JACKSON – Township officials have had enough of Governor Phil Murphy’s restrictions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. They’d like to see him take a cue from at least 17 other states who are drastically relaxing mandates.
The subject dominated a recent Township Council meeting.
“There are some helpful links about getting the COVID-19 vaccine at the Jackson Township website including the senior service volunteers who are assisting seniors who are trying to register for the vaccine. Their phone number is 732-929-2091. The Rite Aid on New Prospect Road in our town is offering the COVID-19 vaccine,” Councilman Nino Borrelli said.
He added that “New Jersey has been reportedly slow in rolling out the vaccines in comparison to other states which are way more populated. Texas and Florida come to mind. These other states are doing a great job in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine and administering it to millions of residents.”
Borrelli noted that Florida has 4.5 million seniors according to their governor. “It seems no one at the top is taking responsibility for the vaccine delays but I hope things turn around especially now that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is out. Our residents deserve better, especially the 200,000 senior citizens or so that live in Ocean County including the many that live in the 55 and up communities in our town.”
Councilman Steven Chisholm’s remarks focused on another aspect of the pandemic, the “anniversary of COVID-19 and the government’s massive overreach both in Trenton and DC in restricting your freedoms.”
“I would just like to tell Governor Murphy and those in Trenton that you are hurting businesses. You are hurting children and you are hurting families. You have hurt them economically, physically, socially, spiritually and it is time to open the state. The science is clear it is enough,” Chisholm added.
“There is now reason for this to continue,” Chisholm added. “It makes no sense. You can open up in Pennsylvania and now across in New York state. I can walk a hundred yards into another town and it can be 75% open but ours is 35%. There is no rationale behind this except for control and power.”
Councilman Chisholm said the governor “needs to stop this and let people lead their lives.” He noted during the meeting which was held prior to St. Patrick’s Day. “I will tell you to go out and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day because that is the day, we are all Irish. I will tell you to be American, be Irish, wear a pin that says ‘smile I’m Irish,’ ‘kiss me I’m Irish’ and pull down your stupid mask and enjoy. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses and staff.”
“I don’t know how to follow that,” Councilman Alex Sauickie said with a chuckle as he was next to offer his council comment. “Those were very good comments councilman. Thank you to both councilmen for covering what is a serious topic of COVID and the anniversary of it.”
Council President Andrew Kern said he wanted residents to know that the township was preparing for sports activities “when spring arrives and the shut down restrictions (regarding COVID-19) are finally rescinded. Many of the different sports organizations are conducting sign ups right now including the Jackson summer camp.”
Mayor Michael Reina also spoke about the pandemic guidelines, complimenting the councilmembers. “Councilman Chisholm’s remarks to the governor pretty much echoes what I have been saying since ‘his eminence’ took the dictionary out and found out what Executive Orders mean.”
“I think the legislature needs to address how much authority a governor has when it comes to executive orders. He (Chisholm) touched on a number of things when it came to the children. What has been coming to light lately is the amount of undocumented suicides, drug overdose, deep depression, with children because they don’t even interact anymore,” the mayor said.
“The time has come, whether or not you choose to take the vaccine, you need to live your life. We need to be able to choose our own paths. What I wish the governor would let us do is, ‘listen if I don’t want to wear a mask, I won’t wear a mask. If you don’t want to be six feet of me don’t be six feet of me because I don’t want to wear a mask anymore. I don’t want to be controlled anymore.’”
“This is still the United States of America. The Constitution is the very fabric of this nation and it is not negotiable. Governor Murphy if you are listening to this why don’t you do your job? This is your last year in office so do us all a favor and do the right thing open the state up,” the mayor said.