While fresh off being re-elected and clear goals to relieve mandates on local government and help eliminate the tax burden from his constituents, Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, R-St. James, believes now is not the time to celebrate his victory.
"I'm not really savoring the victory today because it's just been very busy trying to help people with the storm situation," he said. "When this calms down I'll take a little time and celebrate, take my wife out to dinner and we'll have a nice evening, but right now I'm focused on helping people get their lights back on."
Fitzpatrick said he's been on twice-daily conference calls seven days a week since Hurricane Sandy touched down, leaving the town in shambles, as well as engaging in constant text and email communication with a town-assigned LIPA representative to discuss specific local power issues that need to be addressed.
While complimentary of LIPA's efforts post Sandy, Fitzpatrick identified flaws in the communication system with the public as something the local government agencies and LIPA need to address in the future.
"With modern media and social media we've got to figure out a better way to keep people informed here," he said.
After locals are back with power Fitzpatrick said his main goal in office is to pursue relief on mandates for local government.
"The whole tax cap was predicated on doing the cap first and then delivering mandate relief. When you look at the tax foundation which ranks every state in terms of its tax burden we're in last place in New York State, we have the heavies total tax burden. After two years he hasn't moved the state up that ranking at all," he said.
Commack, by more than double Safer's votes, with a final tally of . This will be Fitzpatrick's sixth term in office.
In November 2010, Fitzpatrick defeated challenger Richard Macellaro, D-Kings Park, with 21,195 votes to Macellaro's 10,086.
While he's already served five terms as Assemblyman for the seventh district, he currently has no thoughts of running for a higher political office, but wouldn't rule out a possible change in the future.
"You never know what's around the corner," he said. "I learned a very good lesson from my father who served this town very well back in the 70s, he said 'you never talk about yourself running for higher office, let other people talk about you running for another office.' I think I'll abide, it's a very good rule to follow."