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School Committee to Reconsider Security Director Cut

Milford School Committee members voted Thursday to reconsider the removal of a position for a district-wide security director. The issue will be discussed and reconsidered June 7.

The Milford School Committee will reconsider its divided decision to cut the position of security director, and the issue will be discussed and voted on again June 7.

The committee voted 6-0 Thursday to reconsider the elminination of the security director position, two weeks after the board voted 4-3 to approve the cut. Although the vote was in public session, the agenda may not have properly explained that the budget would be discussed and voted upon, Holland said.

The position of security director, held by David Cutler for the past two years, was cut in a May 10 meeting after the board returned to public session from a closed session. No media was present and the videotaping of the meeting for public viewing had ended.

Voting for the cut were committee chairman Patrick Holland and members Donald Quattrochio, Scott Harrison and Robert Lanzetta. Voting against the cut were Paul Mazzuchelli, Mike Walsh and Christine Boyle.

, an incident that included swearing and led to the filing of a police report by one member, Quattrochio, against another, Mazzuchelli. Following the meeting, Mazzuchelli said he lost his temper and swore because he couldn't get a good explanation about why the position was being cut. Quattrochio said that the money could be directed to other needs, and not used for a position whose responsibilities could be assumed by the principal, guidance officers or the police officers in buildings.

On Thursday, at the beginning of the committee meeting, and said he expected members to excuse themselves from meetings if they can't uphold ethical conduct expected of members.

Cutler has served one year of a three-year contract, and earned $61,327 in 2011. He holds a position that serves as coordinator for security services at the town's public schools.

Among other things, he oversees school crossing guards, collection and preparation of security checks for employees, and the district's compliance with anti-bullying statutes. He is the administrative contact for all security matters and is often in court representing the district on issues including truancy complaints, according to Superintendent Robert Tremblay.

The elimination of his position took Tremblay by surprise, who said in an interview he had not recommended it and had not prepared a new organizational plan absorbing the duties.

And the cutback took parents by surprise, too. At the meeting Thursday, parent Jennifer Parson said she didn't understand the rationale for cutting the position, whether principals or teachers were interviewed about their understanding of its need, and whether the system had a solid plan for absorbing the workload of the individual.

"It is still unclear to me how this position came to be eliminated," said Parson, who said she is a principal in another district, and understands the workload of principals, teachers and guidance officers and the complexities of the jobs.

In his statement, Holland defended the decision to cut the position, and emphasized that board members set policy, not the superintendent. "Too often, at all levels of government, middle management positions are layered into public agencies," Holland said. "Although well intentioned, the role of these positions can often be accomplished by increasing the productivity of existing staff."

Cutler did not attend the School Committee meeting Thursday. Unless the committee votes June 6 to reinstate the security director position, he would lose his job at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Marin Dolan May 25, 2012 at 02:02 PM
As the parent of a student who has been subjected to bullying in the Milford school system I do not understand why the position of the security director would be cut. In my experience I have found the principals and administrators to vary in their responsiveness to issues of bullying, and it has been a great relief to know that David Cutler has been there overseeing the issues. We need to do more to protect our students - not less.
Ray Fellows May 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Its amazing the difference in cooperation on the board during public meetings versus private ones.
Andie May 29, 2012 at 10:02 AM
Why the big change now? How did it go from 4-3 for the position to be cut ....to 6-0 to reconsider the elimination. What made them change their minds? Or WHO made them change their minds?
Mary MacDonald (Editor) May 29, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Andie, I missed the first 10 mins. of this meeting, when they voted, so missed any discussion. But they voted to reconsider in another meeting because the 4-3 vote came on an agenda that was not specific enough. The issue will be discussed and voted again on June 7 agenda.

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