Hearing scheduled for next steps in turf case

MVRHS athletic field, 2022. -MVTimes

A land court judge has scheduled a joint conference in the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School turf field lawsuit, which could clarify next steps in the case.

The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3. A judge will review whether to send the high school turf field project application back to the Oak Bluffs planning board for analysis.

This comes after an Oct. 5 joint filing by the Vineyard school district and Oak Bluffs planning board, asking for the conference and to avoid a trial.

In that filing, the board asked that the application be remanded to them for analysis, which would be conducted with the ruling limitations of Judge Kevin Smith in mind. The board’s reason for the request was they they have not considered whether the high school could locate athletic fields somewhere on campus outside the dimensional limitations of water resource laws.

The high school’s legal filing proposed a final judgment that the planning board reverse and vacate its denial of the turf field application, and stated that the project does not require a special permit.

If Judge Smith decides unilaterally against the requests of either party, the parties will have the right to appeal that decision. The possibility of another appeal can be avoided if both parties agree to waive their right to appeal.

“We agree that no triable issues remain, and no additional discovery is needed,” said high school committee chair Kathryn Schertzer at the time of the joint filing. “However, we disagree on the final disposition of the case. We anticipate a status conference, and await the court’s instructions.”


  1. Happy to see this keeps going as it supports the island of no is alive and well. If you did not think one person can create so much drama this proves they can. I look forward to see what both sides do next after this hearing as it makes good reading. This has been Bad for kids but interesting to adults.

  2. I cannot believe what I read some days. The high school paid a company to do a campus plan for its athletic fields. Now the planning board wants to redo the plan. Yes. Now the chair is an athletic facility designer and can redo the plans. Isn’t his review of the plan as given to the planning what his job is. If you believe this story, then he will be able to decide the location of the MSBA project. That is what he wants you to believe. I am falling down laughing at this stuff. The word Hubris comes to mind.

  3. So, the planning board didn’t do their job the first time around so now they want a second try. To me, this is unnecessary and I hope the judge rules the same way. The town’s attorney told the planning board chair exactly what the judge told him, but he ignored that advise. You can find that on the planning board’s website. Ignoring the lawyer you paid to give you advise is actually inexcusable, not an excuse for a second try. Now the chair wants to analyze the project again, what does this tell me? That he messed it up the first time because he was so blinded by his proven personal bias, and failed to do the job that was required of him to do in the first place. He was given a settlement offer and he totally ignored that offer, what ever it was. I think the board should make known what that offer was in a public forum, something that was never done, and I am not sure he even sent the proposal to his own board. He definitely didn’t have it on an agenda anywhere that I saw, which is required by law. If it was an offer to move the field, and he ignored that offer, then this is on him and he should not be given the opportunity to reanalyze the project, AGAIN. There are too many things that this rogue agent of the town has done that have now been proven were illegal, what is going to stop him from doing something else outside of his lane? Nothing. Why would anyone give him a second chance? Come on Selectboard, do your job, end this now, stop his money.

    • I don’t disagree with anything you wrote, but I feel that you’re being too generous by giving the other Planning Board members a pass. They all share responsibility for this. The members that either recused themselves or voted against the denial of the special permit cannot simply wipe their hands and walk away. They witnessed the entire chain of events, including a request by the chair of the OB Selectboard for the chair of the Planning Board to recuse himself due to personal involvement, which the chair of the Planning Board refused to do. I’m unaware of a single Planning Board member that addressed the issue of the chair’s refusal to recuse himself. The members themselves are responsible for nominating and electing their Chairperson. If something doesn’t pass the sniff test, they have a responsibility to act. The chairmanship is not a lifetime post, and only the board members can act to make a change in leadership if the actions warrant it. It’s time for them to own the consequences of their own actions/inactions.

      In addition, I find it interesting that the OB Finance and Advisory Committee has not weighed in on the ongoing legal expenses that have been incurred as a result of the unlawful actions of the Planning Board – the Chilmark committee has certainly not been shy about voicing their positions on the high school’s legal expenditures.

      • Points well taken and you are correct, they should stop his money. I say his, because it sounds like he isn’t having the rest of his board participate in any of this. Again, you are correct, how come they haven’t stepped up and stood up to him and demand they be included? The selectboard’s silence is also deafening.

  4. Doesn’t a change in location send everything back to the designer which then triggers MVC review again? The whole process would start over??

    • Yes it would and you now understand the nonstop delay tactics. Kill the money then send it back to start the whole process over. This is classic madness. Same thing over and over expecting a different result. The testing results of the materials have not changed, but if people actually talked about that their narrative falls apart. They want to go with their false narrative propaganda.

  5. I am strongly opposed to this field.
    It has nothing to do with PFAS.
    The science and the testing is clear–
    It does not contain any significant aqmounts
    of PFAS and never will. The sooner we get
    past that red herring the better.
    It will be more costly
    It will kill all life under it for decades
    It has higher injury rates
    It is unsanitary– think of all the animal poop that
    and spit from players that will just sit and ferment
    until the “Zamboni” comes along to clean it.
    it can’t be recycled
    it has a carbon footprint that is ridiculous

    If you want to just go on emotions….
    (My opinion)
    it sucks
    It’s a stupid idea
    It’s a dumb idea
    Somebody will make money.
    So there !!!!

    How about politics ?
    (My opinion)
    Biden and Obama would not support it
    Trump would.

    Celebrities ?
    (My opinion)
    Ted Nugent would like it
    Adele wouldn’t.

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