Local Government and Politics, News

Here are the candidates running for office in Saugus

Scott Brazis

Office you are running for: Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education: Graduate of Saugus High School; Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Forensics, University of New Haven; Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, Western New England College; John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program, Harvard University; Boston University’s Corporate Education Center, where I furthered my studies in leadership and critical thinking in the 21st Century, focusing on problem-solving in the public government sector.

Occupation: Director of Concierge and Security Services, Samuels and Associates

 

What are your accomplishments?

  • Helped support and shape sound financial practices, which led to the town achieving a AA+/Stable rating under S&P Global Ratings.
  • Supported and advocated for the town-wide initiative to implement a new education plan in the district, build a new, grades 6-12 Middle-High School, establish the current Belmonte Middle School as an Upper Elementary School for grades 3-5, and transform the Veterans Memorial Elementary School into a Lower Elementary School for pre-K to grade 2.
  • Supported and advocated for better parks and playgrounds for the Town’s children and families. Proud to say we now have community and recreational opportunities for all ages.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city?

Our school facilities require a new Middle High School and other renovations to existing school buildings. The Town needed strong, stable, leadership to move Saugus forward with a continued vision and direction.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

The voters overwhelmingly supported, almost a 3-1 vote, in favor of the plan and approved a debt exclusion to fund the new school projects.
Reinstated Town Manager Scott Crabtree in order to restore strong leadership, respect, and professionalism in Saugus, giving the Town back the direction and vision it needed to move forward. Solidified the Town’s continued stability and strong leadership by extending the Town Manager’s contract.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I am an avid reader and enjoy crime novels.

 


 

Jeff Cicolini

Office running for: Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Management, major in Accounting and minor in economics

Occupation: Partner/ Certified Public Accountant / Chartered Global Management Accountant

 

What are your accomplishments?

I have a wonderfully supportive and loving wife of 20 years, Julie. We have two children, Gianna, 16, and Anthony, 13. I began my employment straight out of Salem State University in 1994 and I worked my way up the ranks from a new staff member, to senior, to manager and then to partner/shareholder in 2006.

I volunteer for several nonprofit boards including the Salem State University Foundation where I am treasurer (since 2009) and chairman of the Audit/Finance committee. I have been a selectman in Saugus since March 2015.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city?

One of the biggest issues we are faced with, along with each of our neighboring communities, is the opioid issue.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

This issue needs to remain on the front burner and must remain a key area of focus. We in Saugus realize the opioid issue is very serious and the financial resources must be made available locally and from the state and federal governments in order to deploy the resources necessary to help reduce the severity of this epidemic that is plaguing so many children and adults. Continuous education, outreach and counseling are critical factors. Community groups, athletic and recreational programs and our schools are all venues that are being used to implement these factors.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I wasn’t planning on being an accountant when I began college.

 


 

Michael A. Coller

Office running for: Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education: Graduate of Bridgewater State College with a Bachelor of Science in Management

Occupation: Security Professional specializing in the detection of truth and deception, Amazon.com #1 Best Selling Author

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I served on the Saugus Library’s Board of Trustee and Conservation Commission. I am licensed by the Massachusetts State Police as a private investigator and guard company and the owner of MAC Investigations and Security Services. I am the creator “7 Signs of Lying” (Audio CD). I have been featured on Chronicle and WBZ’s “Night Side with Dan Rea.”

What do you think is the biggest issue facing your community (or local schools) and how would you address it?

My priorities include improving our town employee turnover rate, ratification of open contracts, salary levels and educational incentives. This will spark further creativity in educators, rejuvenate our employees to invest in furthering their education, which will boost morale, improve operations and provide a higher level of sustainable public service. Retention of our associate base is essential.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

Economic development progressively brings new business and is the impetus of newly accelerated funding. Budgets have a stabilization line item. How does the town protect excess funds and “roll them over” accruing interest at a feasible rate all in an effort to utilize them for a town initiative? Are there excess dollars and what line items did they come from? I would propose a review through the Planning, Zoning and Inspectional Services for all fees assigned to developers, builders, engineers and transportation companies traveling the roads of Saugus.

What is something the voters may not know about you and would be surprised to learn?

