SAUGUS Vol. 22, No. 24 -FREE~ The Advocate Asks ~ Former School Committee Member Grabowski says voters should replace committee members who support privatization of custodians Editor’s Note: For this week, we sat down with Arthur Grabowski, who served four two-year terms on the Saugus School Committee before he lost his bid for a fifth term in the town election two years ago. Grabowski requested to be interviewed on the issue of privatizing custodial services in Saugus Public Schools. He says it will be a mistake if the School Department replaces its 21 school custodians with a private company. Highlights of interview follow. Q: Based on what you know at the present time, would you vote for privatization of custodial services for Saugus Public Schools? A: At this point in time, with the information I know, absolutely not. This issue is not about performance of the custodians. This issue is pure and simple: The town manager does not want to pay health insurance for these employees. Have a Happy Father’s Day! ADVOCATE www.advocatenews.net Published Every Friday 781-233-4446 Friday, June 14, 2019 Vote’s validity questioned Two School Committee members call decision to replace custodians “illegal” By Mark E. Vogler NO TRANSPARENCY: Former School Committee Member Arthur Grabowski criticizes the current committee for being secretive and not seeking public comment on the proposal to privatize custodial services. (Saugus Advocate Photo by Mark E. Vogler) Not only that, in my opinion, he’s doing everything he can to eliminate unions and having to deal with them, because ASKS | SEE PAGE 10 ANGELO’S FULL "Over 40 Years of Excellence!" 1978-2019 Regular Unleaded $2.579 Mid Unleaded $2.799 Super $2.859 Diesel Fuel $2.839 KERO $4.759 Diesel $2.699 SERVICE HEATING OIL 24-Hour Burner Service Call for Current Price! (125—gallon minimum) DEF Available by Pump! Open an account and order online at: www.angelosoil.com (781) 231-3500 (781) 231-3003 367 LINCOLN AVE • SAUGUS • OPEN 7 DAYS wenty-one school custodians will lose their jobs at the end of the month, thanks to a vote conducted in bad faith behind closed doors, possibly illegally, two Saugus School Committee members believe. “I feel a vote was taken based on fraudulent information, misrepresentation, and down and out lies,” Committee Member Lisa Morgante told The Saugus Advocate. School Committee ViceChair Elizabeth Marchese said that she and Morgante were stonewalled on their requests for vital bid and contract information. “I feel like we were lied to and ignored on any request we made for information,” she said Wednesday. The two School Committee members question the legality of an executive session vote that was taken last month to privatize custodial services in Saugus Public Schools. They said they believe an improper vote at a May 8 Executive Session violated Public Bidding, Open Meeting and Public Records laws. “I don’t think it was legal. I don’t think the decision was made on the up and up,” Morgante said in an interview Wednesday. Marchese, who is a lawyer, said she believes the commitT tee was taking a “conceptual vote” on a proposal offered by Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. after members went into Executive Session at their 7:15 a.m. meeting on May 8. “To be honest with you, this (vote) shouldn’t have been done in executive session,” Marchese said in an interview Wednesday. “And as far as I’m concerned, this wasn’t a legal executive session,” she said. Committee reportedly didn’t follow Executive Session’s agenda Although the agenda for the May 8 meeting states that the committee would “move into Executive Session for the purpose of Collective Bargaining with the Custodians and The Superintendent’s Contract,” there was never any discussion with the custodians, according to Morgante and Marchese. The Open Meeting Law Guide states that a public body may only discuss matters for which the Executive Session was called, as specified on the agenda. But instead of a collective bargaining session with the school custodians, Morgante and Marchese said, the committee heard a proposal from DeRuosi on how the School Department could save more than $600,000 by privatizing its custodial services. “There was a semblance of a ~ Home of the Week ~ SAUGUS...Custom 2 yr old Center Entrance Colonial boasts 9 rooms, 4-5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, livingroom w/gas fireplace, amazing, custom kitchen w/ granite counters, truly oversized 9’ island w/seating, top-of-the-line, stainless appliances, 5 burner gas stove, double ovens, pot filler, open to wet bar area w/wine cooler, atrium doors to deck, great open floor plan, entertainmentsize diningroom w/custom woodwork, convenient 1st floor laundry rm w/quartz counter, master suite w/private bath & walk-in closet, hardwood flooring, central air (2 units), security system, walk-up attic ready for future expansion, finished lower level offers au-pair suite w/second laundry hook-up - great for the extended or growing family, designer back yard for summer enjoyment w/salt water, self cleaning, inground pool surrounded by pavers patio & fire pit, 2 car attached gar, stylish farmer’s porch, irrigation system, located near exclusive subdivisions surrounded by multi-million dollars homes! 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In an email she wrote this week, Marchese requested that the privatization issue be placed on the June 20th agenda for public vote in the School Committee’s Open Meeting. Meanwhile, several custodians have told The Saugus Advocate that they expect their last day of work will be June 28 and that the School Department has already selected a company to replace them. DeRuosi, during the final night of this year’s Annual VALIDITY | SEE PAGE 8 Prices subject to change FLEET

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