Health board receives meeting complaint 

The Oak Bluffs board of health authorized its health agent and town counsel to respond to an open meeting law complaint.

The Oak Bluffs board of health met briefly Friday to address an open meeting law complaint made by Tisbury resident John Zarba. The board voted unanimously to authorize health agent Meegan Lancaster to manage the complaint response with town counsel. Lancaster told the board Zarba alleged “the Dec. 14, 2020, meeting posted did not have sufficient specificity to reasonably advise the public of the issues to be discussed.”

It’s unclear which agenda item or items Zarba’s complaint encompasess, though he has spoken out in support of the synthetic turf field at the high school. On Dec. 14, the most significant and controversial item the board discussed and heard opinions on was proposed regulations of artificial turf containing PFAS. This subject appeared on the agenda as “Discussion of draft regulation to restrict the installation of artificial turf containing PFAS in the town of Oak Bluffs.”

Lancaster said the board has 14 business days to respond to the complaint in writing. Zarba was not present during the Zoom meeting. 

In other business, Lancaster told the board COVID test kit distribution Thursday moved at a swift pace. “We gave out 207 test kits in the first five minutes,” she said. 

Health board member Dr. James Butterick said his wife complimented Lancaster on her “efficient” distribution on Thursday. 



  1. What a country we live in. If you have money, and your opinion is not being accepted, you can just hire lawyers and file frivolous lawsuits suits to feed your fragile ego. And the towns, funded by taxpayer money have to respond.
    Regardless of the issue at hand, my personal opinion is that the health board should not waste much time on this, and respond with a clear and unambiguous 2 word reply.

  2. The cancel culture of the 21st century is a byproduct of the intellectually weak men that lack both morality and self respect.
    “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
    George R.R. Martin

    • Althea. I wonder who you think is doing the “cancelling” in this article ?

      Did the board “cancel” an agenda item, or anyone’s right to free speech ?

      Or is Zarba , by filing this suit, attempting to “cancel” the idea that this was a legitimate meeting ?

      • Don, indoctrinated folks have their buzz words and phrases and they’re gonna use ‘em. Using “cancel culture” as a response to this article is the same as when Joseph Smith needed to throw “Smollett” into an discussion about a police department‘a lost gun. These inappropriate comments, whether from a supposed “new” commenter or not, reveal plenty about who the writer is, but they add nothing to the discussion. The “Althea” comment is off-topic— and so ridiculously sexist it’s laughable.

  3. Or, some of the time “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”. ~unattributed quote

    Cancel culture? Intellectually weak MEN? Lol.

    Some people simply take their litigious nature, their ego, and their abundance of money and run with it.

  4. Super funny! Ask the person who generated the meeting to determine if it meets the requirements of open meeting law? LOL Do you expect an answer other than “it did”? Can’t make this stuff up!

  5. So, reading comprehension being what it is, perhaps a simple explanation will be helpful.

    It’s not a “law suit” – no one’s being “litigious.”

    Filing an open meeting complaint is part of the process of open meetings – it’s meant to insure that public meetings are not “fixed” to ensure the outcome will go a certain way.

    Sadly, it happens all the time, because many people are not aware of what the rules are. In this case an agenda was posted saying there would be a “discussion” on out how to proceed on the special permit, while at the same time the BOH in OB were working with the folks who oppose the turf component of the high school fields project in OB to set up the agenda and inviting all their experts to attend.
    There was no effort by the BOH to reach out to the high school to insure that their experts would be available.

    The intent was predetermine an outcome.

    No matter which side of the debate one is on, it should be of concern to all that public meetings be held in a fair and unbiased way.

    That’s all it is. Oh and the compliant form made it clear what the issue was, and I was on the zoom meeting – though I was late.

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