Letter: Kevin Blacker Responds to Matthews Interview

in Letters/State Pier

I was puzzled by the CT Examiner’s decision to omit relevant information and not challenge Evan Matthews, former director of the CT Port Authority, for making a statement that was blatantly factually incorrect in his recent interview with CT Examiner. 

In characterizing events that led to Matthews’ departure from CPA the Examiner allowed Matthews to downplay one lapse in judgement after another with no mention of the incident that immediately preceded his departure from the CT Port Authority: when Matthews publicly called me autistic and antisocial, after threatening a referral to law enforcement. 

The Examiner also allowed Matthews to purport that Ørsted /Eversource deserve exclusivity at State Pier because they will be investing $93 million. The Examiner should have informed their readers that $35.5 million of that $93 million is taxpayer funded, and we the Public own the Pier.  I am glad that CTE gave Matthews a chance to defend himself. It is very clear that Matthews is not a big, bad, corrupt guy. The mistakes that Matthews made are understandable and forgivable, but not excusable.

I ask you to please read the quote below and ask yourself if we can trust leaders that: unapologetically allowed friends and family to be hired, leaders that didn’t respect the Public enough to hold a statute required Public Hearing, leaders that didn’t bother to submit comments on the State’s Blue Plan, or attend a crucial dredging meeting, or set up basic policies and accounting procedures.

The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined. It has been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the little choices of years past…by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation…whispering the lie that it really doesn’t matter. It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away…the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness, habits of self-sacrifice or of self-indulgence, habits of duty and honor and integrity-or dishonor and shame” — Ronald Reagan (or more likely his speech writer)

Matthews’ friend was hired by CPA for interior design.  Reemsnyder’s daughter was hired to provide CPA art work. Two of Scott Bates’ friends were hired to do consulting and marketing… so whose friend was Gateway, Eversource, and Ørsted?  We can not afford to gamble one of southeastern Connecticut’s greatest  assets on the judgement of Evan “by the seat of my pants” Matthews or Scott “I didn’t have the courage or decency to speak up” Bates.  The State Pier deal needs to be re-bid.

Kevin Blacker
Noank, CT