Marshfield: Town meeting votes yes on model high school design, no on betterment fees

Marshfield opened its annual and special town meeting at the high school Monday night and voted on two important articles,  one calling for a model high school feasibility study and the other the implementation of seawall betterment fees.

An enormous crowd–-close to 1,900 people– packed the Marshfield high school gym, cafeteria and library, to vote 1,694 to 240 in favor of special town meeting article 2 – $2.52 million dollars to pay for schematic design of a new model high school and to see if it’s feasible to build it at the site of the current high school.

The town will pay $1.33 million after state reimbursement.

An amendment by Bob Parkis to cap spending for a new school at $92 million was defeated. Parkis lashed out at the school committee for what he called irresponsible spending.

“They spent the maintenance money on raises for teachers and administrators. They neglected maintenance and now they want a new school. They say a new high school is cheaper than fixing it up. I don’t believe them.  They have taken the money from children’s supplies and dished it out in raises. We can’t ask the same people that built and paid for this school, and ask them to do it all over again,” Parkis said.

Special town meeting voted yes on article 6 – to appropriate $1.2 million dollars for seawall repair in Fieldston, but also voted yes to an amendment by Jim Robinson to remove the betterment fees section from the article.

Robinson addressed the issue and said, “The betterments are divisive. I’m more concerned about what betterments will do to Marshfield than I am about repairing the seawall. The seawall is issue is secondary. Betterments is going to be corrosive in this town. It’s already doing damage to the Marshfield that we all know.”

Article 7 , calling for retroactive seawall betterment fees, was passed over.

Annual town meeting reconvenes Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the high school.

Bob Parkis is an employee of WATD.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.