As I enter the last few months of my first term in the State Senate, I would like to take this opportunity to both review and refocus.
First of all, it has been my honor to serve the people of Portsmouth and Bristol. As many of you know, the learning curve is steep if someone wants to do the job well. There is little time to waste as our state has been facing and will continue to deal with substantial budget issues. I am thankful to my colleagues — Senators Bates, Felag, DiPalma, and the Senate President Paiva-Weed — for helping me learn the legislative process, from drafting through passage. While there were times we did not all agree, I never felt that my input or my contributions to debate were subject to party politics.
I am sure that many of you reading this are acutely aware of what our state is facing. It is essential that we find a new way of thinking about our budget and taxation issues. There is no part of our state that is not feeling the pressure of high unemployment. This further erodes the housing market as business owners and workers decide that a better future might be in another state. I am a life-long Rhode Islander, my parents were Rhode Islanders, and I insist on being optimistic that my son will live and work here too. Our state has all of the creativity, energy and talent of any other state. I believe we can turn this around with some fiscally conservative tax strategies.
I will not have an opponent this November, and that will allow me to refocus my efforts on working with state leadership to make real changes to our tax codes and business regulations. My first step is to get out and visit my constituents and businesses in my district again. This will include the routine office hours that I have held throughout my first term. My district has been enlarged to include central Tiverton and I look forward to walking this area and holding meet-and-greets for new constituents.
I sincerely hope I am able to communicate that as a physician, small businessman and Rhode Islander, I absolutely am aware of the sense of urgency that we all feel. Something needs to be done and I will do my best to be part of that solution. I wish everyone a great summer and I hope to see you while I’m out walking in the district.
Dr. Christopher S. Ottiano
Senator, District 11