By MIKE CHAIKEN
Andrew Howe is the latest Republican to step into the council race in November.
Howe will run for the seat in the second district, which is currently held by fellow Republican Jodi Zils Gagne and Democrat David Preleski.
Howe, the husband of Tiffany and a father of four, has been on the town’s Planning Commission since November 2015. He was also elected to the Republican Town Committee in January 2016. He is currently on the executive board for the RTC.
Howe, in an email interview said, he wanted to serve on the council at this time “because of the return to a bygone era emerging in our town. I feel social media has played a role in promoting this. Wonderful stories of people helping people have inspired me to do well by my fellow residents.”
“Also,” said Howe, “month after month, I sit in Council Chambers for our Planning Commission, Board of Finance, and City Council meetings. I personally see such amazing things happening in this town. The South East Business Park is filling up and the Route 6 Corridor study is starting to take shape. I feel I can contribute to this progress by becoming a public servant.”
Howe said, “My background in running a small business in this town taught me if you count your pennies the dollars take care of themselves. I wish to be involved in, to help mold Bristol’s bright future for the many generations to come both on a personal level and that of financial responsibility.”
As for what he hopes to accomplish by sitting on the council, Howe said, “This is our town and we the people should have a say… I think we have a serious homeless population that should be addressed, as well as too many young men and women dying of overdoses due to opioid use. I understand it is more of a state issue, but there must be something we can do on a town level.”
Also, the Republican candidate said, “I want to work side by side with our mayor on blight. Mayor (Ken) Cockayne and the rest of our current council have done wonderful things on that topic and that should continue. I would like to see Page Park get the same boost Rockwell Park did.”
As for the partisanship that has earmarked the current council term, Howe said, he think it has “has gotten out of hand. Whether you agree or disagree with our mayor, the position needs to be respected…. This is our town. We are all neighbors even if we disagree.”
“It hits a nerve when the same faces continue the same negativity about the same people,” said Howe. “I have written plenty of op-ed letters about DTC members and where did it get me? A petty label and no positive progress. This is by no means helpful on either side.”
“If elected, I will follow the lead of Councilwoman Jodi Zils Gagne. I will share in the positivity of this town with others,” said Howe.
If the RTC endorses Howe’s candidacy, he said, “My focus will be to reach as many of the people as I can. The reason we as individuals choose to run is to represent the people in our district. We are their voices. Their opinions are heard every time we knock on a door to introduce ourselves. Then it is up to us to make sure we follow through on our words to them.”