Ty reads to students at Hill-Roberts.

Reading a book with 4th graders


Yesterday I read a book to a fourth-grade class at Hill-Roberts Elementary School in South Attleboro. Granted, I was a bit nervous. It had been a long time since I had read to my two adult daughters, Arryn and Kate. But it’s like getting on a bicycle. You never forget how much fun reading to children can be. It reminded me of reading “Little House on the Prairie” to my daughters.

So I brought my baseball glove, a baseball, wore a Manny Ramirez vintage Red Sox shirt and my old Red Sox hat. Twenty-five children snuggled down in the reading nook in the corner of their classroom, sat on a rug and listened to “Zachary’s Ball”. It’s a story about a nine-year-old boy who went to a game at Fenway Park. Zachary went with his Dad, was dreaming that he made a great catch in left field, pitched the final winning World Series game, and caught a ball in his seat. The children loved the story.

Several of the 4th graders told stories about balls they had caught, or been given, both in Fenway and while watching the Paw Sox. The told me what they loved about Fenway Park (the Green Monster, hot dogs, and the dirt infield). All eyes were on me while I read the story. It turned out that Zachary’s Ball was a Magic Ball. When we were finished I turned and gave my baseball to the girl sitting on my right. She was delighted…. but I reminded her to the ball was magical and she needed to share it with other children. She nodded yes.

Listening to “Zachary’s Ball” was a magical time for both myself and the children at Hill-Roberts!

We had a lot of fun! These children are precious and we need to give them the best education humanly possible. Hill-Roberts is a really nice school.

Play Ball !!!!

Council Connection: 3/15/19

The issue of housing, personal security and the fragility of life became very real to me this week. I met with several senior constituents who are struggling to make their housing payments, maintain their property and handle normal repairs. I wonder how seniors on fixed incomes can handle a leaky roof, an aging boiler, or a driveway that needs repair? Social security and relatively small savings/IRA’s/pensions aren’t always enough to handle the cost of living. Uncle Sam might increase our monthly checks by 1% a year. It isn’t enough… not even close.

The most frequent calls I receive are from seniors seeking guidance as they grapple with the reality of keeping their homes. That’s why I support seniors being considered for property tax breaks. I am also a strong supporter of Attleboro’s Council on Aging/Senior Center.

If you know a Senior in trouble, suggest they call one of our social workers at the Senior Center on South Main Street. They will find a friendly, caring ear and some sound advice. If you know a Senior who needs to give up their home (a truly sad event) then the staff of the Senior Center will offer sound advice. I don’t want anyone to lose their home.

In the last census, we discovered that there were 8,000+ senior citizens living in Attleboro. I’ve been advised there might be 14,000 seniors in Attleboro by the time our next census is completed. Jan and I are among that group.

We need to cherish and help our seniors. With good health, we shall all be Seniors one fine day.

Ty Waterman – City Councilor At-Large

508-455-1918 – Home

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Attleboro

      What a beautiful MLK day in Attleboro! Both ceremonies had terrific moments, whether at City Hall or Murray Unitarian Church. The music was wonderful, with a terrific senior high choir at City Hall that drew raves from the speakers. At Murray, we heard several moving numbers by the adult choir, a splendid brass, and woodwind quintet, and a closing Piano piece that shook the rafters as we all sang the spiritual “We Shall Overcome.”
      The theme was clearly Martin Luther King, Jr.’s thoughts about economic justice. We heard that the rich have grown by 12% in 2018 while the poor has grown by 11%, leaving an ever-decreasing middle class. This is scary to comprehend. Could our new tax laws be actually helping the rich get even richer, while the poor are increasing at an equally fast pace?
      We heard MLK speak about a poor people’s campaign/march on Washington D.C. that he was planning when he was assassinated. MLK’S message was steeped in the Gospel and teachings of Jesus. Martin cared deeply about both the spiritual needs of the poor, plus our financial needs. He wanted everyone to be able to have decent housing, a satisfactory income, plentiful food for the body and the soul, and hope for both our present and future.
      What would Martin be telling us if he gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech today?
      MLK’s vision of America would call us to love ALL of God’s children, whether they be native-born Americans or those who want to become Americans. MLK told us we are all God’s children. I believe Martin would speak out against a wall along our southwestern borders. MLK would remind us that our Civil War was fought so people of all backgrounds can grow into healthy, productive citizens.
      Martin had a beautiful dream.
     Today I heard our City Council vice president, Heather Porreca, tell us that Attleboro folks really care about one another. It doesn’t matter if we are wealthy or low income; white or have darker shades of skin; if we are children or elderly. Heather pointed out what a true community Attleboro has become. If someone is sick and without insurance, we can still offer health care at Sturdy Hospital. If someone moves here with special needs, we find a way to help special need children. If someone is hungry, we have food banks and free meals almost every night of the year. If someone is without housing, we are trying to find them a dry, safe place to hang their hat.
     Martin Luther King would have appreciated Attleboro. We aren’t perfect but Attleboro folks generally have a big heart. I love this city.
     Let’s remember MLK’s vision for the United States. A dream whereby children of all colors, races, and economic strata can proudly call home.
-Ty Waterman, City Councilor At-Large.

