JACKSON – During a Township Council meeting, residents said a website put the community in a bad light, questioned a regulation at a popular recreation spot, and praised the town budget.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, residents came up to the microphone and voiced their opinions about any issues that matter to them.
Resident Sheldon Hofstein commented “I always thought the shortest span of time was when a traffic light turned green in New York City and the cabbie behind you honked his horn – but that has been surpassed by the timespan it takes for The Lakewood Scoop to have an accusation of bias towards Jackson and its residents.”
He noted that there had been a news report posted at that social media site about a rock breaking a window of a rabbi’s home in the township and that “The Lakewood Scoop called it a bias incident attributing it to Jackson residents whom he called anti-Orthodox.”
“This article was followed by comments from his usual anonymous sources accusing two Jackson residents,” Hofstein said adding that those commenting to the social media forum’s posts “never sign their names. As it turned out the culprit was a lawnmower kicking up a rock. So instead of rewriting the article or retracting it, the same article was reprinted with a short update of the police report.”
The resident said the social media site has continually disparaged the township and its residents. “Where is the retraction? Where is the apology for this inaccurate article? Where is the apology to the two women that you attacked with vile comments? Have you no shame? You lack common courtesy and class.”
Attempts to reach the Scoop about this issue were not returned as of press time.
Resident Michael Zaleski questioned the council about the municipal code concerning sprinklers in recreation areas, “item number two of the code says bathing suits must be worn in the spray park area. I am curious as to what public health and safety issue is addressed by this requirement?”
He added the reason he asked was that his wife was there with his grandchildren and was asked to leave because she was not in a bathing suit. “It strikes me that this is a funny type of rule as not everyone has money to buy bathing suits and why would you want to disappoint little children?”
Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin said that the ordinance would have to be researched as to why that was included and when it was adopted. “I don’t know because I haven’t read that ordinance. I’d have to review it and find out when it was adopted and there may have been a reason. There may not have been a reason but we can find out.”
“People need to be dressed obviously but to say they have to wear bathing suits. My wife doesn’t wear a bathing suit in the pool. I don’t either, I wear shorts but my grandkids were running around on the playground and it got hot and my wife said cool off and were told no you can’t stay there because you are wearing clothes,” Zaleski added.
The spray park is located in the Justice Complex on Jackson Drive, just off West Veterans Highway. It is the only one in Jackson and chapter 304 of the township code does state that bathing suits must be worn.
The public portion of the meeting wasn’t all complaints about local items, though.
Resident Joseph Sullivan commended the mayor, finance department, Business Administrator Terence Wall and the council “on the excellent work you did on the budget and also passing the audit. I wish the state could learn from Jackson Township on how to properly put together a budget and keep within the budget.”