope you're willing to be part of that.

NANCY DINARDO: Oh, absolutely. And I think -- I agree with you that, you know, working all of them together is very important, and that's what can make a difference in our success. Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS: I just wanted to join my colleagues in thanking you for your willingness to serve on the Port Authority, and I think your experience in public policy is going to serve us well. Thank you.

NANCY DINARDO: Thank you, Representative Vargas, and I would be more than happy to go down to Jamaica and, you know -- on my own dime.

REP. JANOWSKI: Are there any other questions or comments?

Seeing none, I would just like to also take the opportunity to thank you for all your public service over the years. It's been a lot. And I think it's -- it's -- it's great to have somebody on board with that much experience in public service as well.


REP. JANOWSKI: We have one final question that we ask all our nominees, and that is, is there anything in your background that can prove embarrassing to yourself, this body, the Governor's Office or the Members of the General Assembly?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much.


REP. JANOWSKI: And again, congratulations on your nomination.


REP. JANOWSKI: Our final nominee is Pamela Elkow from Redding, to be a member of the Connecticut Port Authority Board of Directors.

Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?


REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. Please provide us with a statement.

PAMELA ELKOW: Good day Representative Janowski, Senator Looney, Representative Vargas, Senator Doyle and Representative Godfrey.

My name is Pamela Elkow. It's a true honor and a privilege to be appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Port Authority.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to talk about my desire to serve on the Board of Directors.

I'm a Connecticut native. My parents moved to Connecticut from Brooklyn a few months before I was born, and they still live in the same house in Ridgefield. Except for time attending college and law school, I've spent my life in Connecticut. I live in Redding now with my husband, Daniel Barrett, who is a professor at Western Connecticut State University. My daughter Hannah is a recent graduate of UConn Law School, working in Wallingford for a non-profit representing victims of violent crimes.

After I graduated from law school, I moved back to Connecticut and began working at Robinson & Cole in Stamford, practicing environmental law. As an environmental attorney, I've represented both private parties and municipalities, focusing on remediation and brownfield redevelopment. I was elected a partner at Robinson & Cole in 2000. I had served as its pro bono partner, its diversity partner and on its managing committee. In 2015, I moved to the firm of Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey, as it grows its office in Stamford and its environmental practice.

My interest in serving on the Board of Directors for the newly created Connecticut Port Authority stems from work I did years ago in Bridgeport. One of my clients was the Bridgeport Port Authority, who I represented when it acquired property formerly owned and operated by Carpenter Technology, a steel plant. I worked with the Port Authority to remediate the property and reposition it for reuse. It was a lesson in the economic development opportunities afforded port authorities, which are different from other economic development entities.

Given the nature of Connecticut as a coastal state, I continue to represent clients that are on the coast, such as the developers of Steele Point in Bridgeport, and see the opportunities in the coast, and more importantly, our ports and harbors.

I had the honor of serving on the Port Authority working group and heard firsthand from a wide variety of stakeholders about the economic development potential of the ports and harbors of Connecticut, which can only be improved and enhanced by the coordinated effort of the newly created Connecticut Port Authority.

I'm an optimist and I continue to believe in Connecticut. We have significant resources that can, and should help us grow our economy, and one of those resources is our ports and harbors. I'm excited to be part of these efforts by serving on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Port Authority.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I'm happy to answer any questions; I suspect they may be about dredging.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you. Congratulations on your nomination. Again, this is a voluntary position, and we appreciate your willingness to be able to fit it in your schedule and be able to serve.

I note that you have a great deal of business background, as well as background in environmental law and economic development. And I -- I see all those as being very attractive features and important to this particular Board.

I -- I'm not going to ask you about dredging. Others will be asking you about that.

I -- I try -- I just want to get a -- some comments from you as to how you see this Board, which is a statewide Board, working with the local -- with the local people -- or local authorities, making a -- a difference in improving the -- the trade; particularly international trade. How -- how can we improve on what we're currently doing?

And I -- I realize it's a -- it's a broad question, but just interested in your comments.

