Page 12 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, June 14, 2019 ASKS | FROM PAGE 11 Happy Father’ McKinnon’s is NOW HIRING a Deli Manager in Everett! APPLY ONLINE OR IN-STORE Family Pack BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST No Broth or Water Added! McKinnon’s Own MARINATED 1/2 CHICKENS Great on the Grill! Family Pack - Bone In CHICKEN DRUMS OR THIGHS Save 30¢ lb. Loose - Butter & Sugar Variety CORN ON THE COB Save $3.99 on 12 12/$ 399 Land O’Lakes - Alpine Lace SWISS CHEESE Save $1.50 lb. 4 lbs. or More - 75% Lean FRESH GROUND BEEF Save $1.80 lb. Family Pack - Bone In COUNTRY-STYLE PORK SPARE RIBS Marinated: $1.99 lb. USDA Prime NY SIRLOIN STEAK WOW! Dad’s Favorite! MCKINNON’S OWN MARINADES Original or Cowboy McKinnon’s Own OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST Save $1 lb. Sale Dates: Friday, June 14th to Thursday, June 20th, 2019 Committee and it would have been done in the open. A: Absolutely, but it’s a twoissue thing. First of all, what are you doing with the contract? That’s contractual, and there should have been some vote taken in Executive Session that should have been ratified in Open Session, just as when you give the superintendent a contract, you discuss his contract parameters in Executive Session, and once the Executive Session passes it or fails it, then you come out in Open Session and you ratify the action you took so that the people you represent know what’s going on. If you hide behind Executive Session, that’s just hiding behind it – that’s just a gutless situation to hide behind – with nobody wanting to face the truth and accept the consequences. Q: If this was decided in a secret session without making the vote public, you have the potential for having the vote disqualified if the state Attorney General’s Division of Open Government later determined the vote was invalid. A: Absolutely. If there were found to be Open Meeting Law violations, the vote would be rescinded. You’d have to start all over again, and there could be some sanctions against the School Committee. As we’ve seen in the past, there have been several issues where a School Committee was chastised by the state for Open Meeting Law violations, and in my opinion, they [School Committee members] have learned not to abide by the Open Meeting Law. But they’ve learned how to hide their Open Meeting Law violations so they’re not obvious to somebody who doesn’t spend eight hours a day perusing the agendas, the minutes and everything else to make sure that they have abided by the obligations that they have to the state law. Q: How do you think the public of Saugus should respond to these circumstances? A: Well, a week ago there were two petitions circulated around town that in one day both petitions – one for a Bylaw change on presenting resolutions to the Special Town Meeting, which is a separate issue, and the other petition, which was to support custodians and be against privatization – they gained over 200 signatures in less than a day. And there are more people every day wanting to sign the two petitions. Q: And you signed the petition. A: I was the first one to sign. That’s the important thing: that the people spoke on this. And the ultimate answer will come in November when the people go to the polls. Please, people … I want to say that people should not have short memories, come to November, as to what this School Committee has done or is doing. Q: At this point, you would say the full School Committee, by refusing to respond publicly to these concerns, at this point, they deserve to wear the responsibility for privatizing, if that’s what happens and if, indeed, the custodians are replaced by privatization? A: I think that when and if it comes to a vote, the people of the Town of Saugus – the parents and the voters – should carefully weigh how these people voted. Anybody that votes to privatize these custodians should be wearing that badge of discredit to them and should be replaced. Q: Sort of like “The Scarlet Letter”? A: Yeah, “The Scarlet Letter.” Unequivocally, they should be replaced if they vote to privatize. Now, obviously, you have five people. If five people vote to privatize, then all five people should be thrown out, and let’s get some new people in there who want to do the right thing for the kids in the town. This School Committee, over the last several years, by proxy, has been taken over by the town manager, because of his influence over the chair. Isn’t coincidental that the chair of the School Committee gets a job over at Town Hall after she’s elected and she gets 20 hours a week – and 20 hours is the threshold for insurance benefits, as well as all other town benefits. Nineteen hours, you are not eligible, but 20 hours and you are eligible. Whether she takes it or not is her decision, but it does make her eligible. The other issue is the town manager just hired two people to give out parking tickets in town. One is a retired police officer, and the other is a person who was fired from a town position a while back and is now working for the town, and both of them were hired at 20 hours, again, making them eligible for full town benefits. Now, obviously a retired police officer doesn’t need those benefits because they are covered in his retirement, but the other employee now has the ability to collect full insurance. Q: Are both these people Town Meeting members? A: Yes they are; both of them are Town Meeting members, coincidentally. So while the town manager is crying the 21 custodians are costing the town money, he’s hiring people and making them eligible to be put on the insurance rolls. Whether they take it or not is a personal decision, but they are eligible. Q: So, do you think a vote has been taken on this in private? A: I think a decision has been made. Maybe we’ll see something on the 20th [of June, at the next School Committee meeting]. If not, maybe we’ll see something on the 30th [end of the 2019 fiscal year when it would be clear if custodians were replaced by privatization] when the custodians’ contract expires. It think this has been going on for such a long time; I think the people of Saugus deserve an explanation. If I were hanging on by a thread to my job, I would want plenty of notice. It’s only right. It’s only fair. If the decision has been made, tell these people. Their lives have to continue; they have to make other arrangements. It’s not fair to them because they never did anything to the town. Q: Based upon what you know about the RFP, has there been adequate transparency on the documents that have been available to the public at this point? A: Absolutely not. I have heard that people have asked for them; I heard that you, yourself, has asked for them – and they’re not forthcoming. Why doesn’t this town abide by the rules of freedom of information? Public information? Open Meeting Law? This town violates so many rules and regulations, and they feel they are immune to it. Well, if the people feel they are not immune to it, they need to take their actions, and those actions happen in November at the ballot box. Q: Anything else that you would like to say? A: Again, these custodians are individuals; they are people with feelings. They take care of our schools; they have a vested interest in our schools. Somebody getting paid $12 or $13 an hour has no invested interest. All they care to do is the least amount of work for the most amount of money. These custodians should have been allowed to negotiate, and I think these negotiations were done in bad faith. The School Committee could have said to them, “We need to save some money. Come back to us with a proposal of how we can save some money, and then you have some give and take. I don’t know if that happened, but that’s how you do good collective bargaining – not dictatorial, like “We’re going to outsource you.” So, these meetings that they have been having about contract negotiations are a sham – an absolute sham.

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