Shumlin performs ceremonial electrical work

You’ve heard of ceremonial ribbon cuttings with giant scissors, smashing champagne bottles on boats prior to maiden voyages, but Gov. Peter Shumlin tried out a new one Wednesday: screwing a cover onto a plastic box of electrical wiring and then taking a photo of a communications tower with a smartphone.

Dramatic, no?

The ceremonial electrical work by the Democratic governor took place in picturesque Plainfield below a new 100-foot tower where administration officials and lawmakers announced the launch of a broadband project that can serve about 4,000 businesses and households in rural central Vermont towns.

It’s all part of Shumlin’s goal of making broadband available to all Vermonters by the end of 2013.

At first, Shumlin – with screwdriver in hand – said he would use the tool to “connect” the towers that were part of the project together.

As he started screwing a cover over a box of electrical wiring attached to the side of a small building, however, it became clear it was more of a ceremonial “connection,” and Shumlin later acknowledged his role-playing as handyman was “a little drama.”

But Michael Birnbaum, the general manager of a Cloud Alliance — a company involved in the project — played along.

“Once we put this box together our connection will be complete, is that fair to say Michael?” Shumlin said.

“Sure,” said Birnbaum. “You’re the governor.”

 

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