One week after being elected to a second term as state representative, Steven Howitt plans get back in the saddle to advocate for the 4th Bristol District, which includes Seekonk and several other communities.
"The next day you sort of catch your breath," said Howitt, adding that he has gotten lots of positive responses to his re-election. The Seekonk resident attributed his success to the many volunteers, particularly his wife Pam, who helped with his campaign.
Howitt received about 63 percent of the votes. In Seekonk, he beat out opponent A. Keith Carreiro 4,459 to 2,491.
Lately, Howitt has been filing home rule petitions. In Seekonk, for example, there is one for liquor licenses.
"Our big strength is in constituent issues," Howitt said. "We have solved a lot of problems along the way in the past two years. I think our record shows that we've worked very hard on their behalf."
Howitt said he keeps files on all constituents who contact him. These files remain open until he has an answer for them.
"It's unfortunate, but people have problems with the state and state agencies and they contact us to try and cut through the red tape, which is what we try to do," Howitt said.
In Seekonk, the completion of the Route 152 redesign project at Bakers Corners will be one of his main objectives. Next in line is the 114A project at Arcade and Fall River Avenue .
"It's one of the worst intersections in the state," Howitt said. "We were able to land money from the state to do the design, and that's scheduled in the next year or two on the DOT schedule to be renovated after all these years."
Howitt said he would continue to foster his relationship with the DOT 5 in Taunton by attending monthly meetings and voicing concerns about state roads.
More liquor licenses laws will also be looked at for Seekonk on Route 6.
"This would be good for the economy in terms of jobs and in terms of even the local meal tax," Howitt said.
An additional satellite fire station is being sought for the town. Right now the state pit behind Route 195 is being looked at for a rental space in the next year or so.
In other towns the focus will be on local agriculture and helping senior citizens and veterans.
Although there are no office hours currently scheduled, Howitt said they would be planned for early 2013. Howitt reminds constituents that while face-to-face time is valuable, they may reach him at any time through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 617-722-2305.