Malloy names agriculture, banking commissioners
HARTFORD (AP) -- Gov.-elect Dan Malloy continued filling out his cabinet on Tuesday, appointing the Connecticut Farm Bureau's executive director to oversee the state's agriculture department and reappointing his predecessor's banking commissioner.
Malloy, a Democrat, also announced that three of Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell's other commissioners will remain in their current jobs until he names a replacement. The list includes the commissioners of the Departments of Developmental Services, Transportation and Social Services.
"It's of the utmost importance to me that the people and communities these departments serve do not experience a disruption when one administration takes the place of another," said Malloy, who takes office on Jan. 5.
Malloy has said he would conduct a national search to find candidates for his social services, transportation, environmental protection and education commissioners.
He appeared with Steven Reviczky, of Coventry, his pick for state agriculture commissioner, during a news conference at the Legislative Office Building on Tuesday. Malloy said Reviczky is well-respected in Connecticut's farming community and helped to educate the incoming governor on farm issues.
"I and my administration are firmly committed to having healthier farms, more farms, more people in production in the state of Connecticut," said Malloy, who supports putting more unused farmland back into production.
Reviczky, a former first selectman of Ashford and a Christmas tree grower for 25 years, spent eight years at the Department of Agriculture working on the state's farmland preservation program. More recently he has been working to help the state's $1.1 billion dairy industry through his position at the Farm Bureau.
A dairy subsidy program is slated to expire on July 1, but Malloy did not specifically commit to funding it. He said "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it" when it's time to decide what costs the state will ultimately bear to support the industry.
Reviczky said he hopes to expand agriculture in Connecticut and enhance the availability of state-grown food and products. He cited a recent University of Connecticut study that found agriculture contributed $3.5 billion to the state's economy and is responsible for 20,000 jobs.
As commissioner, Pitkin has jurisdiction over state laws that affect commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, consumer credit, broker-dealers, investment advisers, securities, tender offers and business opportunities. He oversees the supervision of 40 state-chartered banks and thrifts and 34 state-chartered credit unions, as well as runs an agency with approximately 118 employees.
"Howard Pitkin has had a long, successful tenure at the Department of Banking, and I've been impressed with his leadership since becoming commissioner five years ago," Malloy said in a written statement. "The Connecticut Department of Banking will play a large part in our state's economic recovery and I'm pleased he will continue in this role."
"This is all about local farms and local jobs," Reviczky said.