The day – Osten appointed to panels on state capitol preservation, nuclear energy
State Senator Cathy Osten has been appointed to the State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Commission, the body considering the removal of a statue of Major John Mason from outside the Capitol, a business that Osten has championed at name of the Mashantucket Pequot and Eastern Pequot tribes.
Osten, a Democrat from Sprague, has also been appointed to the Nuclear Energy Advisory Board, which oversees the safety and operations of the Millstone Power Plant in Waterford.
The appointments were made Friday by Senate Speaker Martin M. Looney, a Democrat from New Haven.
The 12-member State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Commission, established in 1973, is responsible for studying the State Capitol building and grounds and developing a master plan for their preservation and their restoration, including structural changes, improvements to the interior and exterior of the building, use of existing space and public safety.
In the last session of the state legislature, Osten drafted a bill to move the statue of Mason to a museum in Hartford. Although the bill did not move forward, the state budget approved by the legislature in June provided a $ 15,000 appropriation for the statue’s removal.
Mason, a controversial figure, led the English forces against the Pequots in the “Massacre at Mystic” of 1637, the pivotal battle of the Pequot War.
Last year, a state-owned Mason statue erected in Mystic in 1889 and moved to a Windsor Green in 1995 was targeted for relocation to a less significant site in this north-central Connecticut city.
“I have been fighting for some time to have the John Mason statue removed from outside the State Capitol and re-exhibited elsewhere, in the proper historical context, and not in a place of honor in the summit of Connecticut’s seat of government, ”Osten said. “I believe a seat on the State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Commission will give me the opportunity to better make these arguments and help modernize our sometimes fictionalized version of history, which often ignores the impact that some of our state ancestors had over others of our state ancestors. We must enter into these discussions with our eyes, hearts and minds wide open. “
Following a meeting on September 22, the committee scheduled an invitational forum on the statue of Mason at 10 a.m. on November 18 in the Legislative Office building in Hartford. Guests will be able to participate remotely.
Some members of the commission expressed their support for maintaining the statue of Mason on the Capitol.
The 14-member Nuclear Energy Advisory Council was established in 1996.
“The Nuclear Energy Advisory Council is also important to me because Connecticut’s only nuclear power plant, Millstone, is located in Southeast Connecticut and is a major employer in the region,” Osten said. “Millstone also generates 50% of the electricity we use in Connecticut. Keeping Millstone running safely and efficiently, and ensuring that state policies help Millstone in its power generation and job creation are high on my list on this board. “