On the Trail with Ty: 10/27/18

1. This was a whirlwind of a week!  I was invited to a Halloween party for children, sponsored by Attleboro’s Youth Commission. It was fun watching small children playing games, politely lining up to receive candy from the city councilors, and having a good old fashioned Halloween. Kudos to our Youth Commission!
2. The highlight of my week was the City Council/State Representative debate at city hall. Once more, I was proud to live in Attleboro as we discussed local issues. The most important question concerned respect for our mayor, our city councilors, and one another. I absolutely respect the efforts of Mayor Heroux and each of our councilors. We don’t have to agree when debating issues but we darn well need to be courteous and polite. I applaud anyone who tries to create a better world, a better Attleboro. Civility is essential in our society.
3. As your city councilor I pledge to listen to your concerns, questions, and views. I will try to help seniors with their property taxes, children with their schooling, and constituents who contact me with their personal concerns. i will listen to you.
4. I spent several hours last week at gatherings with John Davis and Nick Lavoie, who are running for City Council. John and Nick are fine gentlemen. They truly care about Attleboro and both of them would be excellent city councilors. Attleboro will be well served if you vote for either of these men.
5. Today I dressed up in a wig with a Manny Ramirez Red Sox’ uniform. We held signs and waved at cars passing through County Square for a couple of hours. Cars were honking and people were smiling and laughing as they passed us. A good time for everyone.
6. During this final week of the campaign I will be knocking at doors until sunset on Monday, November 5th. I will also be speaking this Tuesday at 11 am on the Paul Healy show on WARA. Please call the radio station if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts.
7. If you decide to vote for me, I will give you my best effort. I look forward to being your public servant.
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MEET THE CANDIDATE – TY WATERMAN IS RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL, AT-LARGE

     I am a licensed social worker and I’m running for the city council, as an At-Large candidate. I am not a career politician, but I want to serve you, the residents of Attleboro. I believe the Number One goal of an elected official is Constituent Service. If you have a concern or a question, please contact me at 508-577-1412 or TyAttleboro@gmail.com. I will respond promptly.
      I’ve been a resident of Attleboro since 2002 and live at 33 Dorchester Ave. in Ward 4A. I’m married to Jan, a wonderful musician and a very kind lady. My two adult daughters, Arryn and Kate, live in the west.
      My education includes a BA in Physical Education and U. S. History from the University of Maine (Orono), and a Master’s degree from Boston University. In 1999 I co-wrote “The Year the Red Sox won the Series,” about the 1918 world champion Boston Red Sox, which became an award winning book. I’ve served on the board of directors for Norton Singers and the Society for American Baseball Research. Currently I am on the board of Attleboro Enterprises, Inc. and the Attleboro Council for Human Rights. I’ve performed in community musical theater for over 25 years and love to sing and act.
      For the past four years I’ve been the Social Worker for the Attleboro YMCA, assisting the 14 residents with counseling, medical needs, etc. Prior to that, I supervised foster care for 19 years, serving DDS intellectually disabled adults and DCF children and teens. I trained foster parents, wrote therapeutic assessments, and handled state audits. My social work career began at Wrentham State School where I worked with medical and behavioral clients.
      These are my current priorities as an At-Large City Councilor.
A: SENIORS:
      There are approximately 8,000 seniors living in Attleboro. I want to ensure that the Larson Senior Center has the fiscal resources to continue their excellent, professional services. If anyone wants to visit the Senior Center please feel free to contact me. I’d love to host you at a senior luncheon and introduce you to fellow seniors and the wonderful staff.
      During my campaign I’ve met many seniors who are worried that they can’t afford their homes in the midst of rising property taxes. Currently, there are a couple of bills progressing through the state legislature designed to help struggling seniors with their property taxes. Our seniors have paid for city services all their lives and I will vote to help support them.
B: CHILDREN:
      There are approximately 6,000 students in our public schools. They deserve the best possible education. During my visits with thousands of residents this summer and fall I heard lots of parents and children tell me their classes were increasingly crowded and it was harder for some students to learn. I am pledging to support every effort to lower class room sizes, thus improving the quality of our educational system. I believe Attleboro can be one of the best city school systems in Massachusetts. I am pro-education, the key to a successful life.
C. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
      The biggest concern that Attleboro residents had during my campaign is the economic vitality of Attleboro and the appearance of our center. I constantly heard comparisons with surrounding towns that had more appealing business districts. My response was that Attleboro will soon have an Economic Development Director, a position that has been vacant for several years. I will support our city’s administration and vote for a new Director of Economic Development. I will also work with the local Chamber of Commerce to support both new and existing businesses in Attleboro. I hope we’ll create more jobs in the center of our city, more parking, and attract more people to our downtown.
D: CONSTITUENT SERVICES:
       I want to provide first-rate constituent services and listen to your concerns,
I WILL SERVE YOU AND ATTLEBORO WITH ALL MY HEART. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov 6th.
–  Ty Waterman, candidate for At-Large City Council.