PAMELA ELKOW: Right. I think one of the -- I think clearly one of the goals of the Port Authority is in fact to coordinate those efforts.

As with many things in Connecticut, we have lots of smaller entities that aren't necessarily talking to each other.

Connecticut's just not that big. If you think about Connecticut, and compare Connecticut to other large ports, some of those ports are almost as big as our state itself. So I think it actually helps us to think about not the port of Bridgeport, New Haven and New London, though those are obviously important, but to think of us as the Port of Connecticut.

And I think given -- and as Senator Looney's talked about -- each of the major, the three major ports, have specific attributes that make them attractive. When we do a little bit more dredging, they'll be a little bit more attractive.

But -- but I think that to coordinate those, is really an opportunity to make us -- we're never going to compete with New York/New Jersey, but as other talked about earlier, I think we can coordinate, as a state; present ourselves as an entire state as a partner in some of those efforts.

And I think rather than having competition between the three major ports -- and then when you throw in the harbors -- I think to coordinate those efforts is what's going to make us more attractive. It's just the same reason why we created the Airport Authority. You know, let's make sure we're working together, and thinking about all of our resources as a state, as an opportunity to really offer that up.

I'll defer to others as I learn more on the Authority about international trade.

But I -- I think it just -- it makes sense to think of ourselves that way.

REP. JANOWSKI: I believe -- I think Senator Doyle touched on this a little bit.

Right now it would be more of an advisory type of capacity. The way I understand it the state --

PAMELA ELKOW: Right. It would be the lead -- my understanding, having read the legislature, is that the Port Authority would be the lead in looking for funding for dredging, and making recommendations.

So, many of the activities that the DOT undertook with respect to the ports, will be transferred to the Port Authority.

In addition, it does have bonding authority. Obviously not a huge staff or anything yet, so I think that authority is in the legislature, but would be -- remain to be seen.

And then I think the one other issue would be the ownership of the State Pier; which again, right now it's managed by DOT.

So I think it's more than advisory, but obviously still somewhat embryonic, and --

REP. JANOWSKI: So there's opportunity to --


REP. JANOWSKI: -- fine tune the -- what powers it will actually have.

The bonding authority right now, I believe, is -- is that more -- is that related to state bonding, or independent bonding authority; or don't we know that yet?

PAMELA ELKOW: That's where I will prove that I'm an environmental lawyer, and not a public finance lawyer. I couldn't tell you right now.

REP. JANOWSKI: Find out that I -- I couldn't really figure that one out --

PAMELA ELKOW: I'd -- I'd -- I'd have to go back to --

REP. JANOWSKI: -- whether it was -- I imagine it'll probably start out with the state help, and eventually have it's own means of being able to acquire either bonding, or become its own form of funding authority of some sort --


REP. JANOWSKI: -- whether through various taxing or other -- otherwise -- district, maybe a taxing district --


REP. JANOWSKI: -- or whatever the case may be.

Because obviously, financing is key.

PAMELA ELKOW: It is key.

REP. JANOWSKI: And you can't do very much without the money to back it up.

PAMELA ELKOW: Right. And that was one of the things we talked about in the working group. Obviously because it's such a new enterprise, and -- and -- there is not a lot of staff right now. One of the things that the legislature provides is that they'll be the MOU between the DECD and the Port Authority to provide a lot of the back office, for one of the better words, support.

But I think looking at things like port districts as, you know, taxing entities; both from an attractiveness perspective.

If you think about the Port of Elizabeth, the reason why things like IKEA are in the Port of Elizabeth is because it's a beneficial packing district. So, that's an economic development driver, but it can also be a revenue generator.

So, I think we need to take advantage of the fact that it is such a new entity, and we've never done this before, to think creatively.

I think that that point that was made earlier by Senator Doyle about, you know, Hartford. You know, it's a tidal river. No boats can make it to Hartford.

Let's think about what's the best way to be moving things around the state of Connecticut. The highways aren't the best. And so there may be opportunities there.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much, and again, congratulations.

PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank you, Madam Chair.

