Gov. Jodi Rell is saying goodbye to public office after six years in the state’s top seat and she is ending her term much like the way she started it -- with an open house at the State House.
She invited constituents to her office from noon to 2 p.m. People were lined up well before Rell opened the doors and there was a steady stream of people all day long.
No one seemed to mind the wait, including Cindy Works and her husband, Jerry, who drove from Stafford Springs to meet the governor.
"I just wanted to thank her. It’s a tough job, whether I agree with what she did, whether I did not agree doesn't really matter. She was in here, she was doing what she thought was right and I had to thank her for it," Cindy Works said.
Rell said she will miss the people miss most of all.
“They have shared with me their joys and their tears, their hopes and dreams. It has been a humbling experience to be their governor and doing the right thing for our families is what inspired me throughout my time here," Rell said in a statement.
Visitors were able to walk through the governor's suite of offices on the second floor and had the chance to speak with Rell. Many shook her hand or had a picture taken with her.
"I was blessed and honored she had invited the public to come into her workplace and talk to her and bid her a fine farewell,” Laura Shriel, of East Hartford, said.
Along with residents, state workers like Bob Ward, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, stopped by to see Rell.
"Governor Rell and I came to the State Legislature together in 1985, so we worked together on things for 25 years. She is a wonderful public servant and a wonderful woman, so it’s a bit sad to say goodbye,” he said.
He said Rell has been an “excellent governor” and served the state well for two and a half decades.
“So it’s a little melancholy but she's done well and I'm just so glad and happy to have known her for all this time," Ward said.