Costantino invites residents to 'Town Hall' meeting Monday

Costantino invites residents to 'Town Hall' meeting Monday

SMITHFIELD - Should Bryant University make cash payments to the town in lieu of taxes?

Should Rhode Island tighten gun control laws?

What's up with our state's economy?

These are a few of the issues - not to mention whether calamari should become Rhode Island's "official appetizer" - occupying the General Assembly.

Recently elected Rep. Gregory J. Costantino, making good on a campaign promise, wants to hear your opinions on a variety of matters at a "Town Hall" meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, April 8.

Just for the record, the "Town Hall" meeting won't be held in Town Hall, but in the roomier Senior Center in Deerfield Park.

First-termer Costantino is a Democrat who represents parts of Smithfield, Lincoln, and Johnston. He plans to schedule separate sessions in each community starting with Smithfield, where his district includes Esmond, the Whipple and Ridge Road areas, and parts of Putnam Pike.

He said residents need not be from his district to attend the session, which he describes as "a chance to share your concerns, ask questions, and make sure your voice is heard in the State House."

Costantino said the evening will be a give-and-take at which he'll hear opinions and share some of his own.

He said he plans specifically to address Bryant, gun control, and the economy, but will respond to questions on other topics as well, including, if it comes up, the much publicized bill legalizing same-sex marriage that passed the House and is pending in the Senate.

Costantino opposed the measure, but said he would have favored putting the issue before voters.

As for calamari, that's not a topic he plans to introduce at the meeting. But, he joked, if someone else asks about it, he'll be happy to say that his family-owned restaurants on Federal Hill, Costantino's Ristaurante and Venda Bar and Ristorante, 'have the best calamari around."

While noting that promotion of the squid dish to official status is low on his priority list, Costantino said he supports the bill that would enshrine it in law.