And good afternoon and congratulations on your --

PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you.

SENATOR LOONEY: -- your nomination, and -- and I think it's extraordinary to bring your experience and -- and distinguished career as an environmental attorney to this important role.

You mentioned dredging. Just one of the things, I just want, in -- in -- in terms of background, I'm sure you may be aware, one of the controversies that arose a few years ago with the Army Corps of Engineers suggesting a number of -- of options for disposal of -- of dredge material from Bridgeport.

And one of the options, we talked about the -- the borrow pit in New Haven Harbor, which, of course, generated a great deal about this issue, at which time Governor Malloy gave his commitment in 2010 that Connecticut would -- would never, while he was Governor, grant the environmental permits that would be needed to have that -- that take place. And we knew that coincidentally in 2014.

So I just wanted to -- to have -- get your sense of -- of dredging and the -- the issues related to sort of -- innocuous dredging versus the disposal of potentially toxic materials, which obviously presents a -- a more different challenge than other kinds of -- of dredging might be.

PAMELA ELKOW: Right. Unfortunately you can't dredge without having to find a home for the dredge spoil. And Connecticut is a historically industrial state. That's why our sediment has the issues it has compared to other states.

My understanding is the current plan is actually disposal farther out in Long Island Sound, and I think the EPA recently has at least indicated initial blessing for that, despite the opposition from New York.

And, you know, it would be great if we had, you know, an opportunity to dispose of those in a way that we didn't have to think about in-water disposal. Upland disposal is expensive. We'd still have to find another place.

Unfortunately the hazardous -- you know, the hazardous nature of the sediment doesn't go away, no matter where you put it. And it's not something that anybody talking today did.

Again, it's a legacy of the fact that we've been making things in Connecticut for a very long time, and we usually made them right next to the rivers and the harbors.

I think -- I think we need to do our best, but I would certainly -- you know, I think there are lots of smart people who can think about where we put this, in a way that would be protective of human health and the environment. But it needs to be a balancing between, how do we have our waterfront be more productive again.

The reason we don't have large boats coming into Bridgeport anymore, is they can't fit. You know, we used to bring in all the bananas in the northeast to Bridgeport, and we don't anymore.

So, we need to do the dredging. The question is just going to be, how do we do it. And I think we do it smart.

I would agree with the Environment Committee that if I had a choice, I would prefer not to dispose of them in the Sound either. But again, if not there, we would need to find another home, and nobody really wants to have them in their back yard either. So, let's think about -- we'd need to be smart about it, and obviously put the better stuff on top of the worst stuff when we do that.

SENATOR LOONEY: Thank -- thank you very much, and again, this is, as we said with all the nominees, it's going to be a very important role for you to play with the other members of this newly created Authority, because so much connected to our -- our future capacity for economic development is going to depend in a large measure on enhancing the status of our ports in a way that -- that hasn't been done before, but needs to be an important part of our economic development strategy going forward for our competitive position as a state in terms of marketing, in terms of also just traffic management in the well.


SENATOR LOONEY: And -- and all of the other ancillary things that go along with that. Thank you.

PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Representative Godfrey.

REP. GODFREY: Thank you, Madam Chair.


PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you.

REP. GODFREY: Delighted to -- to see you here today.

And, in fact, I'm -- I'm really impressed -- I'm not surprised, but I'm impressed by the -- the broad experience of all the appointees that --


REP. GODFREY: -- to this -- yeah.

Obviously, being generalists, we have a lot of concerns that are not, you know, in that silo that I've been referring to.

And having an environmental lawyer in the Port Authority is just -- this is brilliant.

PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you.

REP. GODFREY: And -- and so I -- so I'm delighted you're there.

I'm from Danbury. We dumped some mercury into the Housatonic River for about --


REP. GODFREY: -- 150 years.

PAMELA ELKOW: I've -- I've worked on a couple of those.

REP. GODFREY: We're sorry.

I -- I -- there are still plots of land in my District, which is the downtown part --


REP. GODFREY: -- that can't be used for anything because the soil is -- is so laden with mercury, and nobody can afford to do the remediation.

