• July 6 2018,  Saugus

    EDITORIAL: IT’S NO JOKE

    Last week’s determination by the state AG on School Committee’s Open Meeting Law violations means it’s no longer a laughing matter   At a mid-March meeting, a majority of the School Committee members took turns laughing as they mocked Saugus Advocate Editor Mark E. Vogler for filing complaints which alleged the committee violated the state Open Meeting Law. “We just need to take the vote once again to appoint our attorney, or give him permission, if the committee so wishes, to file an answer to this complaint and waste some more tax dollars,” School Committee Chair Jeannie Meredith said, prefacing a rare 14-minute segment in which four of the five…

  • June 29 2018,  Saugus

    AG: School Committee “violated Open Meeting Law”

    Confirms Saugus Advocate’s complaints, including that committee met in improper executive session The Saugus School Committee violated the state Open Meeting Law multiple times this year – including meeting in a closed door executive session “without a proper statutory purpose” to discuss budget-related matters, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office. A five-page determination letter issued this week by the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government also concluded that the committee committed these infractions: Improperly convened a meeting on Jan. 30 in Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr.’s conference room instead of the School Committee Room – “a location other than the One Listed on the Meeting Notice.” “Posted insufficiently…

  • June 29 2018,  Saugus

    Grading DeRuosi

    School Committee gives superintendent a mixed report card in its latest evaluation By Mark E. Vogler   It was just last November t hat the School Committee – with two newcomers elected – seemed solidly behind Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. But the committee was split in last week’s 3-2 vote while supporting a two-year contract extension for the superintendent. “I think you are doing a great job,” School Committee Chair Jeannie Meredith told DeRuosi at last week’s meeting. School Committee Members Linda Gaieski and Marc Magliozzi agreed that DeRuosi has been doing a good job and is deserving of the two additional years. But two members…

  • March 9 2018,  Saugus

    Newspaper Editor files second complaint against the Saugus School Committee for violations of the state Open Meeting Law

    The Saugus Advocate has filed a second Open Meeting Law complaint against the Saugus School Committee, claiming “there appears to be an ongoing pattern” of violations of the law, which aims to make local government more transparent. “This complaint, although separate, is related to an earlier complaint I filed against the Saugus School Committee regarding the failure of the committee to open its Jan. 30, 2018 meeting in the School Committee Room as posted on the agenda,” Saugus Advocate Editor Mark E. Vogler wrote in a two-page complaint. “The alleged violations in this complaint pertain specifically to the minutes for the Jan. 30, 2018 meeting … These alleged violations came…

  • February 16 2018,  Saugus

    “A good fit” for Saugus

    Crabtree touts hiring of School Committee Chair to part-time town clerical job  By Mark E. Vogler   School Committee Chair Jeanette Meredith began a new part-time job with the Town of Saugus this week as a “floating office clerk” who could play a versatile role, filling in as a substitute at various positions, according to Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree. “I think her experience and familiarity with the workings of the municipality is a plus,” Crabtree told The Saugus Advocate. “That’s why HR [town Department of Human Resources] and I thought she would be a good fit. That’s why she was hired,” Crabtree said. Meredith, a Saugus native and graduate…

  • February 9 2018,  Saugus

    The Public’s Right to Know

    An ongoing series on the challenges of making open government work in Saugus   By Mark E. Vogler   There was a time when newspaper reporters who were tipped off about selectmen meeting in private homes showed up to jot down the license plate numbers of the cars parked outside. If the number of cars registered to selectmen added up to a majority of the board members, that would confirm that an illegal gathering was going on inside somebody’s house — which at minimum, had the appearance of public business being transacted privately. Those days are long gone. If public officials want to meet secretly, it’s easier to get away…

  • February 9 2018,  Saugus

    Public’s right to know “denied,” newspaper declares in complaint against Saugus School Committee

    The Saugus Advocate has filed a complaint against the Saugus School Committee, alleging that the committee may have violated several provisions of the State Open Meeting Law (OML) at its Jan. 30 meeting. Specifically, the complaint filed by Saugus Advocate Editor Mark E. Vogler alleged that the entire five-member committee: Failed to open its meeting inside the School Committee Room as was announced in its agenda for the meeting that was posted on the bulletin board at Town Hall and on the Town of Saugus website. Did not provide “sufficient specificity for the public to understand” the agenda. May have conducted an improper executive session that was “no more than…

  • February 2 2018,  Saugus

    The public’s right to know

    School Committee violates Open Meeting Law; state AG’s office concludes; Committee this week deviates from posted agenda By Mark E. Vogler   Less than a week after the state Attorney General’s Office cited the Saugus School Committee for violating the state Open Meeting law, the committee deviated from a posted agenda before going into an executive session on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was supposed to begin at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the School Committee Room, according to the agenda on the bulletin board at Town Hall. Committee members would meet in Open Session and “Move into Executive Session to discuss non-union-unit contract negotiations and to reconvene in Open…

  • February 2 2018,  Saugus

    The Public’s right to know

    Manoogian’s reaction to state AG’s office confirming his complaint on Open Meeting Law violation     Editor’s note: Former School Committee Member Peter Manoogian responded to several questions by The Saugus Advocate after the state Attorney General’s Office’s Division of Open Government agreed with a complaint filed by Manoogian last year that the committee violated the state Open Meeting Law with minutes of a March 16, 2017 executive session lacking “sufficient detail.”     Q: What’s the significance of the Attorney General Opinion on your Open Meeting Law complaint?   Manoogian: The significance is that there is now an indisputable standard established for what minutes should include and when they…