U.S. Sen. John Kerry's staff held office hours in Williams town and Adams on Wed nesday, in a renewed effort to visit each of the commonwealth's 351 cities and towns.
Brigid O'Rourke, the representative that visited both towns, said the initiative provides an opportunity for Kerry's staff to meet with local residents, to gather opinions and to answer questions.
"People don't always find it so easy to get to [our offices in Boston and Springfield], so we're making an effort to bring the offices to them," O'Rourke said.
Though traffic was slow in both towns Wednesday, O'Rourke said she's recently assisted many in setting up Veterans and Social Security benefits, helped towns coordinate with the Federal Emer gency Management Agency and other federal entities, and acted as a conduit for questions about the environment, war and other issues.
"It's good to go back and tell the Senator what's going on and what people are thinking," O'Rourke said. " ... If it's just an opinion, I let my boss know who, then tells the senator. In other matters, we can refer these questions to experts."
According to O'Rourke, office hours are planned in two-week blocks, but another visit to North County can be expected in roughly a month.
Kerry said in a statement that his office doors are always open, but in these tough economic times, more has to be done to make sure everyone in the state can get in touch with their government.
Of the state's 351 communities, representatives from Kerry's office have visited 70 so far this year.
"We won't stop until we're able to help everyone we can in any way we can," Kerry said.
Kerry's website identifies the office hours as part of a continued effort to replicate his staff's 2009 feat of visiting all of the commonwealth's cities and towns.
"I want to make it as easy as possible for folks to understand and take advantage of the resources my office has to offer, so we're continuing our travels across the state and to your doorstep," Kerry said in a July 17 press release. "Whether it's cutting through red tape or getting you in touch with federal agencies, we want to help."
Future schedules will be available at kerry.senate.gov and on Twitter.