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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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: 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.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/22/18

It was a good day. I was greeted by lots of folks and put five signs on their lawns. Four of the signs went right along Newport Ave, Route 1A. South Attleboro always seems friendly, regardless of the busy traffic.
John and I were amazed by the beauty along Pitus Ave, surrounded by a peaceful forest. So close — yet so far from the highways.
Two men shared their concerns today, along with the frustrations of keeping their medical insurance. Yesterday, a young man told me about his stroke and seizure disorder. People are struggling with their own issues and need someone to talk to, even a stranger like myself. I referred two of these men to the Larson Senior Center to talk with one of our terrific Social Workers. I’m going to follow up with the Wellness Director at the Attleboro YMCA for the man recovering from a stroke. Perhaps we can help his recovery.
I’m convinced one of the most important skills a City Councilor can have is be a good listener. I try.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/17/18

1.This is the week my beloved Red Sox will clinch the Eastern Division vs. the Yankees. How fitting that my first experience today in Ward 5A (off South Main St.) was about baseball? As we were inserting a pair of signs at the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette St., a man walked by and told me he enjoyed my book about the 1918 Red Sox. His then 15 year old daughter had given my book to him almost 20 years ago. I signed the book for Steve last year at the Attleboro Community Theatre.
We ended up talking about some of the players of that long ago deadball era. This wasn’t Attleboro politics but it resulted in my putting a sign in Steve’s yard. Great way to start the day.
2. Jose and I met in front of his barn on Pine Street and had a conversation about the Attleboro dump. Jose pays his taxes, which takes care of his weekly trash. Jose feels the dump should remain free. He loves Attleboro. Originally from Portugal, Jose wants his grandchildren to be fluent in both English and his native language. Jose thinks our schools should be teaching several foreign languages at a younger age, instead of simply offering Spanish in High School.
3. Sara on Dunham Street introduced me to Brent, her nine year old son. Brent can hear the teachers better than in the open class he had in fourth grade. He loves doing math. Sarah (Mom) and Brent are delighted he finally has a classroom with real walls.
4. While biking up Park Street towards Sturdy Hospital, I had the good fortune to meet Brenda, who suddenly appeared at her front door. She has a strong feeling for the homeless of our city. Brenda hopes we eventually have a family homeless shelter so struggling families can have a sense of security and warmth. Brenda actually grew up in a shelter on the North Shore of Mass. She wonders if Attleboro residents realize we do have a homeless population. As I left, she mused, “I will suffer for our homeless till the day I die.”
5. While heading back to my car, I stopped my bike in front of a quiet house on Parker Street. I heard a voice from the leafy front steps. It was a middle aged woman bemoaning the fate of her 62 year old sister, who was in the house suffering from Alzheimer’s.  I suggested she speak to one of our social workers at the Larson Senior Center. She sighed again. Her sister wasn’t well and didn’t seem to be trying to help herself. She thanked me for stopping and listening. Wish I could have done more.
6. My last visit was to a past supporter on School Street. This senior lady wants the council and our mayor to get along better. She wants city leaders to be civil and respectful of each other. She wants leadership that does something positive. I was a little surprised when she looked me in the eye, and told me to put up my sign in her yard. Then she asked me to contact Jim Hawkins and put one of his signs up, too. I would be honored to serve her. She’s a tough cookie and a really good soul.
All in all, it was a good day in the heart of Attleboro. Ward 5A is our smallest precinct but a vibrant one.
                                       Keep your chin up.
                                                               Ty

On the Trail with Ty: 9/14/18

A day well spent in the neighborhoods off of Pike Avenue in Ward 4B. One man told me he had a stroke five weeks ago and was found by the fire department’s rescue squad, First Responders. They treated him on site, hustled him to the hospital, and may have saved his life.
Following recovery, he went down to the fire station with dinner for the men who helped him. The firemen were surprised and told him they had only been thanked once in all the time they drove an ambulance to an emergency.
We talked about the importance of thanking city employees whether they be our police, firemen, social workers, librarians, park and recreation, or DPW workers. Everyone who works for the city of Attleboro is deserving of our thanks.

It was humbling to meet this gentlemen.