A tribute to longtime Town Meeting member Ellen Burns, a request for library volunteers and the ongoing give and take between the Town Manager and TM member Peter Manoogian are all featured in this week's Saugus Scene.
‘A terrific community asset’
Town Meeting member Ellen Burns received a bouquet of flowers — as well as a standing ovation from her colleagues — for her status as what is believed to be the oldest elected official in Massachusetts.
Earlier this year an e-mail from a town clerk’s association circulated inquiring if any communities had elected officials older than an 88-year-old public servant from Revere who was celebrating a birthday.
When Town Clerk Joanne Rappa saw the e-mail she thought immediately of Town Meeting member Ellen Burns, 91, who has represented Precinct 1 for the last 30 years.
Of the many cities and towns that responded to the inquiry, Burns was indeed the oldest elected official hailing from these communities, Rappa said. She passed the word on to Town Moderator Bob Long, who felt it was a nice tribute to honor Burns with a spring assortment of roses and lilies for her dedicated service over the years.
“She has been a terrific community asset for quite some time,” Long remarked, noting she is known for her considerable expertise on zoning issues. “She deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments.”
Monday’s sixth and final Town Meeting session began with Long presenting a lovely bouquet of flowers to a clearly shocked Burns.
“I was surprised and overwhelmed,” Burns said. “I had no idea this was coming.”
Burns doesn’t intend to run for reelection to Town Meeting this fall. She said the last 30 years on Town Meeting have been enjoyable and she added it’s hard to fathom she might actually be the oldest elected official in the state.
“It hits me every day that I’m 91 years old, but it doesn’t seem believable,” she said.Please box and shade
Volunteer help wanted for the library
The Saugus Public Library Friends and Trustees are looking for volunteers to help support the library through the upcoming budget year. They need people willing to volunteer their time and talents to coordinate the library volunteers, plan and coordinate fundraising activities and publish a Friends newsletter.The library is also looking for help from volunteers willing to: · Shelve the Library collections
· Shelf read and/or participate in the “Adopt-a-Shelf” program· Assist with gathering titles for Interlibrary Loan
· Process new materials for the collection and repair damaged materials
· Assist patrons in the Pace Genealogy Center (genealogists most welcome)· Monitor the Homework Center during the academic year · Maintain newspaper and magazine collections · Assist in fundraising · Contribute to the newsletter · Donate to the Friends to support the library budget · Assist with craft activities and story times · Fund a program · Donate funding for materials
If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, stop by the Library Thursday, June 28 any time between 5-7 p.m.
If you would like to help but are not able to attend this Thursday, please e-mail Mary Rose Quinn at email@example.com and give your name, address, phone, e-mail and list the volunteer opportunity in which you are most interested. Include your hours of availability.Library hours the week of July 1 are:
Monday, July 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, July 3 from noon to 3 p.m. The library will be closed on July 4.The summer schedule will be as follows beginning July 9: Mondays and Tuesdays from noon to 5 p.m.
Wednesdays from 10 a.m. 3 p.m.Bisignani vs. Manoogian
Town Manager Andrew Bisignani believes Town Meeting member Peter Manoogian crossed the line by making personal attacks against him while speaking on the budget Monday night.
Manoogian questioned Bisignani's judgment in closing the Essex Street Fire Station against the will of Town Meeting, and later expending legal fees to challenge an injunction a judge issued earlier this year ordering the station to remain open through the end of the fiscal year.
To foot these legal bills, Manoogian said Bisignani had to ask Town Meeting members to transfer $50,000 into the legal account.
Responding to this claim, Bisignani said the majority of the $50,000 transfer had to do with litigation regarding grievance issues, as well as health insurance concerns.
Furthermore, Bisignani stressed that three years ago the same judge sided with his decision to close Essex Street Station. He also mentioned that by freezing the overtime accounts and not filling vacant positions he freed up $275,000 to offset the town's operating deficit.
Bisignani also accused Manoogian of implying that he orchestrated a process to include a $3,900 educational incentive for himself in the budget. In reality he said the incentive was negotiated as part of his contract and added that town counsel wrote an opinion that he is entitled to the same benefits that other town employees receive.
Bisignani said he is committed to acting in the town's best interests and took exception to the manner in which Manoogian voiced his concerns at a public forum.