I am an avid fisherman and a staunch catch and release proponent. I enjoy applying my skills as a “master chef” for guests home or away.

 


 

Jennifer Elaine D’Eon

Office running for: Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education: North Shore Community College, Associate’s Degree in Business

Occupation: Insurance Coordinator, Hallmark Health

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I’m on the Board of Selectmen that makes every effort to exceed the expectations of our citizens. I am on the Aggregate Reclamation Committee, the High School Building Committee, I attend Economic Development Meetings and other key meetings which I feel is a vital role of the BOS. I take pride in collaborating with Town Meeting members and the various boards to realize the common goals of Saugus. I’ve volunteered at the Veteran’s Food Pantry, the Saugus 200th Anniversary Committee and assisted with the Round Hill Memorial Project.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

The town needs the current Board of Selectmen to see all the open projects underway in town to completion, such as the Middle School/ High School Project, School District Realignment, Route 1 Development Project and the Aggregate Reclamation Plan. I see deficiencies in Fiber Optics technology, by that I am talking about Comcast’s unfair advantage over our cable subscribers. Another area that needs work is more infrastructure improvements, specifically the Route 1 corridor. We need to have more streets repaired to Chapter 90 compliance so we can get more funding from Beacon Hill.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

We will need to pursue grants and state aid by working with our state reps and senators to secure funding for Saugus.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I have a love of history, especially the Civil War and our local colonial history. My family and I explore many of the museums and period homes in Massachusetts, we even visit cemeteries locating our ancestors.

 


 

Linda N. Gaieski

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: Graduate Merrimack College, BA History; Western Michigan University, National Science Foundation Grant Certificate in Advanced Social Studies Education; Salem State College, Certificate in English teaching and Master’s Degree Program in Guidance and Counseling; Cambridge College, M.Ed.
Supervision and Administration; extensive post graduate course work in teaching methodology, child growth and development, social and emotional factors in child development, and child/adolescent psychology.

Occupation: Retired middle school teacher and vice principal

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I developed and implemented a portfolio system at the middle school. In 2008, I received an Unsung Heroine Award from the Massachusetts Joint Commission on the status of Women for my ability to work with a team to provide a quality education for students, and for making a difference in the lives of children.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local public schools)?

The biggest issue facing the Saugus Schools is building a new Middle/High School complex (MS/HS), remodeling and restructuring a grades 3-5 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Academy, and establishing a Pre K-2 Early Learning Center at the Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

The cost of construction of our new MS/HS building is covered by the Massachusetts School Building Authority coupled with an overwhelming vote for a 20 year debt exclusion by the concerned and invested citizens of Saugus who are determined to move Saugus forward.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I’m an avid gardener, home cook, and Civil War buff.

 


 

Arthur Grabowski

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: I Graduated Saugus High School, attended Boston College and Suffolk University also graduated U. S. Army Military Intelligence School.

Occupation: Saugus School Committee member for the past eight years.

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

Prior to that, I was a Town Meeting member, chair of Finance subcommittee, chair of food service subcommittees of the School Committee, I am currently the vice-chair of the school building committee.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

The biggest issues right now are improving student achievement and reducing class sizes so that all students are given the best possible chances to excel. It is also my goal to offer to all children of Saugus universal free early childhood education.

No child should be denied this opportunity due to lack of ability to pay. Research has proven that a strong foundation with early education produces tremendous results as our children move along from elementary, secondary and postsecondary education. One other goal I have is to have middle and high school classes start later in the morning.

Medical, as well as educational research, has shown that these students need to have start times become synchronized with biological and emotional requirements that give them the best possible conditions to have the optimum learning conditions on a daily basis

How do you propose the town pay for your remedy to address that issue?

All things can be accomplished by taking a hard approach for the school district to achieve internal efficiencies as well as increased funding to show commitment to student achievement.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I have the will and commitment to make the Saugus School system the best it can be and provide the best education that our students want and deserve.

