Jackson MUA Clarifies Staff Residency Issue

Documents were shared to determine the residency of the Municipal Utilities Authority treasurer. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

JACKSON – In an age of faux news and social media posts that are fast and furious and are often untrue, one resident came to the March 13 meeting of the Jackson Council to seek out the truth.

During the public portion of that meeting, resident John Maneri brought up a concern that he said was circulating around social media circles and wasn’t sure how accurate it was.

The issue concerned the true residency of Geneva Clayton who serves as the assistant secretary/treasurer of the Jackson Municipal Utilities Authority.

MUA regulations dictate that such staff must reside within the township but documentation was circulating on social media which Maneri shared with the members of the governing body that suggested that her legal address might be out of state.

Maneri shared a copy of a deed from the Ocean County Clerk’s Office which indicated Clayton might reside or have a home, in Avon Park, Florida.

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Maneri asked what this might mean and if it were possibly true.

Council President Kenneth J. Bressi recommended that Maneri go to the MUA to clarify the matter.

Township Attorney Jean Cipriani added that the council “has no oversight to the MUA. You should go there.”

By March 23 the issue was resolved to the agency’s satisfaction.

“We submitted to the township items including Geneva’s driver’s license that show her to be a resident of Jackson, New Jersey so this is a non-issue,” said MUA Executive Director David Harpell.

Harpell said that Cipriani had requested the documentation to clarify the matter. Harpell also pointed out that within the small print of the deed that had been provided to the council that it actually showed Clayton and her husband are residents of New Jersey and that the recently purchased Florida house was another home and not their primary residence.

Harpell added that no one who attended the MUA’s meeting this past week had brought up the issue to the members of the MUA. Jackson MUA board members include Chairman William J. Allmann, vice-chairwoman Vicki Rickabaugh, secretary Carol Black, treasurer Clara Glory, alternate Todd Porter and Clayton.

Photo by Jennifer Peacock

Along with Harpell serving on the executive staff, James R. Diaz is the assistant executive director/director of finance while Earl Quitjano is the principal engineer and Edward Mogila serves as superintendent.

The mission of the township’s MUA is to provide the residents of Jackson Township with high quality, reliable and cost-effective water and wastewater services. JTMUA’s website states it is committed to operate and maintain its facilities safely and economically while protecting the public health and the environment.

The agency generally holds its public meetings at 5:30 p.m. in its administrative offices at 135 Manhattan St., on the fourth Thursday of the month.

Harpell added that during their most recent meeting an agreement was made to connect an existing water system at Six Flags Great Adventure based in the township with the MUA’s system which will include a 16-inch water main in the area of Commodore Boulevard and Route 537. It will provide 2.08 million gallons of additional water a day according to Harpell.

He added that the job to connect the lines was awarded during the MUA meeting and that it should be operating by May.