Saturday, August 4th – Today, after the rain, I met someone who once played an important role in our city. This is an abridged version of the story:
Not so long ago, the school committee didn’t have enough money in the budget to meet the request of the teacher’s union. The school committee figured out a fiscal compromise. If the teachers could accept level funding for an additional six weeks beyond the end of their contract, they could then save the jobs of 8 teachers. After mid-August the teachers would then get their raise.
The union turned down the school committee’s offer. The budget was too tight and eight teachers were laid off. The teachers did not even get to vote on the compromise offer.
Both of my wives were teachers. On one occasion we had to make a similar decision. Accept level funding or see other teachers get laid off. We decided it was best to live at the same income for a while so other teachers and their families could have a job. The teachers union took a poll of all the teachers and they accepted the compromise. No one was laid off.
If I were on the city council I would not want to see qualified teachers/city employees laid off. But in a tight financial year it might mean employees are offered less to save jobs.
I hope it never comes to this. But compromises are sometimes necessary to keep our city solvent and people working.
I hope to have a happy story tomorrow.
Ty, on the trail.
1. This morning I met Lois and Ed on County Street (Near Fourth Street). Wonderful folks in their 80’s. They couldn’t have been nicer. Both of them are lifelong Attleboro residents. Ed worked full-time till he was 83 as a manager of a tool shop. He was fascinated by my bike and cautioned me several times to be careful when on the roads. In a span of 5 or 6 minutes Ed and I bonded and he watched me ride away till I was totally out of sight… He could have been my kind uncle.
2. Then I met Maria on Dennis Street. She moved to Attleboro from Hyde Park two years ago. Maria has 5 children, 11 to 24, and is very happy with the friendly folks in Attleboro. Our school system is a big plus after raising her children in Boston schools. She insisted on putting up one of my signs this fall.
3. Next I stopped to say hi to Dan M. walking along County Street after relaxing in Capron Park. I biked up to him on the sidewalk. He was delighted to meet me. We only talked briefly but I could tell he is a happy man.
4. At the end of the afternoon I knocked on Diane B.’s door…. she peered through the glass and asked if I recognized her. We had met 25 years earlier when we both performed in “Christmas Carol” with the Attleboro Community Theatre! I played Schooge and Diane was Mrs. Cratchit. We recalled being in “Christman Carol” together and she offered complete support of my candidacy.
5. Last but not least… around 6:15 pm I knocked on Rhonda’s door on Jackson St. Rhonda loved my idea to create a Senior Center job for someone to visit homebound seniors, mostly in their 80’s or 90’s.
I meet a lot of wonderful people on my campaign trail!
Friends – – I met an enthusiastic young woman in South Attleboro today knocking on doors on Robinson Ave. I told Bethany I will be a strong education supporter… and Bethany told me about the day in Attleboro High School when she walked into Latin class and was told her teacher was gone and Latin was cancelled for the rest of the year … and beyond.
I looked Bethany in the eye and told her I would vote NO to layoffs during the school year. I told her I want Attleboro schools to return to the level we were at before the massive layoffs a few years ago. Bethany go excited and told me she would definitely vote for me.
I also met a woman who is an aide in our school system. She was offered no pay raise this year and was deeply offended. Her union fought back and helped her get a tiny raise but she won’t forget the slap in the face when told she didn’t deserve a raise. We need dedicated teacher aides in Attleboro…. and we want them to feel appreciated.
Every day I meet teachers, aides, students and voters like Bethany who want stronger schools in our city. We will be building a new high school… lets continue to build what happens inside the classrooms!
If you want to volunteer to hold signs and canvass with me in September and October, please let me know (508-577-1412). Attleboro can be the strongest city school system in Massachusetts. Let’s invest in our youth!