THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, June 28, 2019 Page 11 Special Town Meeting Resolution to oppose privatization of custodial services passes easily, but doesn’t influence School Committee By Mark E. Vogler O n Monday night, Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member Ronald Wallace felt encouraged by the overwhelming support he received from his colleagues after a Special Town Meeting passed a resolution that he couldn’t introduce during two nights of the Annual Town Meeting. “I want to say that the School Committee was just sent a powerful message from Town Hall and that privatizing is not what the majority of people in town want to see happen,” Wallace said after members voted 34-2 to support a nonbinding resolution opposing the privatization of school custodians. “They still have time to right a wrong and do what the residents of Saugus want and that’s to keep our beloved custodians,” he said. But a majority of the School Committee was not swayed by the Special Town Meeting vote. And Wallace was so disappointed that he hinted he may not seek reelection in the fall to a Town Meeting seat. “It was a fun two terms on Town Meeting, but I cannot donate my time to a town that is a complete embarrassment on the North Shore right now,” Wallace told The Saugus Advocate Wednesday after the School Committee voted to privatize. “I want to say this is one of the most mishandled things I have ever seen in my 50 years in Saugus. The residents were ignored throughout the entire process,” Wallace said. “Even with contract talks going on, it could have been handled much differently. I have a unique angle on this being a 32-year union member. But also being on Town Meeting, I get to see the budget. The way the residents and custodians were treated is something people will not soon forget. I also was not treated fairly in the beginning with my resolution, and I thank Mrs. Riley for getting the signatures to keep it alive,” he said. He was referring to Corinne Riley, the former School Comof services delivered to our students, and replace loyal, hardworking, and dedicated employees with transient workers being paid at the poverty level; not paid a living wage. Whereas seventeen of the HOW THEY VOTED: Town Meeting members showed they are solidly behind the school custodians. mittee member who introduced an article providing for a nonbinding resolution to oppose privatization. She also spearheaded a signature drive for another article that established a procedure for considering future nonbinding resolutions. Voting against the resolution were Precinct 1 Member Susan C. Dunn and Courtney Whyte of Precinct 9. Karli M. Brazis of Precinct 5 abstained. Article 2 Whereas the Representatives in Town Meeting, here assembled, are the appropriating body in Saugus Town Government and are ultimately responsible for the expenditures of taxpayers monies; Whereas the Saugus School Committee is considering the privatization of custodial services in Saugus Public Schools and such an action would remove tax payer control and governmental accountability over the cleaning and maintenance of the town’s school buildings; Whereas eliminating the current custodial positions and replacing them with a private company would make our schools more susceptible to theft, reduce the quality aforementioned custodians, currently working in Saugus Public Schools, are residents of the town of Saugus and the average term of service of the custodial staff is equal to or greater than 17 years and; Whereas there is overwhelming public support for the custodians from parents, community leaders, school personnel, taxpayers, and residents; now, therefore, be it Resolved, the Representatives in Town Meeting, here assembled, encourage the members of the Saugus School Committee to reject the idea of privatization of the custodial services in Saugus Public Schools and negotiate with our custodial staff with a fair contract that is in the best interest of the students and taxpayers of Saugus. WE WORK FOR YOU! * Have your car repaired by Real Manufacturer Certiified Technicians * An I-CAR GOLD CLASS SHOP Highest Certificate in the Repair Industry * Premier Insurance Co. Collision Repair Shop for Geico, Liberty Mutual, Metlife, Progressive and more! * Over 30 Years of putting families back on the Road Safe & Fast! * ATLAS Stands Behind All Repairs with a Limited Lifetime Warranty 1605 North Shore Road, Revere * 781-284-1200 Visit us at: www.AtlasAutobody.com or call (781) 284-1200 to schedule your appointment today!

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