At a groundbreaking for a new development in Berlin Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont was greeted by protesters, making for some uncomfortable moments at the accompanying news conference.
“If you think being incredibly rude is helping your cause, you are incredibly wrong,” Lamont told protesters demonstrating against COVID-19-related restrictions.
Lamont stood at a brownfield site that eventually will become Steele Center on Farmington Ave., an $18 million transit-oriented development that will include apartments, a medical office, restaurant and retail space next to the Berlin train station on the Hartford corridor. The land was bought from the town by Newport Realty Group.
“More and more people want to live near transit and bus stations while being able to walk about their neighborhoods,” said Joseph Giulietti, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation.
Giulietti said over $430 million has gone into transit-oriented development projects since the Hartford line started two years ago. While protesters yelled that Lamont was acting like a king and shouted at him to fully reopen the state, the governor countered that he was trying to do that in Berlin.
“This is about opening up Connecticut,” said Lamont. “That is just what we are trying to do. This is about economic development.”
The demonstrators said they showed up to protest after their calls weren’t returned. They don’t believe Lamont should be able to issue executive orders or make their children wear masks.