So, I'm glad you understand that.

PAMELA ELKOW: The City of Danbury has been a client of mine; I definitely understand.


And -- and -- and I -- it -- it's -- and -- and I -- and I -- I enjoyed Senator Doyle's remarks about, you know, getting Wethersfield Cove somehow into the -- the Port Authority.

And I'm just hoping -- I hope you'll be -- it -- it's an environmental issue we haven't talked about yet here this morning. That it's not because Long Island Sound has moved so far into Connecticut, that you're actually on the shoreline.

I -- I suspect in the longer run the Port Authority is going to be dealing with the effects of climate change and the -- in the -- the raising of the sea level, and I -- I'm afraid sooner rather than later. I've just been watching what's going on.

So, as an environmental attorney, I -- I'm -- I'm comfortable -- tell me if I'm wrong -- that you track that kind of thing. You're aware of all of those trends that are going on, and you're willing to bring your -- your talents and your knowledge into the discussion.

PAMELA ELKOW: Certainly. Yes I do track that, and I'm aware of it.

I think, you know, obviously climate change, and how we respond to climate change, is a much bigger issue. I think -- ironically, there's sort of two things you think about here. One is, the getting everything off the road if -- or getting as much off the road; that's certainly one way of doing our part.

But I think there -- your -- your initial point is -- is a great one; which is, sea rise is happening. It will continue to happen. And so we have to fight climate change kind of on two parts. One, keep it from getting worse. And two, we're going to have to adapt.

And so one of the things from an infrastructure perspective I think we need to be thinking about along the coast, is -- is how do we improve our coasts, our ports and our harbors, in a way that takes into account what will be happening.

Just as with our rail. You know, we can't just simply replace the rail where it is. There are places where it's -- it -- it will be inundated by sea rise at some point.

So, as we think about, with the Governor's transportation plan, how do we deal with trans -- how do we deal with rail; let's think about, what's it going to look like 40 years from now, 50 years from now, and make sure it's resilient enough to withstand whatever's going to be happening then.

And I think that's true about the ports as well. And we need to be planning for that. Hopefully we're not moving them into Redding and Danbury, and the sea rise isn't that high.

But, I think that we -- we clearly need to be thinking about that, particularly because you would hope we're going to be thinking about infrastructure, and capital improvements, and making these ports more attractive. As you do that, you need to be thinking ahead. And that's clearly a piece of thinking that.

REP. GODFREY: I -- I appreciate that. I hope Trumbull isn't -- doesn't become a seaport.

And -- and -- and if you haven't been already aware of it, Representative Albis has been working very hard on the issue of -- of what's going to happen along the coastline as this progresses; and has actually been working interstate on government's response to the consequences of global climate change. So, I suspect a lot of the research has been done for you.

Congratulations again.

PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you. Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS: Yes, I just want to join my colleagues in thanking you, Attorney Elkow, for your willingness to serve. And I echo Representative Godfrey's remark that I'm excited about the quality and range of skills brought by the appointees this morning, and especially happy about your -- your extensive knowledge about environmental issues and, you know, the tough balancing act that's required between trying to develop and also trying to make realistic budgets and -- you know, where we need to make those decisions, are difficult and your extensive experience is going to serve the Port Authority well. Thank you.

PAMELA ELKOW: Thank you.

REP. JANOWSKI: Other questions or comments?

Seeing none, we have one final question that we ask all our nominees, and that is, is there anything in your background that can prove embarrassing to yourself, this body, the Members of the General Assembly or the Governor's Office?

PAMELA ELKOW: No, ma'am.

REP. JANOWSKI: Thank you very much. And again, congratulations on your nomination, and I -- I have no doubt that we've had -- all the candidates here today have been a big plus, and I think they will all be doing a great job. Thank you.

That concludes our testimony from the nominees.

Is there anyone here -- are there any members of the public that wish to testify or give comments?

Seeing none, I will close the Public Hearing, and we will convene the Committee Meeting to take up the nominations in about three minutes.