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

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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.

COUNCIL CONNECTION

ON THE TRAIL WITH TY:
SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES & 95 PINE STREET

Recently I visited 95 Pine Street (the old Richardson School) and met with numerous agency directors and volunteers serving there. I was very impressed and want to help these agencies continue to serve area residents in this central location. The City of Attleboro is the landlord and has an ultimate goal of selling 95 Pine St. I want these agencies to continue their great work and am doing all I can to support them. Hearings are still being held by the City Council and the next date is August 20th at City Hall, 7 pm. Please come and support the following agencies renting space at 95 Pine Street. They need your support!

95 Pine Street is busy these days with a variety of social services like:
1. The Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative.
2. Mass Hire (Career Center).
3. Pave Your Path.
4. Self-Help
5. St. John’s Clothing Center.
6. St. Vincent de Paul.
7, Vincentian Re-Entry Program
8. WIC.

While there are still four rooms available on the second floor, 95 Pine has served approximately 14,000 people in need of assistance during the past year. In addition, 25,350 meals have been served to local citizens, totally approximately 40,000 times people have been helped in some capacity. This is impressive and shows the great interest by our citizens.

The benefits to the local economy are immense…. and the value attached to these serves is over $2.4 Million Dollars.

Here’s how these organizations help you and your neighbors …
1. Attleboro Interfaith Collaborative (Food for Friends): Emergency Meals, Transportation, Homelessness Assistance, Access to Free Legal Services, Sturdy Hospital Chaplaincy, and much more.
2. Mass Hire: Unemployment Assistance, Job search tools, 6th highest job placement of the 28 Mass Hire sites in our state.
3. Pave Your Path: Resume preparation, Interview prep, Financial Counseling, Life Skills Prep. – Goal: Break the Circle of Poverty, Build Self Sufficiency.
4. Self Help, Inc. – Food Assistance/pantry,
5. St. Johns’s clothing center: footwear, outerwear, clothing.
6. St. Vincent de Paul: Rent Assistance, Gas/Electrical Assistance, Bus passes, Uber rides, GED exam fees, emergency food deliveries and much more.
7 Vincentian Re-Entry Program: Supports people returning to our community after incarceration, food and gas vouchers, transportation assistance, paid admit to sober houses, etc.
8. WIC: The second busiest program at 95 Pine. Helps woman, infants and younger children with nutrition, healthy foods, counseling,

These programs are essential to the well-being of our citizens! Thank you for all the good that you are dispensing every day!

All My Best,
Ty Waterman, City Councilor At-Large

On the Trail with Ty

ON THE TRAIL WITH TY

Today I met a third World War 2 Veteran, a 91 year old who fought in the battle of Okinawa, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, before retiring from the military in 1966. He was tired of war.

But now this North Main Street citizen is scared for another reason. He supports his wife and maintains his house of 50+ years on a fixed income in an era of rising property taxes.He asked what I planned to do to help him financially?

I told this World War 2 vet that I supported a tax freeze/tax break for older seniors who had limited assets. I told him that a bill is sitting in the statehouse, sponsored by Rep. Jim Hawkins, to allow Massachusetts cities and towns to craft their own property tax policy for senior homeowners. This bill would essentially allow Attleboro’s city council to decide the age, asset and income limitations for seniors to gain a tax break.

So I told him and his angry wife that, "Yes, I will support a tax break for them. even if it means I personally have to pay $100-$200 more per year to help elderly seniors keep their homes."

He thanked me and shook my hand. And I told him my handshake is my word.

On the Trail With Ty: June 1 and 2

WARD ONE VETS – SOUTH ATTLEBORO

John (Corrigan) and I had a fascinating weekend at the doors in South Attleboro this weekend! Fascinating. (John travels with me when I am in my car in lieu of riding my bike.)

1. We reconnected with Ted Ouellete on Brown Street. Ted is approaching his 99th birthday, does his own cooking and home chores, goes out shopping with his 91 year old brother who lives a few blocks away, still drives, and looks in good shape. Ted is a WW2 Navy Veteran who drove the landing craft in the European Theatre, including the invasion of Anzio (Italy?). A soft-spoken gentleman and lifetime Attleboro native, Ted graduated from the "old" high school on County Street and worked 55 years as a press operator in an Attleboro jewelry shop.

2, Today we listened to Raymond Brogan, also a 98 year old WW2 veteran, who lives on Robinson Street in the house he built many moons ago. Ray was in the first wave of the Marines invasion of Guadelcanal (not sure of the spelling) and the battle of Okinawa. His memory is extremely vivid as he described hitting the beaches and running through rings of fire with heavy casualties. The Marines (1st division) were stranded on the beach, and left alone without food, until finally they were rescued by another invasion by the Army. Ray lost a lot of friends in the Marines. He returned to his native Attleboro and worked for many years in the vicinity of Texas Instruments, for a company making engines for nuclear subs. He was a supervisor and responsible for the performance of many an atomic sub. In his leisure time, Ray and his loving wife traveled thousands of miles in their schooner, with a beautiful photo lining his walls.