 


 

Marc Magliozzi

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: St. John’s Prep, 1992; Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 1996-Bachelor of Science: Marine Safety & Environmental Protection

Occupation: GE Aviation-Development/New Product Introduction Material Manager

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

Since moving to Saugus 10 years ago, I have tried to insert myself into the community by getting involved, mainly with the children. I have coached Saugus Youth Soccer, Saugus National Little League, and North Shore Stars Hockey. I Co-founded the Friends of Saugus Parks & Playgrounds.

 

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

I am running for School Committee to be a voice for the playground parent. We have 4 elementary schools that may or may not each be teaching similar material, in a similar method. The schools appear focused on test grades because they are the statewide benchmark; while necessary, I don’t know that putting such an emphasis on a test grade as young as 3rd grade is beneficial to learning. I am a believer that if the material is taught in such a way that the child learns, the test results will follow.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

The budget is always a contentious issue but we must be creative in order to achieve success. I want to be able to dissect each line item of the budget and assure we are getting the best bang for our buck.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I believe the school committee should share and work towards one common goal. We are in transition and my ability to collaborate with differing views will be an asset to the District. I want to be the voice of the elementary school children as we transition to the restructuring of the District Wide educational plan.

 


 

Elizabeth Marchese

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: Malden High School, 1985; Bachelor of Arts in Business Management with Minors in Spanish and Legal Studies, Regis College; Juris Doctor from New England School of Law

Occupation: Business Manager, Marchese Sports Therapy

 

 

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Our biggest accomplishment in the past two years has been the collaboration with the town and our families to pass the vote for the new high school/middle school combination. The engagement of our families both old and new along with a shift in culture towards a positive future for this town has not been seen in years.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

My two areas of critical focus over the next term are raising academic achievement across the district and the implementation of a comprehensive, proactive health and wellness program targeting substance and vape device abuse for our students. Our state MCAS rating of Level 3 is unacceptable.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

During this short two years, we have also taken a very close look at our budgetary practices. We have made great strides and efficiencies in balancing both the athletic and food service budgets. These two areas had consistently run in a deficit year after year taking money away from other areas of education. With these efficiencies we have been able to allocate money towards educational resources for our students such as the recent purchase of Chromebooks (personal computers).

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

For me, failure is never an option. Roadblocks only make me stronger and more determined to see our district and students succeed.

 


 

Jeannie Meredith

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: Saugus High School Graduate, Brancroft School, Thompson

Occupation: Private Investigator, Moonlight Investigations

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

Worked with the entire community in planning, designing, and educating the parents and residents of Saugus on a new grade 6-12 MSBA Middle-High School and District-Wide Master Plan Solution. Furthermore, construction, renovations, and upgrades will be completed on the Belmonte School and Veteran’s Memorial School.
I worked collaboratively to develop, approve, and implement a new comprehensive 21st century pre-K through grade 12 district-wide educational plan that will improve student achievement by changing the way education is delivered and allowing our district to stay educationally competitive.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

The 1950’s and 1960’s inadequate and failing school facilities infrastructure which has contributed to less than ideal educational settings and expected student achievements.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

Together, the School District, the Town, and Community worked together to secure overwhelming local support of up to 71% voter approval for the new 21st century education plan, a new grade 6-12 MSBA Middle-High School district-wide master plan solution. In a special election, the Saugus voters approved a debt exclusion to pay for the new MSBA Middle-High School. The town got MSBA approval and a grant award of up to $65.1 million to assist in paying for the project.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I am an avid kayaker; love all animals, and the outdoors. I kayak any chance I get.

 


 

Mark Mitchell

Office running for: Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University

Occupation: Controller

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I have been on the Board of Selectmen since March 2015. Since helping lead the recall of the former board I have been part of a great team which has helped make a major difference in Saugus. Some of these accomplishments include: In March, 2015 we immediately reinstated Town Manager Scott Crabtree restoring strong leadership in Saugus. We recently we extended the contract of our Town Manager for 5 years giving Saugus the stability it needs as we move forward.

I supported and advocated for the new Middle-High School which saw Saugus unite in an overwhelming 70 to 30 percent vote. I helped support and shape sound financial practices leading to the town achieving a AA+/Stable rating.

I supported the town’s continued investments in public safety by endorsing plans to buy a new fleet of seven 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Explorers. I supported purchasing a new F750 tree truck with a 75-foot aerial boom for the public works department.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing your town (or local public school) and how would you address it?

