Governor Deval Patrick sat down with a half dozen local small business owners during a visit to the Chelsea Clock Company last week and let them know point blank – he was holding up almost 300 health insurance premium renewals and not allowing them to be approved by the state because he felt the increase was simply too large.
This set the stage for an hour long discussion with the businessmen – who wanted to know what the governor was doing to help small business during the recession.
This was the governor’s fourth visit to Chelsea in the past five weeks – and he came over to Chelsea from East Boston, where he had attended the annual early morning YMCA breakfast.
About 350 people broke bread with the governor at that event.
“I have come to listen – not to talk,” said the governor when he began.
All of this reaching out and all of the exposure he is receiving getting around the cities and towns is part of the governor’s campaign strategy to act boldly, and to set the stage for his re-election campaign which is coming into full blossom.
Those who attended the Chelsea Clock meeting were impressed.
“He is very smart, very assertive and very charming,” said Robert Katz, owner of Nu Tread Tire, and one of those who sat at the table with the governor at Chelsea Clock.
“I was impressed,” he added.
Katz, like the others who traded information and thoughts with the governor, left the table feeling better that he had been there and that he had listened.
He toured the 100 year-old Chelsea Clock Everett Avenue facility with its owner and CEO J.K. Nicholas and Chelsea city manager Jay Ash.
The governor has a number of Chelsea Clocks and values them and tends to use them as gifts to VIPs visiting the state or retiring after long years of service.
Chelsea Clocks are sold directly and from fine retail shops like Tiffanys and others all over the world.
Governor Patrick’s stop in Chelsea was yet another sign of his campaign moving into high gear, with some of the governor’s staff people talking about how he is up at 6:30 a.m. and campaigning until the late evening.
In person and up close, the governor comes across quite well.
He is personable and suave, altogether well mannered and seemingly interested in what others have to say.
Indications are that his poll numbers are moving up – and frankly, it is no wonder.