This is a campaign for the people of Attleboro.

Today we put up signs for the first time this campaign season.

We went to 39 homes in Ward 1A in South Attleboro and Ward 6A near Capron Park and Thacher Street.  John and David prepared all the signs, handed out magnetic bumper stickers and buttons, and accompanied me around the city.

I was struck by the happiness I saw on face after face. Most of the homeowners were delighted to see me. It was awesome, as though I was Santa Claus bringing them a sleigh full of presents. Many of the folks were glad to accept our buttons and magnetic bumper stickers, and show me where they wanted us to put up their signs. One lady on South Main Street even helped us put up my sign on her front yard fence. She was having fun.

This is a campaign for the people of Attleboro. Seniors need to be helped, valued and served. Children need the best possible education. Our library needs the resources to help all those who enter its premises.

This is a people’s campaign. This campaign is for good government that is transparent, just, and responsive. This is a campaign for a city council that echoes and expresses the voice and will of our people, young and old, wealthy and poor alike.

The byproducts of knocking on doors…

Today I met Susan on Ruggles Street. She knew my daughter 20 years ago when we lived in Foxboro. Her son, Aaron, was a friend of Kate. We exchanged an update of our adult children and had a great time.

This is one of the byproducts of knocking on doors. I run into people I haven’t seen for a long time and enjoy memories.

Along the same vein, on Wednesday I knocked on Claudia’s door on Melody Lane. We used to perform together with Norton Singers back in the 90’s. Claudia was the accompanist before my wife, Jan, took over the position. Claudia was interested in how Jan was doing. I reported she still accompanies Norton Singers spring shows (Scarlet Pimpernel in 2018) and performs in the orchestra while I am on stage every June. It was great catching up with each other.

We all weave through our lives and intersect with terrific people as we go. Going on the trail this summer is fun. I never know who is going to open a door. We talk a little local politics and then catch up on our families.

Then he said, “I don’t like politicians.”

I met a man who drove home while I was at his front door today. He looked concerned so I went over to his parked car. He didn’t look comfortable while I told him I am running for city council. Then he said, “I don’t like politicians.”

I understood him. Politicians can be threatening to some people, they can appear fake, powerful, slick, manipulative, corrupt, liars, or worse. I found myself saying, “I am not a career politician. I have no ambitions beyond this position. I don’t like many politicians either.” Then he smiled a bit.

I really don’t see myself as a politician. I see myself as a social worker, working for the good of people. I envision weighing each city council vote to see how I can have the most positive effect on our city. I won’t get into a political war with other councilors. To me, getting in a battle is pointless and negative. I will seek ways to do something positive. Each vote will be answering an inner question.

How can I be helpful?

I am not a power-monger. As a councillor, I will be open and accountable to the public and give my reasons for votes. I don’t want anyone guessing why I voted yes or no.

I also believe in term limits so I can’t stay in office too long… maybe six years, eight max. I don’t want to get powerful. The idea of seeking power is repugnant to me. But I do plan to help Attleboro and our citizens. That is why I’m running.

On the trail: Sunday, August 5th

I met a lot of happy people today on Fairway Drive and Bernt St. Most of them are delighted to live in Attleboro. I found 100% agreement with building the new high school and purchasing the Highland Country Club. No one shut the door in my face, which makes it a good day. One lady challenged me to find state funds to pay for an outreach worker with the Council on Aging/Senior Center to visit our older senior population. Maybe we CAN find state funding. But everyone agrees visiting elderly seniors who live alone is a very important priority.

It’s tough seeing your friends and family begin to leave our world. Seniors absolutely love having visitors so they can talk about the old days in Attleboro. We’ve met several World War II vets pushing or past 95 years old. What a pleasure it was to meet those gentlemen. We really ought to provide some visits to these folks.

I had a heavy discussion with a couple on Berndt Drive. I discovered that two people with difficult health issues in their golden years of semi-retirement have to pay enormous health insurance costs. The 73 year-old husband has medicare but still pays a fortune per month in medications to deal with cancer, and his wife has at least $1000 per month costs with the Mass Health Connector, plus additional costs around co-pays, medications, etc. Both of them worked in good jobs all their lives, own a nice home in Attleboro, yet struggle just to make ends meet. This occurs at the very time they were deciding to retire. All I could do was listen, sympathize, and wish them my best. I really feel for them.

Going on the trail is a privilege and a pleasure. I meet so many really fine people.

Regards,
ty

REAL LIFE IN GOVERNMENT

Saturday, August 4th – Today, after the rain, I met someone who once played an important role in our city. This is an abridged version of the story:
Not so long ago, the school committee didn’t have enough money in the budget to meet the request of the teacher’s union. The school committee figured out a fiscal compromise. If the teachers could accept level funding for an additional six weeks beyond the end of their contract, they could then save the jobs of 8 teachers. After mid-August the teachers would then get their raise.
    But
The union turned down the school committee’s offer. The budget was too tight and eight teachers were laid off. The teachers did not even get to vote on the compromise offer.
     Both of my wives were teachers. On one occasion we had to make a similar decision. Accept level funding or see other teachers get laid off. We decided it was best to live at the same income for a while so other teachers and their families could have a job. The teachers union took a poll of all the teachers and they accepted the compromise. No one was laid off.
     If I were on the city council I would not want to see qualified teachers/city employees laid off. But in a tight financial year it might mean employees are offered less to save jobs.
 I hope it never comes to this. But compromises are sometimes necessary to keep our city solvent and people working.
I hope to have a happy story tomorrow.
Ty, on the trail.