I think the biggest issue would be changing what has been working since March, 2015. The town is clearly moving in a positive direction with a strong town manager and a great team of Selectman. While we don’t always agree we have a mutual respect for one another. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished. We will continue this positive track and lead Saugus to heights it has never seen before.

 


 

Lisa Morgante

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: Attended college before getting married and being a full time homemaker and mother of three.

Occupation: My present occupation is full time mom and nanny.

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I’m a former coach of Saugus Pop Warner and coach of Saugus High School. I have over 29 years of involvement with both the Saugus school system and St. Mary’s of the Annunciation in Danvers. I raised three children through the Saugus school system. My work experience is extensive in fundraising and finance, also ran a successful small business as well for several years.

What is the biggest issue facing your town or local schools?

The biggest issue is the drug crisis today and how we can combat it in our schools through more community involvement.

How do you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

More state and federal resources for treatment and prevention programs.

What is something about you that the voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I am tenacious and when focused on a particular subject or problem I become both motivated and unstoppable until that problem is either resolved or completely addressed.

 


 

Assunta “Sue” A. Palomba

Office running for: Board of Selectmen

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Merrimack College. Lady of Nazareth Academy, Class of 1984.

Occupation: After graduating from Merrimack College, I held a position as budget accountant for Daka Food Services in Wakefield for five years. After that, I redirected my ambitions and joined my parents’ business, where I helped manage more than 35 units of real estate.

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I’m a Realtor with Century 21 North Shore of Saugus. I’m married to Americo Palomba. We have two daughters, Rosa Rescigno, 26, and Melisa Palomba, 23. We are also grandparents to our 10-month old-grandson Giovanni Rescigno.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

The biggest issue in Saugus is growth and development. There are about 1000 condos and apartments in the process of being built in this town along with other commercial development.
This growth will certainly create increased traffic on our major routes, imposing more hardships. Route 1 is our main way into the Boston and is traveled heavily each day by 100,000 vehicles. We’re also dealing with water breaks due to obsolete water pipes and out of date safety codes. I would propose public safety along Route 1. We have less police and more people. Less public works employees and more roads. I would stay within town budget for more staffing.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

The new corporations that are building around Route 1 such as Avalon to take on paying or doing the work.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I was the President of my high school Student Council. I’m a parishioner and Chorus member at Blessed Sacrament and St. Margaret’s Church, I also am the Exalted Ruler at the Saugus Everett Elks and volunteer a lot of my time in giving back to the community.

 


 

Debra Panetta

Office running for:  Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education:  Suffolk University, Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude;Northeastern University, Masters in Business Administration (honors)

Occupation:  Director of Financial Reporting and Analysis Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

I have two children, Mark and Sabrina, who I am very proud of.  I have earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award and have been endorsed by the Sierra Club. I am also proud of all the work I’ve done for Saugus over the last three decades. Whether working as a Town Meeting Member, School Committee Chairman, President of the SRWC, or Selectmen Chairman, every action I took was always in the best interest of Saugus.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

Saugus didn’t have a district-wide solution to deal with the condition of our schools.  In June 2017, the townspeople supported two debt exclusions: one for a new middle/high school and one to renovate the Belmonte and Veteran’s schools.This is the largest investment our town has ever supported, so we need to make sure that these efforts stay on track.  We are currently in the full design phase and in the process of hiring a construction manager.  We hope to break ground in fall 2018.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

In June 2017, voters voted in favor of a debt exclusion for this major capital improvement project. The Massachusetts School Building Authority Board will be reimbursing Saugus up to $65.1M (57.72 percent) for this new school.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I come from a musical family, where everybody plays an instrument. I’m a subscriber of the North Shore Music Theatre.  I enjoy concerts, especially at the Lynn Auditorium.

