Marshfield: Selectmen under fire for removing Z.B.A. Chair’s reappointment bid

Marshfield Selectmen faced an angry audience and the full-fledged outrage of zoning board members, after Selectmen Chair John Hall did not include Z.B.A. Chair Michael Harrington’s name on the agenda for reappointment, virtually removing him from the board without any up or down vote.

Arthur Vecollone was reappointed, but resigned his position on the Z.B.A. because of the move.

Harrington has served on the zoning board for the last 20 years.

“I wanted to get the board in working order and retire on my own terms. I’ve been doing it for twenty years. I’ve had over 500 hearing nights and I’ve sat on over 3,000 individual appeal applications. So, yeah, I wanted to stay on longer,” Harrington said.

Harrington said he had no comment when asked why he thought the board snubbed him.

But Selectman Chair John Hall said 20 years on the board is too long, and that is was time to remove Harrington and steer the town on more a business friendly course.

“Someone serves for twenty years and they get complacent. That’s all it is, that’s all. We need a fresh outlook. When people come in (for a Z.B.A. hearing,) we need people to shake their hands. That does not mean giving them to keys to the candy store.

I sat on the planning board for three years. I saw how developers come in and how to be responsible to the community and hold their feet to the fire when they do wrong.

But, we have to be realistic and think of the town’s future,” Hall said.

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.