Jackson Councilwoman, Clerk Sworn In

Samara O’Neill at right, takes the oath of office as her husband Dan holds the bible, as the newest member of the Jackson Council from Deputy Clerk Mary Moss at left. Moss herself took an oath of office to become Township Clerk of Jackson a few minutes later. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  JACKSON – The governing body, support staff and audience members witnessed the swearing in of a new township clerk and councilwoman during a recent Council meeting.

  Samara O’Neill became the newest member of the governing body early in the session. Her husband Dan held the Bible as Deputy Clerk Mary Moss administered the oath of office.

  O’Neill took the vacant seat of Alex Sauickie who resigned recently in order to serve as 12th District Assemblyman, following the passing of Ron Dancer who died on July 21. Sauickie’s term would have ended on December 31.

  Councilwoman O’Neill said, “I’d like to thank everyone. I am here for everyone in the town and I look forward to serving Jackson.”

  The new council member’s community background includes serving on the Zoning Board, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Rotary Club, co-Founder of Porter Family Scholarship Fund, co-Founder of Hustle Academy Youth Sports, and she has been a volunteer with a local food pantry basketball program.

  She is a local business owner who will be running as a candidate for a full term in November with Councilman Andrew Kern as her running mate.

  Kern and Sauickie ran together winning their first term on the same ticket as Mayor Michael Reina who won re-election four years ago.

  Times have changed however and Reina will not be running with Kern and O’Neill this fall. Current Council President Martin Flemming will be running on a seperate ticket.

  Reina has served as mayor for 14 years. He recently ended speculation of his future political plans when it became known that he will run for re-election on his own ticket which includes council candidates Scott Sargent, who is currently serving his tenth year on the Township Board of Education, and Jennifer Kuhn, the managing Broker at Jackson eXp Realty.

  Shortly after O’Neill’s swearing in, it was Moss’ turn. She received her oath of office from Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin. She had been performing the duties of clerk since the resignation of Diane Fastino a few months ago.

  Council President Martin Flemming said that Moss “has been doing a fine job and I know you will continue. Congratulations also to Samara.” He noted that Jackson had a female mayor in the 1960s.  “She is adding her name to a lot of fabulous people who have helped the town and I have every confidence that she will put her name above the rest.”

Jackson Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin administers the oath of office to Mary Moss as Township Clerk during a September 13 Jackson Council meeting. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  “Congratulations to Mary Moss on her new position as clerk. Thank you for stepping up. Congratulations to Samara O’Neill. After speaking with all the applicants that applied for the position, Samara’s volunteerism over the years and involvement within our community including the Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations was an eye-opening experience and exactly the same reasons we appointed Marty and Steve,” Council Vice President Andrew Kern stated.

  Kern added that “Samara has already been stepping up and volunteering and helping the community.”

  Councilman Nino Borrelli also extended congratulations to the new councilmember and clerk. “Mary Moss has already been doing a great job and we look forward to working with you. Congratulations to Samara on becoming a member of the Township Council and we wish you all the best in your new role and we look forward to working with you for the best interests of Jackson Township.”

  Borrelli also noted how he and Kern attended a ceremony held at Jackson Fire Station 55 and at the Westlake Clubhouse where a moving video featuring an untold tale of 9/11 resilience was shown.

  “The documentary told the stories of some private boat owners who were on the water that fateful day and transported 500,000 people out of Manhattan. It was the largest and fastest maritime rescue in history. The worst hit America on September 11, 2001 but the best also came out of America that day,” Borrelli added.

  Kern noted that it was “very moving to hear after the movie our former Councilman and Assemblyman elect Alex Sauickie’s account of that day and the fact that he was one of those 500,000 people that were transported across the river by those boats.”