On the eve of an election

Friends and neighbors:

It’s almost bedtime and tomorrow is another city election. I gave everything I had. Rode my bike most days and knocked on many a door. Maybe I could have reached a few more folks but I gave my Sunday afternoons to Pats fans and left you alone…. That was the time for Jan and me to cheer the Sox and Pats on.

I made it home for many a late dinner but Jan knows I’m always coming home. She’s a great lady and a wonderful cook. She is my best friend and my strongest fan. I can’t ask for more. Jan actually seemed to enjoy my political interests. I consider being a city councilor a natural extension of my lifetime of social work. Just trying to help people whenever I can. I makes me feel "right" to offer helpful advice to folks. It’s up to you if you think I’m pointing you in the right direction. I hope so.

I loved biking from house to house. It made feel alive, younger, and I slept great after a day of campaigning. I loved meeting all kinds of folks and discovered that most of you love living in Attleboro, despite our taxes, traffic, and our sleepy downtown.

But the biggest disappointment were the debates. They focused more on personalities and less on ideas. If I can’t be positive I simply try to keep my mouth shut. Complaining doesn’t accomplish much and trying to get the upper hand on somebody usually takes us down a notch.

Blame gets us nowhere. Encouragement takes us everywhere. Negativity scatters dirt all around us…. but positivity allows us to glow brightly.

Allow me to leave you with these words by President Calvin Coolidge… former governor of Massachusetts.

"NOTHING IN THE WORLD CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF PERSISTENCE
* TALENT will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

* GENIUS will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
* EDUCATION will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press On," has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

written by Calvin Coolidge in 1932.

Sleep well tonight…. and Press On.

ty

TyWaterman1918
508-455-1918 – Home
508-577-1412 – Cell

Hunting revisited

Friends: Our paper ran a front page story on hunting this weekend. While visiting a development off Pike Rd. yesterday, I met a gentlemen with a stern look on his face. He told me that I voted against hunting. Then another stern look.

I responded: "There may have been a misunderstanding. I am not against hunting, although I don’t hunt. I am for hunters asking for written permission to hunt on private property. This protects the hunter and homeowner alike.

Then I walked back towards my car. I turned around when he said, "I like your style." I wished him well and left his yard.

Let me add a few additional comments. Attleboro is a rapidly growing city, bigger than Burlington, Vermont …… Concord, New Hampshire and Bangor, Maine. Woodlands are being cut down for new houses all over our city. But if a homeowner is willing to give written permission for a hunter to hunt on their property, I’m fine with that…. assuming their property is big enough for safety purposes. But hunting on city property, where citizens may be walking this fall or winter, is another story. Citizens… including teens and children, need to feel safe in Attleboro’s parks and conservation land. I hope that property owners and hunters might agree with me.

But if homeowners are willing to share their land with hunters…. OK. Then hunting is fine by me.

Ty’s tape

(This is my three minute WARA tape that I made last week. It summarizes my year as a city councilor.).

Hello ..this is Ty Waterman. I’m a career social worker and I’m running for re-election as one of your At-Large City Councilors.

During the past year I’ve supported:

Attleboro’s public Schools:
1. I visited all nine schools this year.. was impressed by the dedication of our staff.
2. I advocated for the gym floors in Hyman Fine and Hill Roberts Schools. They’ll be replaced soon.
3. I was invited to teach two classes… talked with every principal, many teachers, counselors, and Supt. David Sawyer.
4. I intend to keep our schools strong and support lowering class sizes.

Seniors:
1. I meet with the Senior Center staff, attend COA Board meetings, and share lunches with seniors.
2. I supported the current Umass/COA study of the needs of Attleboro’s seniors.
3. I want our seniors to be able to stay in their own homes. (this is their "right" in their "golden" years.

The Public Library:

1. I voted for and participated in last spring’s study to determine the future needs of our library.
2. I support fixing the structure of the library (heat, AC, roof, and windows), so our library can remain on North Main St.

Public Safety:
1. I supported protecting our fire fighters … by voting for new gear washers/second set of gear… to keep them safe and healthy.
2. I support developing a new traffic division for our police … to help with our increasingly congested traffic.
3. I met with the residents of Torry Street during the Council’s Gas Leak Investigation… to help protect our citizens from future such emergencies.

Environment:
1. I voted for Attleboro to become a Green Community and lower our cities energy consumption and costs. We are becoming a Green City!

Social Services:
I support the eight social service agencies operating out of the former Richardson School … they are doing great work for our citizens! Thank You!

And, of course, … I support downtown revitalization.

Sooooo:
I will continue listening to you, from South Attleboro, downtown, and Attleboro’s six wards, and invite you to contact me anytime at 508-577-1412 or TyAttleboro

Thanks for putting your trust in me…. City Councilor At-Large …. Ty Waterman

PS: This short speech took me two minutes, 41 seconds … so I beat the three minute limit for broadcasting. Try doing a short speech sometime. It isn’t as easy as it looks! – Ty

.

What the doors tell me

I am in my sixth month knocking on doors, talking with people about Attleboro’s schools, teachers, children, seniors, taxes, downtown revitalization, firefighters, public safety, our cities growth, Highland Park, and much more.
It’s a challenge to summarize several thousand conversations nut there goes. I’ll do my best to give you feedback on what I’m hearing.

1. Attleboro: Overall, most people (90%) really enjoy living in Attleboro and plan to remain here their entire life. The vast majority feel Attleboro is filled with loyal, friendly, caring people and they wouldn’t live anywhere else. However, there were certain concerns that came up at most doors…. but most folks still love Attleboro.

