JACKSON – An ordinance that would require large developers to prove that any soil they bring in is clean has been re-introduced by the Township Council.
The ordinance had been previously approved but was struck down by the courts last year, Councilman Alex Sauickie explained.
“That ordinance passed and it was based on a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection template ordinance in response to incidents which residents had asked of the council to protect the unique environment of Jackson,” the official said
The councilman added, “it was then brought to court by a builder’s union and a developer and a judge overturned it. I am happy to be resubmitting it tonight. We wanted to make sure it was in line with the original intended ordinance.” That ordinance was unanimously approved on first reading later in the session. The earlier version of it would be deleted and replaced with the reworded ordinance called Soil Fill Importation Permit.
Council Vice President Martin Flemming said “I would like to commend what Councilman Sauickie did on the soil fill ordinances. He did it once and he did it again and he got them both up and running and we really appreciate that work.”
Council President Andrew Kern also thanked Sauickie for his “diligent work on this ordinance.”
The Council also unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading that involved the acquisition of property on Cpl. Luigi Marciante Jr. Memorial Drive. Councilman Nino Borrelli voted yes, calling for “just compensation” to the owner of that property.
Council President Kern said he recently received his ballot in the mail for next month’s general election and noted that the night’s meeting was competing against the first gubernatorial debate between Democrat Governor Phil Murphy and Republican challenger former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. “It is so very important that all our residents that are registered to vote do so as soon as you have made up your mind. If you have received a mail-in ballot, please don’t wait to return it.”
“This year the entire state government, the governor and all members of the legislature are up for election. If, as Jackson residents, you are concerned about how the state took $21 million away from our school district’s budget please vote. If you are concerned about the high taxes we pay in New Jersey, please, go out and vote.” Kern added.
Kern also noted that at a prior meeting, he was asked about a resolution “demanding that the legislature create affordable housing laws and remove the decision-making power from the judges where it currently lies who have no repercussions for their decisions. The current legislature has not taken that issue up and has no intention of doing so. If you want things to change, please vote.”
The all-Republican Jackson governing body has been critical of Governor Phil Murphy’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his use of executive orders regarding the lockdown last year of the state and its impact on businesses during that period of time.
Officials also criticized his mask mandates in schools across the state, wanting that decision to be made by school districts instead. The council passed a resolution calling for the governor to rescind that executive order.
Ciattarelli visited Jackson during the township’s National Night Out event in August and more recently held a town hall meeting in the community on the evening of October 6.
Councilman Borrelli reminded residents that a display in the meeting room of the Jackson branch of the Ocean County Library would be present until the end of October and features photographs, police equipment, items worn by police chiefs and officers. He added that the families of two former police chiefs provided many of the items for the display.
The councilman encouraged residents to visit the library “to stop by and enjoy the display which was created in honor and recognition of the Jackson Police Department’s 75th anniversary milestone and all they do to keep our town safe and secure.”