Page 18 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, April 12, 2019 ~ Letters to the Editor ~ Saugus custodians To The Editor: There is a lot of controversy over the privatization of Saugus Public Schools and I am writing as a concerned wife of one of the 21 hardworking custodians. My husband has worked as a Saugus custodian in some capacity, whether part-time or full-time, in one school or another, for the past 19 years. For the last 10 years he has been the lead custodian for one of the elementary schools. I would like to share a bit about my family so the Superintendent and the School Committee can read firsthand whose lives this move to privatize could impact. I met my husband while we both attended Saugus High School in the early 2000s. I went to college to get my degree in Elementary Education while my husband joined the workforce. After being married for quite some time, we welcomed our first son in 2016. When deciding where we wanted our family to plant their roots, there was absolutely no doubt in my husband’s mind that we would live in Saugus. He would say things like, “We grew up here, our families live here.” I was raised in Saugus since I was a baby, but my husband is a very proud, born and raised, fourth generation Saugonian and he was all the more excited for our children to become fifth generation Saugonians. So, even though I wanted to look in other towns, we happily bought our house in Saugus and are now expecting our second son in June – right before my husband’s contract is up. During a time when we should have been celebrating creating a beautiful little life, my husband was filled with dread and worry over how he was going to provide for his soon-to-be family of four. When my husband first got the news that he may lose his job he was absolutely devastated. I have never seen my husband look so uncertain in the 16 years we have been together. There were countless tears shed and even more sleepless nights. ~ OPEN HOUSE ~ Sunday, April 14 * 12:00 - 1:30 PM 63 HARVARD ST., CHELSEA PRATTVILLE NEW PRICE: $619,900. These custodians do so much more than we think they do. My husband does so much more than just “clean” his school. Every time we are out in public and kids see him, their faces light up and they call his name, most of them running up to say hi. He plays soccer and basketball with the kids at recess. He makes sure the building is safe for the staff and children. He goes in over the weekend to snow-blow and clear all of the exits so they are ready for the staff and students to enter the building on a Monday morning. He helps the PTO set up and break down special events thrown at the school. He knows every little personality that roams the hallways. When he goes into to work it’s not, “Hey pal” or “Hey buddy” as he walks by a sea of faces he doesn’t really know. It’s “Hey Adam, how’s your brother doing?” or “Hi Erica, how’s your dad’s new job?” My husband is an integral member of the school staff that the kids enjoy seeing just as much as seeing their principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and cafeteria workers. Between overtime, 2:00 a.m. alarm calls, weekend events, night events, these custodians do it all and it’s just not fair. If you privatize, you would be getting rid of 21 custodians who have been dedicated to their schools, their staff, and this town for a very long time. The average amount of years of service these custodians have under their belts speaks for itself. These custodians aren’t here for a few months or years and then leave – most have been here in the town for well over 10 years. This is just one story out of 21. The move to privatize will not only affect the 21 families of these custodians, it’s going to affect the administrators, teachers, students, and the whole community of the Saugus Public School system. Please think about the huge impact this is going to have on so many families. Signed, Michelle Swanson, a very worried wife of a Saugus custodian and mother of (almost) two boys “Privatization is a tool used by dictators ... to suppress democracy” Dear Editor: Let’s get this debate straight for the entire Community. I’ve supported my written findings by excerpts from the Harvard Business Review. Town Government is making an effort to gain more control of the community, its citizens by bullying and threatening taxpayers by using propaganda to state the cost is “30% to 50% more” to allocate funds which support Federal, City, Town employees. Who’s the “man behind A RARE GEM: Listed by Sandy. Located in the Historic Prattville section of Chelsea, former home to two mayors and state senator; featuring brand new kitchen and appliances with granite counter bedrooms-plus, two and half baths with tiled shower stall; half bath pine walk-in closets; wrap-around farmer’s porch; imported working space with two extra rooms, back yard and more! A block from T Bus Stop. Move in for the Holidays and start making memories! Sandy Juliano, BROKER CBR,ASP JRS PROPERTIES, INC. 433 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149 The service doesn’t end with the sale! the curtain”? I haven’t read a word or heard a “peep” regarding it from the “Fab Five” or our State Representative. Privatizing Custodians is just the beginning of losing any control the Townspeople of Saugus have remaining! Why would you vote someone to represent you who wants to take your job away? I cite from an article published in Harvard Business Review November - December 1991, “Does Privatization Serve the Public Interest?,” by John B. Goodman and Gary W. Loveman. “But most important, (former Reagan staffer Stuart) Butler contends, is that privatization can simply reduce the size of government. Fewer government workers and fewer people supporting a larger role for government means less of a drain on the nation’s budget and overall economic efficiency. Butler’s arguments for privatization find sympathetic ears at the California-based Reason Foundation, which has been advocating privatization of both public assets and public services since the late 1970s. Using language designed to push the hot button of the average taxpayer, the foundation claims: “If your city is not taking full advantage of privatization, your cost of local government may be 30% to 50%higher than it need be. The costs of state and federal government are also greater without privatization.” I am convinced that Privatization is and will continue to be a tool used by Dictators to gain control over a functioning entity in order to suppress Democracy. Fact. Respectfully Submitted, Michael A. Coller Former Candidate for State Representative and the Saugus Board of Selectmen

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