Ran ran into Donald Trump at least three times over the years, observing Mr. Trump threatening his first wife with his fist, and later on threatening a young teenage dock hand, also with his fist, when Ray anchored his boat at the same port as our erstwhile President.

On one occasion, Ray was told to leave his mooring next to Mr. Trumps huge yacht….so Donald could turn his yacht around and bring a lady friend (Barbara Streisand) back out to sea. Apparently Mr. Trump had a way of getting his way even then. Ray had to vacate the premises so Mr. Trump could also vacate the premises. Ray wryly noted: "Donald Trump knew a lot of powerful people and got his way even back then."

Ray talked to us for two solid hours today and we could have listened to his life experiences all night.

Both of these gentlemen, Ted and Ray, are wonderful representatives of Our Greatest Generation! I feel blessed that they both want to support my candidacy and put up my signs on their property this fall.

I wish Theophile (Ted) Ouellette and Raymond Brogan could ride in a special WW2 veterans car in Attleboro’s 4th of July parade this year.

Thank you, Ted … Thank you, Ray. You are the true American heroes1

A great day for Attleboro!

I am proud to live in Attleboro and in Massachusetts. We had a powerful ceremony to honor our LGBTQ friends and neighbors today at City Hall, despite technical problems with the microphone and misplacing the key that raises the LGBTQ flag! The flag will go up on Monday.

It was great to welcome Jax Adele back to Attleboro for a day as the MC of this special event. Every speaker ranging from Jax to Senator Paul Feeney to Mayor Paul Heroux gave thanks for our LGBTQ community.

I believe the core values of honesty, kindness, empathy, and compassion were alive at City Hall today!

Thank you for all the LGBTQ friends I’ve been able to make. While our world remains far from perfect, we have evolved into a far more accepting society than we lived in when I entered Planet Earth back in 1948.

To my LGBTQ friends and neighbors …. thank you for helping me become a more accepting, understanding human being. We are evolving in a positive direction!

All My best –
Ty

Ty Waterman

 

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Photo courtesy of Marilyn Powers

Ty’s Council Connections

On the Trail with Ty:I’ve been bicycling around our city for two weeks now. Finally put on shorts yesterday. Summer is almost here.

I’m advocating for our schools, children, seniors, firefighters, downtown revitalization and more. Everyone I meet wants our firefighters to get the protective gear and washer/driers that fight cancer. I will continue to push for a second set of turnout gear for the firefighters and expect a second gear washer/drier for the South Attleboro station to be purchased in July. I can’t think of a better cause than thanking our firefighters by protecting their health!

I spent the last few days on Bernt Drive, Rome Blvd., Green Drive, Rathbun Willard Drive, and Fairway Drive. Many of these folks are affected by the construction and traffic around the new high school. Everyone I met felt the new high school was a great boon for the youth of our city. They all said it is worth putting up with the inconvenience of noise and traffic. There will be a meeting at the high school (school committee room) for area residents on May 29th at 5 pm. I will be attending.

The number one issue as I biked around Wards 1, 6 and 2 these past few weeks…. is property taxes. Most folks think the new school is well worth their tax hike. However, some residents are wondering how they will afford the tax jump. I reminded voters that we need to help out our seniors with tax abatements and Senior Exemptions. The City Council is working on legislation to do just that. However, there are younger owners who are losing jobs and having difficulty making ends meet. I spoke with several unemployed folks this week and my heart goes out to them.

I also met several people who felt their property wasn’t assessed accurately. One man told me he was taxed for four bathrooms when he actually only has a bath and a half in his home. Another gentlemen was shocked to find his house increased in value $50,000 over the winter. I am advising people who feel they have a faulty assessment who they can contact. At the very least we all deserve a reasonable explanation for our tax levels.

The second biggest question is the future of Highland Park. We have two more big events coming this year at the park. The July 4th celebration will be at Highland and the Vietnam Traveling Wall is coming in September. The cross country course is finished and I’m sure we’ll hear about future developments soon enough. Most folks who live around the park seemed happy that the city purchased Highland and plans on preserving it’s beauty.

Sport tip of the week: Did you know the AHS baseball team has qualified for the state tourney? They play smart, snappy ball and keep winning one run games. Big game at Hayward Field tomorrow (Monday) vs. Franklin at 3:45. Check this team out! I’ve had a ball rooting for them this spring!

All The best,
Ty

Ty WatermanTyWaterman1918
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