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Saugus cleans house in School Committee, two selectmen voted out

Saugus Board of Selectmen member Jennifer D’Eon is consoled by Saugus Board of Selectmen chairwoman Debra Panetta after D'Eon was ousted from the board in Tuesday's election. (Spenser R. Hasak)

SAUGUS — Voters swept out the Saugus School Committee Tuesday night.

Challengers Thomas Whittredge (2,312), Ryan Fisher (2,237), Arthur Grabowski (1,875), John Hatch (1,796), and Joseph Gould (1,700) beat out incumbents Jeanette Meredith, Linda Gaieski and Marc Magliozzi, according to unofficial results. Tensions between the committee and town residents rose earlier this year in June when the panel voted to privatize custodial services

Former committee members Liz Marchese and Lisa Morgante did not run for re-election.

“I’m excited and ready to get started,” said Whittredge, who topped the School Committee ticket. “We have a lot of work ahead of us … I know we have a contract to settle, but I am looking forward to seeing the educational plan for the new high school and working with the superintendent.”

In 2017, Grabowski was banned from all school buildings without first getting permission from Superintendent David DeRuosi, after he allegedly yelled at a staff member in the Roby Administration Building. Gould runs the Healthy Students, Healthy Saugus program that helps keep children from going hungry while they are out of school by sending them home with a bag of groceries.

Voters also brought some major changes to the Board of Selectmen, voting out incumbents Jennifer D’Eon and Scott Brazis. Challengers Anthony Cogliano Sr. (2,710), Corinne Riley (2,191) and Michael Serino (2,045) were voted in, along with incumbents Debra Panetta (2,016) and Jeff Cicolini (1,792).

Selectman Mark Mitchell, who was accused of embezzling funds from his former employer, did not run for re-election. 

“It was a pleasure to serve this town for five years,” said D’Eon. “It’s disheartening to be pushed out due to an issue that had nothing to do with the Board of Selectmen. The custodian situation is what turned this election upside down. As a board, we always kept decorum and tried to respect each other, and I can’t promise that is going to happen anymore. It’s a whole new board.”

D’Eon said she was proud of her colleagues Cicolini and Panetta and is excited they get to “continue the good work.” Cicolini said he was happy he got re-elected, but he was sad to see a couple of his colleagues go.

“Obviously the voters wanted change,” Cicolini said. “There’s been some recent backlash on town issues and it seems it trickled down to the Board of Selectmen. This was an eye opener. The voters want what they want and I heard them loud and clear tonight.”

The voter turnout was 28 percent, or 5,174 voters out of the 18,693 registered voters in town, according to unofficial results. James Tozza and Maureen Whitcomb were voted in on the town’s Housing Authority.

Precinct 1 Town Meeting Members: Ann Devlin, Susan Dunn, Anthony Arone, Christropher Jones, and Assunta Palomba. 

Precinct 2 Town Meeting Members: Christopher Riley, William Moore, Joseph Vecchione II, Peter Rosetti, Jr., and Robert Camuso, Sr. 

Precinct 3 Town Meeting Members: Gregory Nickolas, William Stewart, Richard Thompson, Rick Smith, and Arthur Connors, Jr. 

Precinct 4 Town Meeting members: Albert Dinardo, Stephen Doherty, William Leuci, Glen Davis, and Maureen Whitcomb.

Precinct 5 Town Meeting Members: Mary Migliore, Ronald Wallace, Julie Mitchell, Brenton Spencer, and Pamela Goodwin.

Precinct 6 Town Meeting Members: William Brown, Matthew Scrivano, Jean Bartolo, Kevin Currie, and Allen Panico.

Precinct 7 Town Meeting Members: Shawn Ayube, Robert Palleschi, Stephen McCarthy, Michael Paolini, and Richard Lavoie.

Precinct 8 Town Meeting Members: Thomas Traverse, Anthony Lopresti, Joia Cicolini, Joan Fowler, and William Cross.

Precinct 9 Town Meeting Members: Judith Worthley, Ryan Fisher, Katrina Berube, Daniel Kelly, and Robert Long.

Precinct 10 Town Meeting Members: Michael Serino, Darren Ring, Martin Costello, Peter Manoogian, and Steven DiVirgilio.

 

Bridget Turcotte contributed to this article.

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