On the Trail with Ty: 10/15/18

Hi friends: I’m coming down the home stretch and still meeting lots of fine people. For example, today I met a retired reference librarian who served a long time with our Attleboro library. She gave her adult career to helping Attleboro’s library patrons and is glad for it. I could tell she was a really good librarian and a truly nice lady. Attleboro is a better place because of her.
I also met an 89 year old woman in South Attleboro who loves her cat. She has a big rock that is painted exactly like a cat, guarding her front porch. Funny and quirky, she pretended to shoot us with a shotgun and we laughed together. She made me chuckle often. She said she’ll vote for me simply because I listened to her. Then she grew serious. She was shocked and appalled when she lived in the south as a young woman and saw blatant racism. She was speaking to a Black man on a sidewalk and was lectured by someone, “We don’t do that sort of thing here. You don’t chat with Black men.” I’m not sure why she told me about that racist moment. Perhaps she’s glad to be living up here in Attleboro. I was honored that she shared a powerful moment in her life. A moment that taught her to respect people, no matter their skin color or their ethnicity. She opened up and let me see inside her soul during the few minutes we spoke together.
A powerful visit.

On the Trail with Ty: 10/6/18

A few moments from Saturday during my campaigning in Ward 5B along Oak Hill Avenue via my bike:
1. I was exposed to a screaming tirade from a middle aged man who immediately questioned my political party. I said. “the City Council is non-partisan but I am a registered Democrat.”  The next moment he was yelling at me about Democrats lack of support for our president and Justice Kavanaugh. I stood quietly in his driveway, wondering if I should hop on my bike and get out of his range. During a brief lull in his tirade, I quietly said, “I didn’t come to your home to argue.” He firmly responded, “I am not arguing either.” He never took my palm card, doesn’t have any idea what my campaign thoughts are, and never asked me a question except for my political affiliation.
I turned and left without another word.
2. Ten minutes later, I was greeted by a younger man asking if I was Ty the social worker. He shared with me his experience with the Dept. of Children and Family Services. He and his wife have raised a nine year old girl for the past three years after she was removed from her home by DCF. They have been working towards an DCF goal of adoption. Then the case was switched to another city and the goal suddenly changed to reunification. The girl and her foster parents are dismayed and confused. The girl does not want to return to live with the birth mother, who is currently homeless.
Not sure how this will eventually work out, but I appreciated them seeking my council and did my best to help.
3. I was invited into an 85 year old man’s home. He lamented on the changes in his world and said he wouldn’t want to be growing up now. He lives alone with six children scattered around the country. We both enjoyed chatting for a few minutes at his dining room table. He repeated that he didn’t know too much about politics and hoped I’d come back and visit again.
I felt honored to visit this gentleman. I hope we can help him with a break in his property taxes in this home he’s owned for at least 50 years.

On the Trail with Ty: 10/6/18

1. The past two days in Ward 5A have really been fun. (5A is the area immediately South of the center of the city.) I was invited to put up signs in front of four homes on East Street, one home on Union Street and James Street. Everyone I met was enthusiastic and gracious. It was a humbling experience. One of the highlights of our campaign.
People are concerned about seniors housing. Today, an elderly man told me he’d owned his house for the past 75 years. He’s afraid he’ll have to give it up because of rising property taxes. Attleboro doesn’t want anyone to lose their homes.
We will find a way to help seniors live in their homes as long as possible. If Houston, Minneapolis and other cities around the USA can give their seniors a break…. so can Attleboro!
Jim Hawkins is working on several bills in the state house to give seniors hope. I will support our seniors when those bills reach the City Council.
Meanwhile, our children need smaller classes. If we can build a new high school we can certainly figure out how to reduce the class sizes. I am constantly meeting students who are lamenting that their classes are very crowded. Are we listening to them? What are we communicating to them?
To help seniors and children we need more revenue. Our proposed new Economic Development Director could help by attracting new businesses to Attleboro.
2. I stopped at East Street to look at my map when a car with two ladies slowed down next to me. The passenger leaned out the window and asked if I was a census worker. I smiled and handed my palm card to her. “No, Ma’am, I’m hoping to be a city councilor.” She laughed, took my card, and told me to knock them dead in City Hall. Off they drove.

On The Trail with Ty: 10/2/18

1. Hillary pulled into her long dirt driveway and slammed her brakes to say “Hi”, while I stood by my bike. She was excited to meet me and easy to talk with. We chatted about the Attleboro school system. She noted the abrupt rise in class sizes over the past few years, we both agreed that “For Sale” signs are rising, and young couples are moving out of Attleboro in search of another school system. This was a rather bleak look into the future of ours. She hopes we restore French in the high school and Spanish in the middle school.
We agreed that Attleboro was a darn good school system a few years ago and has plenty of excellent teachers. But our system is stressed now. We need to address the class sizes, refocus on foreign languages, and set our educational sights high.
If we rebuild our schools, people will come. Attleboro can become a Field of Dreams.
2. Just before the skies opened up, I met Mike. We talked about seniors needing assistance to keep their homes. Then he stepped back and asked what political party I belonged to. “The City Council is non-partisan”, I answered. “Too Bad”, he responded. “If you told me you were an Independent I would have voted for you. But I could never vote for a Democrat. I just couldn’t do it.”
I quietly looked Mike in the eyes. I asked him, “Don’t you think Republicans and Democrats both care about our Senior Center, library, police and fire departments? Don’t you think we both want the best for Attleboro’s schools? I became a Democrat because JFK saved our world when I was a child. He was strong, calm and determined to stop Russia and protect our country.”
Mike agreed that JFK was a great leader and president. “But times have changed, Ty. Kavanaugh is not guilty. No one can prove he did anything to her (Christine Blasey Ford). They are persecuting the Judge.”
I was quiet for a moment. Mike seemed sad, too. As he turned to shut the door, I said, “Call me sometime. I will try to help you. I don’t judge people simply by their political party.”
As the door closed I thought I heard Mike murmur, “O.K.” Maybe, just maybe, we connected a little bit.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/20/18

Today I met with a couple who live in Ward 4B, near the Norton line. They are retired, still have a mortgage, and their tax bill has recently increased from $4,000 to $5,200 a year. They are expecting next years tax bill to climb over $6,000 on their fixed income. This is a story being played out all over Attleboro.
In this case, the couple is seriously considering moving to North Carolina where taxes and housing costs are a lot less expensive. Most seniors either can’t move or don’t want to leave their extended family behind. We need to help those folks who choose to stay in Attleboro.
In recent weeks I have seen a dramatic increases in homes for sale. I hope these are people choosing to live in a better home. But some of them may be moving into apartments or downsizing because they can’t afford their current homes.
I love Attleboro and plan to stay. But I want to help Seniors that are in danger of losing their homes. Our State Rep., Jim Hawkins, has informed me that three bills are working their way through the state house. The goal is to help seniors get a cap on their taxes or a loan to help them through a housing crisis. I haven’t seen the details but I hope to vote for one of these housing bills as a city councilor.
Affordable housing is one of our deepest needs, especially when we live on fixed incomes.