Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 25, 2013

DELUCA: Tom Yots falls back in place

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "I was able to help them understand that preservation is good for them," he said of those he worked within this city.

As we walked Three Sisters Island, which has been updated by the parks department as part of $25 million in planned improvements, humming with tourists, Tom stopped and admitted he's heard a lot of comments about the renovation, some good, some bad. He touched a black temporary fence — one that I've hated from the moment I first saw it — and said, "I wondered about this until I asked somebody," he said. "I was told it's to be removed once the plants take hold."

That's the thing about Tom: He asks questions. If something's happening that he believes is detrimental to the future of the city and the care of its history, he says "I am now in a position to ask them why." 

He said the people in the parks department have always been square with him. But, it's not the parks that he's got his eye on so much. It's the prevailing attitude about preservation in this city and so many others.

I asked what his goals were now that he's here once again.  He said two things. The first was in tribute to the desires of his lovely wife. "This boy has to learn to relax a bit," he said of himself with a smile. I reminded him that all the "relaxing" things he hopes to do are typically the activities that stir people's creativity and desire to create change. 

He laughed and announced he had another goal. What would that be, I asked. "Connecting young people to preservation as a way to better their lives." 

As such, then it's a good thing he's back in this city. Retirement may be beckoning, but he's still got a lot of work to do.

Contact Features Editor Michele DeLuca at 282-2311, ext 2263.

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