Should the state sell the Governor’s mansion to save money and send a message of belt tightening? One of the Republican candidates for Governor is pushing the idea.
The World War I vintage Georgian Revival style mansion was purchased by the state at a bargain price in the 1940’s and has been the official home to all of Connecticut’s Governors ever since. It sits on four acres in the Hartford’s West Side on a street of similarly large homes from mostly the same period. A Conservancy that raises private donations has paid for most of the improvements for the past 25 years.
A state agency takes care of routine maintenance.
Attorney Peter Lumaj of Fairfield, a conservative Republican seeking the party nomination for Governor has proposed selling the Governor’s residence as a gesture of belt tightening. In an interview at his campaign headquarters in Southington today Lumaj admitted the $1 to $1.5 million the mansion might bring in a sale is not going to make much difference as the next Governor is likely to be facing a billion dollar deficit. “The point is that we have to send a message to Hartford that the taxpayers’ money is not their money. It belongs to the taxpayers and so does the mansion,” said Lumaj.
Governor Malloy who has lived in the mansion for the past seven years and sold his own home in Stamford when he became Governor, is aware of Lumaj’s idea and does not does not dismiss it saying, “I think that’s for the next Governor to decide.”
Upon hearing Malloy’s remark, Lumaj quipped “There is some common sense left in this guy I guess, I mean, after all he’s bringing our state to the brink of declaring bankruptcy. But, you know we have to start somewhere and that is the point.”
Another candidate, who identifies himself as a “Liberty Democrat” Mark Stewart of Farmington has suggested renting out rooms in the mansion on “airbnb.”