2. Downtown Revitalization: This is far and away the biggest concern I’ve heard at the doors. Some people dislike going downtown and feel there is nothing to do except go out to Morin’s for dinner. Most people are looking forward to taking down several buildings at the end of Union and Park. There is a general agreement that building more decent apartments near the center, adding more parking, and enticing more businesses and restaurants is a good idea. There is a consensus that this makeover will take 3-5 more years. The fishnet building/former hotel on South Main appears to be the leading building for demolition. Older folks express a desire for more parking near the senior center and an eventual need for a new building.

There is almost universal agreement that our library needs to be saved and it is an historic, beloved building. Almost everyone want to see the library fixed (roof, windows, AC and heating systems). About 25% of the public think our downtown could be cordoned off someday and become a walking area….. once we have more stores, bistros, and interesting shoppes. People want a nice downtown.

3. Schools: 90% of the doors tells me they want strong schools and no teacher layoffs. The Blue Pride spirit is strong and their children are getting a solid, good education. I heard excellent reports from parents whose children are now in college…. they felt our high school has done an excellent job of preparing them for college. But I was surprised at the number of parents who send their children to Foxboro Charter School. Almost every parent was looking forward to our new high school and expected an excellent education in the future. The best news was the positive spirit that permeates through all the schools. The only negativity I heard was lack of maintainance of the current high school, and skepticism that the new high school might not be maintained property. They want school committee and city councilors to insist on keeping schools maintained this time around. There is a consensus the class sizes are a bit high and should be reduced.

There is a sizeable minority that criticize the cost of the new high school but most of these folks still think the quality of our education is very good. Despite anxiety about rising taxes most people remain loyal to Attleboro and the need for good schools.

4. Seniors: Seniors are interested in help paying their taxes. No doubt about it. Attleboro has small ways to help them, if they can work one hour a week, they will get $600 off their taxes. Building the new high school is a great thing for our children and the city. But many seniors are worried about affording the extra bill they are paying during the remainder of their home owning life.

Seniors receive great support from our Council on Aging and the Senior Center. Lunches, socialization, exercise, advice from the COA’s two social workers and shine councilors, free help with their income taxes…. and much more. I’m constantly sharing all the benefits they will receive from participating in the senior center activities. Some enjoy it… other seniors stay at home most of the time. But most of them appreciate hearing about the COA opportunities. Seniors are definitely the most receptive people I meet at the door.

5. Firefighters: Almost everyone loves to hear about the city council’s efforts to protect our firefighters. Total support in purchasing two gear washers and a second set of gear for those who needed it. Our citizens want our firefighters protected from cancer causing elements they risk when fighting fires. They are proud and thankful for our excellent fire department. In addition, I hear no complaints about our police. Most people appreciate police patrolling their streets. I heard lots of compliments for the professionalism of our police, especially in South Attleboro near route one..

6. Highland Park: I get a lot of questions about the future of Highland Park. Only a small percentage of people seem to have visited Highland so far. It’s nice to have cross country teams (AHS and Bishop Feehan) running in the new course at Highland. It was terrific seeing the Vietnam wall last weekend. But there are questions about the future development of Highland Park. The usage of our newest park is still unknown for most people.

7. Growth: A lot of people notice increased growth, new homes, speeding and increased congestion on the roads. This is a growing concern throughout our city. Several neighborhoods (Holden St., Tiffany as examples) have begun to organize informally to seek more police patrolling their streets. Having campaigned three times in the past two years, I see an increased concern over new homes, increased traffic and speeding. For most people, this is a quality of life issue. No one is being blamed but there is a realization that Attleboro is becoming a bigger city.

These opinions belong to the people I meet at the doors. I’m simply trying to share the concerns and messages that I hear every single day.

Ty Waterman, Attleboro City Councilor At-Large

TY’s SOFTBALL GAME REMINDER

EVERYONE

THE GAME IS SET FOR TOMORROW, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5th, 2-5 pm.

CHILDREN AND ADULTS ALL WELCOME! TEX BARRY’s CONEY ISLAND HOT DOGS (Free). BRING YOUR FRIENDS

BRING A SOFTBALL TO TOSS AROUND IF YOU HAVE ONE

WE ARE PLAYING BEHIND THE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE CAPRON PARK ZOO. YOU CAN PARK AT CAPRON PARK AND WALK ACROSS THE OUTFIELD FROM THERE. ANY QUESTIONS: Call me at 508-577-1412.

THIS IS FOR FUN!

Ty Waterman
Attleboro City Councilor

Ty’s Travels

Hi folks: I’ve been biking around Attleboro four hours a day since May 3. Lost about 15 pounds and heading down towards my high school baseball playing weight. I’m starting to not recognize myself and certainly don’t look like the face on my palm card. I’m 71 and getting younger by the day.

I love meeting you at your door. It’s a real treat and I’m honored when you share with me. In the past two days I’ve met a youthful mother who is a consultant for social service agencies, an older woman who loves home care with other seniors, a family man who wants to move his computer repair business to Attleboro, assuming he can find a downtown location with good parking. I’ve met a woman who owns a well-known Attleboro real estate company but is frustrated by the looks of our downtown area.

I’ve met a former school principal; an elderly woman who used to own a big farm that was turned into an upscale development off Richardson Avenue. She kept telling me she was a farmer and talked about her herd of cows and their barn, none of them currently evident except in her terrific memory.

Attleboro is full of kind, interesting, family oriented people. I enjoy serving them and serving you.