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Prague Nominated To Head State Department On Aging

by Christine Stuart | Mar 28, 2013 1:49pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Town News, Hartford, State Capitol

Christine Stuart photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and former Sen. Edith Prague

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy nominated former Sen. Edith Prague on Thursday to a position she held nearly 20 years ago — Aging Department Commissioner.

The State Department on Aging was disbanded by former Gov. Lowell Weicker and re-established by Malloy and the legislature in January. Prague will take over as head of the new agency on April 8.

“I’m so excited I’m beside myself,” Prague said.

Known as a staunch advocate for the elderly, Malloy said Prague was a natural choice for the position, which pays $120,000 a year.

Prague, an 87-year-old Democrat from Columbia, decided not to run for re-election last year after having suffered a minor stroke.

Last May, Prague said that while she made a miraculous recovery from the stroke, her doctor advised her not to get into stressful or exhausting situations. Campaigning qualifies as both, she said.

Asked why she would decide not to run for a part-time position but is willing to take on the full-time position as commissioner, Malloy stepped in and said he doesn’t plan to meet with Prague at 2:30 a.m. It was a reference to the sometimes long hours the General Assembly puts in toward the end of the session.

“That was then and this is now,” Prague said.

She said she’s gotten stronger since deciding not to run for re-election.

“I’m drinking Boost every day,” Prague said. “So I’ll stay healthy and I’m looking forward to the job.”

Prague said she’s been waiting for 20 years for the state to make the Aging Department an independent agency. She will manage a staff of around 30 people. Malloy said the department was necessary because more than 21 percent of the state’s population will be at retirement age by 2030.

“I believe Edith has the experience and expertise necessary to make an immediate impact and lead policy initiatives that ensure the needs of our growing elderly population are met,” Malloy said.

When announcing Prague’s appointment, Malloy joked that he’s “quite certain she will tell me what to do.”

Prague said she was the one who approached Malloy about becoming commissioner of the state Department on Aging.

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(10) Comments

posted by: Noteworthy | March 28, 2013  2:29pm

They never go away. They just change seats.

posted by: JohninByram | March 28, 2013  5:07pm

Does anyone think it’s a good idea to hire someone 87 years old to run a department with 30 people?

posted by: Hebee | March 28, 2013  7:25pm

This is the classic Tony Soprano “No Show” job appointment. Malloy represents everything that is sleazy and wrong with Connecticut politics. . Edith was unable to perform her part time Legislative job for 1/3 of the pay;  yet a grateful Governor Malloy appointments her to a six figure sweetheart job for her many years of loyal service to the State. I am sure she is a nice lady but what a joke. The biggest Joke is on the Connecticut Taxpayers. Malloy will win reelection in 2014. The foolish Democrats in this (Bluer than Blue) State would rather vote for a bad Democrat than elect a Good Republican. Dan will be around for a long, long time.

posted by: Disgruntled | March 29, 2013  6:59am

$120,000 a year for Edith?
Can that salary be verified…it would be a rather interesting addition to the article and would help readers to see what is going on in Hartford.

posted by: perturbed | March 29, 2013  10:47am

perturbed

Mark Pazniokas reported elsewhere that Prague “still grimaces at the mention of Weicker’s name.”

Well, I still grimace at the mention of Prague’s name.

Here’s what she had to say of state employees in 2011 after we properly and legally voted down the SEBAC 2011 agreement in full accordance with long-standing (and since abandoned) ratification rules:

“So they had a two-year wage freeze, big deal.”

“I’m so angry at them that, you know, I’d like to turn them over my knee and give them a whack.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Prague failed to recall all the rest of the concessions.

So the feeling is mutual, Ms. Prague. You helped force us into slashing our own retirement security. And now you can pad your own family’s security. How nice.

My guess—without really knowing—is that Prague was an adamant health care reform advocate, and she knew SEBAC 2011 needed to get rammed through so Malloy would follow through on his part of the bargain not to veto the health care pooling bill.

—perturbed

posted by: 17beachboy | March 29, 2013  3:55pm

Edith Prague, while a lovely person, should not be Commissioner for the State Department on Aging.  She should be a client.

posted by: Christine Stuart | March 29, 2013  7:49pm

Christine Stuart

Disgruntled, I know you’re disgruntled, but Malloy said her salary at the press conference. I don’t know how much more verification you need.
Christine

posted by: Hebee | March 29, 2013  8:10pm

17Beachboy just won with the greatest “Edith Prague Comment” and advanced to the bonus round. No further comments required on this post.

posted by: perturbed | March 29, 2013  8:29pm

perturbed

Christine Stuart wrote:

”...Malloy said her salary at the press conference. I don’t know how much more verification you need.”

Christine—thank you for the laugh! That’s the funniest thing I heard all week.

(I’m not questioning your facts, just appreciating your sense of humor.)

—perturbed

posted by: oliviahuxtable | March 30, 2013  9:19am

$120,000 a year to manage 30 people? Boy, nice to have connections. Other commissioners…i.e. Rod Bremby of DSS, are responsible for huge agencies and staff. Are they paid commensurate with their staffing levels? No. Must be nice to be part of the political elite in Corrupticut. Good going, Dannel…huge penalties on state employee pensions, but hire a crony for $120,000.00. What a wasteful, corrupt state we live in.