There can be no doubt that one of the biggest stories of the year to-date is School Committeeman’s Gus Martucci’s decision last week to resign immediately from the Winthrop School Committee. After honoring his commitment to some members of the Winthrop High School Class of 2010 to present them their diplomas at the graduation Friday night, Martucci’s resignation became effective at midnight.
We can understand Mr. Martucci’s reasons for making this decision. The School Committeeman felt that the Town Council went beyond its jurisdiction when it voted by an 8-1 margin to remove $240,000 from the school budget for the coming year and put it in the Town Council reserve fund. Martucci feels strongly that the roughly $80,000 that will be saved from the School Department’s move from the EB Newton School to Town Hall, and the savings that will be realized by replacing seven senior teachers with seven “junior” teachers, should remain in the School Department budget. Martucci contends that the School Committee should not have to go to the Council and say, basically, “We’ve been good, we’ve moved out of the EB Newton, as we said we would, now can we have our $80,000 back in our budget.”
We’re not going to take sides on this issue. Council President Jeffrey Turco and seven other members of the Council felt that they took the right action at the last Council meeting by taking the $240,000 out of the school budget. And at least one resident, Scott Kinsella, feels that the Council did the right thing, as he states in a letter to the Sun-Transcript this week (Page 9).
But we do know this: Gus Martucci has been an outstanding asset to this community for a long time. He has generously (and without seeking any recognition) donated funds and products to many Winthrop organizations and sports programs. He has volunteered countless hours to serve as a member of the Winthrop School Committee while also working full time in a major role in three family businesses and helping to raise a family.
We won’t even get into Gus being an excellent football player while helping Winthrop win a Super Bowl in 1981.
Gus Martucci is one of the unsung heroes who make Winthrop the great town it is, so we hope he will reconsider his decision to resign and place his name in nomination before the Town Council and School Committee so they can return Gus Martucci to his seat on the School Committee.