MLK Day in Attleboro by DoubleACS

Council Connection: 1/17/19

Friends – I am starting a pilgrimage to visit principals, teachers, and students at each of Attleboro’s schools. Our schools are over 50% of our budget. We owe Attleboro’s children the best possible education we can give to them.

My first stop this past Tuesday was at Wamsutta Middle School with Principal Joe Connor and 572 students. What a gentleman! Principal Connor gave me a full hour, took me to several classrooms (art, music, gym, STEM, and a science class. The children were engrossed in their lesson in every class, independently working on their various projects. I saw a dozen children playing keyboards, an entire class working on a DNA project, a STEM class that was exploring why there is no sound in space (did I understand this concept correctly?). Wamsutta children appear really blessed to have such dedicated staff and administrators.

This learning goes forth despite an average of 28 to 30 students per class. A 20-year-old school that looks great at first glance, but it is pitted with leaks, the carpets are worn and the keyboards are 15 years old. The entire school has just one adjustment counselor. But I saw lots of enthusiastic, well behaved and interested children. I met several teachers who are clearly devoted to educating the children. And I met Joe Connor, a principal that really cares.

Wamsutta stats:

  • First language is not English:  18.1%
  • Students with Disabilities: 17.7%
  • High Needs: 43.8%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 31.4%

It was a good day at Wamsutta Middle School. I bet this school has lots of good days.


Council Connection: Week of 1/7/19

      The City Council accomplished a lot last week. We passed a PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION ORDINANCE.
      #1 – We passed a city ordinance banning single-use plastic bags, effective October 1, 2019. I voted for this ordinance and it passed the Council by a 9 to 1 vote. The hope is that shoppers in Attleboro stores will carry reusable check-out bags, including cloth, and plastic bags that are at least 4.0 mils thick. But the single-use think plastic bags will be gone by next October 1.
      #2.  This ordinance will cover stores of 3,500 square feet. Stores with less than 3,500 may be exempted from the new Plastic Waste Reduction Ordinance for up to six months by the Attleboro Health Officer.  If this ordinance causes undue hardship and a retail establishment needs more time to use up their inventory of thin-film, single-use plastic check-out bags, they can be given an extension by our Health Officer.
       #3. The Health Officer and the City of Attleboro Health Department will administer and enforce this ordinance. The first violation shall result in a written warning to the establishment. The second violation will result in a $50 fine and the third violation results in a $100 fine.
        #1. Catherine began working out of her city hall office on December 26, 2018. I had the pleasure of giving Catherine a two hour tour of the senior center, library, and some businesses off of Pleasant Street. She comes to us from working in Washington D.C. and specializes in downtown revitalization projects. The City Council was very impressed by Catherine’s idea and plans, voting 10-0 to hire her. I was the lucky councilor to make the motion that she be given a two-year term of office. I sincerely hope Catherine will be working for us in Attleboro for many years,
        VISITS BY TY – During the past week I met with the Directors of our Planning Dept. and Department of Public Works. I also spoke with the chairman of the Library Board of Trustees; and spoke at the DARE award ceremony to a roomful of fifth graders at the Brennan Middle School. I was urging the children to speak with their parents if they ever get into a situation where they feel uncomfortable around smokers, drinking, or drugs.
Submitted by Ty Waterman (508-577-1412): City Councilman At-Large.