On the Trail With Ty

ON THE TRAIL WITH TY

I was out knocking and biking five hours today in Ward 4B along the far end of Wilmarth street and side roads. Lots of folks vacationing over a long 4th of July weekend. My last four visits were memorable.

1. I met a former special needs teacher who wants to return to the classroom. Since I was getting a bit woozy from the hot sun, she gave me a treat of cold water and fresh watermelon. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven! We talked about Attleboro schools and the work she had poured her life into for Attleboro’s children.

2. I then met a truly nice woman who was interested in applying for the senior work-off program to help pay her property tax bills. She whispered, " We don’t talk about presidential politics in my neighborhood. If we did we might disagree and lose some friends. People seem afraid to talk about politics." I enjoyed meeting her. She asked me to put up my sign on her lawn.

3. Then I saw a past supporter as he was parking his car. We spent a long time talking about the needs of the city to maintain our buildings, instead of letting them go until they required major repairs or complete replacement. I couldn’t agree more. Finally we went onto his street and he gave me a lesson in the correct way to lay down pavement.

4. But I made a mistake and made one last visit to finish the street. I knocked once, waited a few minutes, and was about to leave when the door opened. A large man in his 30’s looked down on me… scowling. Feeling uncomfortable, I blurted, "I’m your city councilor, my name is Ty. This is my last visit."
He slowly backed away and shut the door in my face. I held my tongue and walked away.

5. As I biked home I kicked myself for going to one house too many. My day ended on a big downer instead of three wonderful visits in a row.

6. I thought through what had happened as a rode my bike back home. There is a lesson in everything in life. It’s essential to be civil under all circumstances.

Every day we spend on the trail ..teaches us a real life lesson.

Ty Waterman, City Councilor At-Large

On the Trail with Ty

On the Trail With Ty

Friends: Today I headed down Wilmarth and the numerous side streets. I met a woman (70’s?) who didn’t realize the Senior Center administers an Attleboro work-off program that will potentially subtract $700 off her property tax … for one hour of work per week. She didn’t realize some of the work can be done sitting at a desk greeting people, handling phone calls, doing relatively simple administrative work, etc. She wants to get out of the house and into the "real" world on a limited basis. She frequently feels home-bound and misses socializing in the 9 to 5 world she used to belong to. When I left her house she was excited and smiling. Mission accomplished!

During my house calls I tell seniors they can have their income tax forms completed…. for free… at the center. They can get advice regarding their health insurance. They can join an exercise class, share a hearty lunch with other seniors, make new friends, listen to musical performances, etc. The list of events are stimulating and fun.

For example, I met a man last week near Steere St. who is still in the workforce and recently turned 65. He had no idea how his health insurance might change when he turns 65 and didn’t realize he might need to combine medicare with a supplemental health insurance plan quite soon. I told him about our excellent social workers at the senior center and advised him to make an appointment. He told me my surprise visit was exactly what the doctor ordered, to coin a well-worn phrase.

Check out the Larson Senior Center on South Main Street. Great place! If you come next Monday, 10 am on July 8th, I will be performing a folk song concert for a hour. Just a little free benefit from poking your head into the senior center. I hope to see you there!

Yes, now I am a City Councilor. But can you tell I am also a social worker? I love both roles.