End of 2016 brings representative closer to home

State Rep. Phil Potvin

State Rep. Phil Potvin

BIG RAPIDS — The end of 2016 also marks the end of six years of service for State Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac.

“I started my term on Jan. 13, 2011,” Potvin said. “It was an exciting time. It was a lot of hard work and door knocking, letting people know who I was. That’s what got me elected.”

When he first ran for representative, Potvin said his mother asked why he wanted the job. Potvin responded with, “I was always told if I didn’t like something, I should work hard to change it.”

During his three terms in office, Potvin was involved with a number of bills, including revising the recreational authority act to include school districts and setting guidelines to protect students against bullying in schools.

Because a representative’s term is two years long, Potvin said he was always in campaign mode, which is part of the position he enjoyed.

“The most rewarding part of being a representative to me was getting to work with people as part of a team each year,” he said. “I would like to thank my constituents for the chance to serve the 102nd district. It was a great learning opportunity.”

Continuing the learning experience, Potvin has been working with his replacement, Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, to prepare her for the new year and new legislation. Potvin said all legislation starts new in 2017, there are no carry-overs.

“I am always open to any questions she has,” he said.

Hoitenga is excited to put Potvin’s teachings to work in Lansing.

“Phil has helped me out a lot,” she said.

Hoitenga was appointed to a policy committee, where she will work with others to set legislative priorities, she said.

With Hoitenga soon making treks from Lansing to the 102nd district and back, Potvin said he plans to travel west in January to warm up before returning home to Cadillac.

Potvin enjoyed being able to speak with his constituents and take their thoughts and opinions to Lansing, and now is looking forward to being home, where he and his wife of 49 years will be able to spend more time together.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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