 


 

Cameron J. Pond

Office running for: Saugus School Committee

Education: Saugus High School, 2005; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston, 2009, Magna Cum Laude: Masters of Science in International Relations, UMass Boston, 2011,Magna Cum Laude

Occupation: Executive Assistant, Healthcare IT

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

My greatest accomplishment so far is my personal success in education. Despite adversity and limited resources, I tapped into what my community offered, and graduated with an advanced degree from UMass Boston. I’m inspired to promote a greater good through the values I learned here in my youth, specifically around academic achievement. High quality education needs to be attainable for all.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

Saugus needs a stronger collaborative investment in our collective future.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

Realistically, taxes always make up the financial side of how things work. Saugus has plenty of underutilized land, which takes away from public school funding but that we can leverage to balance the luxury condo boom with a business community that revitalizes and reinvigorates our identity and culture while simultaneously paying into the Saugus public school system. Providing equitable access to education can ultimately encourage folks to return and settle, while also promoting a healthy and sustainable residential real estate market. We can collaboratively invest through businesses with goods people want, employers that meet the living standards and diversity of our residents, and residents that see the importance of our collective future.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I’m a third generation Saugonian. My father, Bill Pond, was a public servant, the Pigeon Plucker, appointed in 1974. After our father passed away, I helped my sister through her last two years of high school.

 


 

Corinne Riley

 

 

 

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

My greatest accomplishment is raising three great children. On the School Committee, my accomplishments include voting for the SOI for the new SHS, working with private business to obtain and install AEDs in all school buildings, and initiating the SHS Job Fair to help provide students with employment and constructive use of time outside of school. I’ve also worked with Representative Wong, Superintendent, and administration to obtain grant money for the FIRST Robotics Program. Settled mutually beneficial teacher, paraprofessional, custodial contracts. I was an active advocate for the Belmonte Renovation campaign and project through its completion. I’ve volunteered with many Saugus organizations, including many years as Religious Educator, Little League Manager/Treasurer, and PTO President.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your city (or local schools)?

The biggest issue facing Saugus is a lack of a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Our playgrounds and sewer system need work, and our cemetery is full. A CIP is the best way to plan what gets done, when, and how it gets paid for, which is why it’s mandated in the Town Charter. It would provide stability to departments by defining when police, fire, DPW, and school equipment get replaced; would provide stability and maintenance for town buildings and infrastructure, help us spend more wisely, and provide taxpayers a voice as to what goes into the plan. The High/Middle School opens in 2020; we should use the interim years to plan how to use the Waybright, Oaklandvale, Ballard, Lynnhurst.

How would you propose the city pay for your remedy to address that issue?

Identifying funding sources before the CIP is made is premature. Funding sources would be identified as part of the plan. However, I encourage exploration of additional Grants, including a Grant writer. Additionally, we should work more closely with our State Representatives and Senator to bring more funding into Saugus.

What is something about you that voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

I have a diverse background having worked as an Executive Assistant, Florist Manager, Union steward.

 


 

Michael J. Serino

Office running for: Saugus Board of Selectmen

Education: Graduate of Saugus High School and the University of Massachusetts

Occupation: General Electric Company

 

 

What are your accomplishments?

As the former chairman of the Board of Selectmen, I was part of an administration team that oversaw the renovation of Belmonte Middle school. We adopted and instituted best financial management policies which have resulted in a bond rating of AA+, free cash of $2.9 million and a stabilization fund of $6 million. We also set in motion plans for a new high school along with the renovation of our parks and playgrounds. Moreover, I personally oversaw the construction of our town’s walking path (rail trail).

What is the major issue facing your community (or local public schools)?

The challenging issues facing Saugus over the next few years include the 180 million school construction program along with the renovation of all our parks and playgrounds.

How do you propose to pay for your plan to remedy this issue?

The voters have supported our school construction program by recently passing a debt exclusion. In regards to our parks and playgrounds, the town has several funding options available such as: free cash (and/or) our stabilization fund which could be used for this one-time expenditure, or long-term borrowing. However, once the costs of the projects are finalized then discussions within the administration would have to take place as to the best financial option to pursue.

What is something about you the voters may not know and would be surprised to know?

Many voters would be surprised to know that as a kid I was very overweight and in my early twenties lost 85 pounds. Having a gym in my home helps me keep to a regimen plan of working out four to five days a week, spending some 40 minutes weightlifting and 20 minutes on my elliptical machine.

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