HARTFORD — House Republican Leader Larry Cafero honored the late, great Richard Belden today in a brief speech in the House Chamber. Former Shelton state representative Belden was also honored in a ceremony in Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s Capitol Office with the presentation to his widow Bertha “Bert” Belden of an original painting commissioned in his honor. Presenting the painting to Mrs. Belden were Governor Rell, state representatives Jason Perillo and Lawrence G. Miller, and state Senator Dan Debicella. The original painting by Southbury artist David Merrill depicts the Farmers’ Market in downtown Shelton, public open space along the Housatonic River, the Veterans’ Memorial and the River Walk.
Prominent in the painting are Belden’s familiar red Buick. Dick and Bert are shown seated on a bench contemplating the Veterans’ Memorial and the beauty of the Housatonic River.
“It is fitting to remember Dick Belden on Earth Day because he cared so much for both Connecticut’s natural resources and for the constituents he served so well,” Governor Rell said. “Dick was a champion of so many important issues – from fiscal restraint to open space preservation, to tough drunk-driving laws – but environmental stewardship was certainly at the top of his list.”
“Dick Belden always was committed to farmland preservation; to creating spaces like our Farmers’ Market and the River Walk that add so much to our community and our quality of life,” said Representative Perillo, R-113th District. “It’s so wonderful that we’ve all been able to gather here today to honor and recognize Dick Belden’s commitment to the environment and to the people of Connecticut.”
“This is the legacy Dick Belden left. It’s a tribute to the city Dick loved. He always was dedicated to improving the city’s quality of life and giving back to the people he represented so well for so many years,” said Representative Miller, R-122nd District. Belden represented Shelton’s 113th District for more than 32 years, the longest continuous service of any state representative in Connecticut’s history.
“Dick Belden did so much for Shelton, including everything shown in the painting– the Farmer’s market, the River Walk, and the Veteran’s Memorial. All of them were made possible because of Dick Belden’s perseverance at the Capitol. I am so happy we continue to honor his memory as we build on his success,” said Senator Debicella, R-21st District.
The art work was commissioned by Connecticut farmer Terry Jones, chairman of the Working Lands Alliance, to honor Representative Belden’s many years of service on behalf of Shelton and the environment. “Dick always was in on the ground floor for every imaginable project that was good for our community,” Mr. Jones said. “He was the gold standard for a legislator from our state.”
Presenting a painting honoring late Shelton state Representative, are from left, state Rep. Lawrence G. Miller, R-122nd District, state Rep. Jason Perillo, R-113th District, state Sen. Dan Debicella, R-21st District, Bert Belden, farmer Terry Jones, who chairs the Working Lands Alliance, Gov. Rell, and Mr. Merrill.