Sewer backup. Two of the worst words a homeowner could hear. Early on in my role as Ward 6 Councilor we had a whole string of them in the same general location. The culprit may have been a combination of things, including major road work, and the additional pressure on the system by a large nursing home in the same vicinity – regardless – there were backups, property damage, and residents looking for help. Ultimately, the backups were deemed the city’s responsibility and the cost for the cleanup would be covered with a claim to the city. Note: if you ever have a sewer backup, go ahead and begin the cleaning process (hiring the proper contractor for this sort of thing), take plenty of pictures, and file a claim with in the city solicitor’s office early on in the process. Believe it or not, I had one constituent who refused to have professional work done in his basement until a check from the city came. Bad move. This is all sorts of wrong on a number of levels, and quite simply is a health hazard.
Knocking on doors Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak with one of my constituents who followed the process correctly (as most do). Yes, it took a while to have the claim procedure run its course. But, ultimately, the family was reimbursed for their troubles. He was happy to see me, in fact, the family was so kind they invited me into their home as they were kicking off a baby shower for an expecting relative. People had come from out-of-state, it was festive – and by the way – “Here’s our city councilor!” Maybe they were expecting a circus clown to appear next? I was even offered a cigar. But, I politely declined, more than pleased to offer a sincere congratulations to the expecting mother and to have been invited in for a few kind words with a happy family.
It’s that time of year. Saturday evening (the night before) my wife and I enjoyed a great wedding at the Pittsfield Country Club (or, that’s the Country Club of Pittsfield) as one of her best childhood friends got married. Lots of Ali’s long-time friends from Taconic High School were there, many coming into town from all around. It’s great to see weddings that the bride and groom can really put their stamp on. Nowadays, wedding cakes are not a necessity. Often couples prefer elaborate cupcake presentations or another creative way to deliver the sweets. Saturday night, it was the opportunity for self-made s’mores. But the real kicker was the late night arrival of Pittsfield’s own nationally-known food truck. How We Roll made an appearance for a perfect late night snack: their famous egg rolls with endless variety of fillings. I had my share.
Fast forward to the next day, and door-to-door. Lo and behold, I knocked on a door that was answered by one of Ali’s friends I had just seen the night before. She had stayed at her cousin’s house for the weekend and was ready to head back to her home in the Boston-area. Small world, good times.