"I think these personal attacks were unfair," Bisignani said. "It's obvious Peter Manoogian has issues with the town manager, but I think he could have handled this in a more appropriate manner."A three-month project
A new water main will soon be installed on Greatwoods Road and Hobson Street, beginning on or about Monday, July 9, according to the Saugus Department of Public Works.
This project will last approximately three months, extending into the month of September.
“Patience will be needed from homeowners for traffic going in and out of the area,” DPW Chief Joesph Attubato said this week.Legal bills a concern
Fin Com member Terry Katsos voiced concern at a recent meeting that the town’s legal fees are going to escalate in the wake of the library closure and the part-time reopening.
What if we are taken to court and have to fight with the state Board of Library Commissioners over the grant money? Katsos questioned.
In response Town Manger Andrew Bisignani said, “You’ll fight that battle anyway unless the library funding is fully restored.”
Most of the legal fees spent by the town are related to labor negotiations, according to the town manager.
The Town of Saugus currently has several sites available for sponsorship in their Adopt-a-Site Program. Local businesses are invited to plant flowers, shrubs and tend to grass at pre-selected sites, such as median strips, traffic islands, rotaries and town buildings.
In exchange for the landscaping services, the business is allowed to advertise its name on that site.
Area businesses wishing to sponsor a site should call Jen Smith in Administrative Services at 781-231-4142.Correction
Jeffrey Richard Clark, a 2007 graduate of Saugus High School, will attend Southern New Hampshire University this fall.
Clark’s name was incorrectly listed in a recent story of SHS grads and their future college plans. The Advertiser regrets the error.Primary/Election set to replace Sen. Barrios
Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has issued the calendar for a special State Senate election called for Tuesday, October 9 in the Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex District to elect a successor to Sen. Jarrett T. Barrios, D-Cambridge, who resigned effective July 5.
The Senate today adopted an order for the election. The party primary election for the district will be held Tuesday, September 11.
Nominations require a minimum of 300 certified signatures. The deadline for submitting nomination papers to local registrars of voters or election commissioners is July 31. August 7 is the deadline for filing nomination papers with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Nomination papers will be available at the Elections Division, Room 1705, McCormack State Office Building, One Ashburton Place, Boston, and at all city and town halls in the district.
For further information, call the Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE.Candlelight vigil set for July 28
The 15th annual PFC. Richard D. Devine, Jr. Candlelight Vigil to promote POW/MIA awareness and to honor the memory of Cpl. Scott J. Procopio, PFC Richard D. Devine, Jr. Cpl Michael A. DeProfio, Spec. 4 Stanley J. Egan and Sgt. Richard A. Kurt and all other POW/MIA’s and those killed in action in all wars is planned for Saturday, July 28 at 7 p.m.
The event will be held rain or shine outside of Saugus Town Hall, 298 Central St.Attendees should bring a candle. Compost site is open
The town of Saugus compost site, located in the rear of the Department of Public Works, 515 Main St., is open on Saturdays until the first snow flies in the fall. The hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There is a seasonal fee of $25 that must be paid by check or money order. No cash will be accepted. Stickers may be purchased at the DPW office or at the compost site, also to be paid by check or money order.
Yard waste must be in brown compost bags or open containers. Leaves, grass clippings and brush will be accepted; no branches or limbs larger than 3 inches in diameter.
The stickers must be permanently placed on the lower left corner of the windshield. No out of state plates allowed.
Without a sticker entry will not be allowed.Follow the law or be fined!
Warmer temperatures tend to lead to more complaints lodged over paintball guns and motorized scooters, which is why Police Lt. Stephen Sweezey wants to remind residents bylaws are in place regulating such behaviors.
Section 601.15 of the town bylaws clearly states no person shall operate a motorized scooter, motorized skateboard or other similar motorized motor vehicle on any public way, sidewalk, playground or property owned by the town.
The following vehicles are exempt from this provision – vehicles licensed by the commonwealth as motor vehicles, vehicles used by handicapped persons and landscaping equipment.
If you are caught violating this bylaw make sure to bring your checkbook, as guilty parties are hit with a $100 fine.
Another bylaw sets forth that no person shall fire or discharge any paintball guns, air guns, bb or pellet guns within the limits of any park, playground or public property except with the consent of the Board of Selectmen.
Additionally, people aren’t permitted to fire any of these guns on private property unless they have the consent of the owner or legal occupant. This bylaw doesn’t apply to the lawful defense of life or property, nor to any law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty.