JACKSON – Township students were recognized for their writing ability recently for winning an essay contest about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Crawford-Rodriguez Elementary School 5th grade students Brandon Togans and Rose Amato joined Howard C. Johnson Elementary School 5th graders Avery Herch, Emily Modica, Juliana Sclafani and Rosanna Pacheco.
They were lauded at a recent Township Council meeting with Superintendent Nicole Pormilli, Director of Curriculum Theresa Licitra, District Elementary Supervisor of Literacy Dr. Lisa Lane and Howard Johnson School Principal Renee Pagano.
“The essays were highly inspiring and really projected the wonderful life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood for,” Lane said.
“Congratulations, you did a very good job and hopefully you will bring more honors to your classes,” Council President Martin Flemming said as he presented certificates from Mayor Michael Reina to each of the winners prior to a group photo.
“Those certificates are on behalf of everyone you see in the town as well as myself. We are very proud of what you have done and what you have done in the community. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize Colin Lewis who inspired everybody to get this done,” Mayor Reina said.
Members of the Council each congratulated the students for their work on the essays and those involved with creating the essay contest.
Open Space Committee Formed
During the evening the Council approved an ordinance to form an Open Space Committee. This committee required further discussion as members of council had requested more say as to the selection of members of this citizens committee.
The purpose of this nine-member board that will meet monthly, is to identify suitable properties in Jackson that could be purchased and added to the rolls of open space preservation and/or recreational opportunities by using the town’s open space funds.
Members will be appointed on a yearly basis and will include one member of the Township Council that will be appointed by the Council, one member of the township administration to be appointed by Mayor Reina, the mayor or a mayor’s representative and six citizens of Jackson that will be appointed by the mayor.
Councilman Nino Borrelli who initially drafted the ordinance said he was pleased to see it move forward. The ordinance was passed unanimously.
“I am excited to be a part of bringing this committee to the residents of Jackson,” Councilwoman Jennifer Kuhn said.
Emergency Services Advisory Board
Also approved was the appointment of several members to the Township Emergency Services Advisory Board. Dennis Lafer, Robert Curtis, Yoel Tesser, Joseph Lamonica and Brian McCarron were each approved.
Police Vehicles Purchased
The Council also approved a resolution to purchase seven police interceptor vehicles at a cost of $291,081 from Nielsen Ford of Morristown Inc.
Councilman Scott Sargent asked about the interceptors. “It doesn’t say what they are. Are they Explorers?”
“We are continuing to purchase Explorers because that is basically what we needed especially in inclement weather,” Mayor Reina explained.
Councilman Sargent noted “I’ve been driving around town and I’ve noticed how clean the town is and I would say it is because of the leadership in the Public Works Department as well as our not having any snow. The town looks pretty good overall especially in comparison to other towns in the area.”
“We have some streets that need improvement but overall, the town looks pretty good,” he added.
Resident Erik Jones had a different view. “I don’t know what part of town you are driving through but there is garbage everywhere. On ramps, off ramps of 195, County Line Road, there is garbage everywhere. Litter is crazy out there.”
“A lot of that litter comes from people putting an addition on their house. No one is cleaning the job site. Garbage is blowing around everywhere. There are Dumpsters overflowing at an apartment complex. They have three Dumpsters out in front; that isn’t enough,” Jones added.
Jones said “it usually happens in the fall and I don’t know why the town allows this to have them blow all their stuff in the roadway. Leaves and garbage draw rats. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Congrats to coach
Councilwoman Kuhn remarked, “I would also like to congratulate Jackson Memorial High School Wrestling Coach Doug “Dewey” Withstandly on winning Coach of the Year!”