Updegrave concludes service on Jackson council, praised by fellow members

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JACKSON – Mayor Michael Reina and Jackson Township Council members honored Councilwoman Ann Updegrave and Councilman Scott Martin as the two public servants concluded their service to the community on Dec. 18. Their terms will officially end on Dec. 31.

Martin was absent from the meeting.

Andrew Kern and Alex Sauickie III will begin their first four-year terms on the council in January and were in attendance. Kern and Sauickie will join Ken Bressi, Robert Nixon and Barry Calogero on the governing body in 2019.

Bressi, the current council president, called the Dec. 18 meeting bittersweet.

“Councilwoman Updegrave and I go back many, many years. She is a dedicated employee, she cared about everybody else and she served this township the same. She will be missed in many ways. I wish her so much luck in the new endeavors she is taking on and as she enjoys her life and her retirement. So, Annie Updegrave has a whole new life ahead of her and you are truly going to be missed,” Bressi said.

Bressi said the guidance Updegrave gave ever since she was secretary to the former Township Committee was second to none.

“Today, Jackson has lost two of the hardest working dedicated public servants in its history,” Calogero said, noting that Dec. 18 was also Township Clerk Ann Marie Eden’s final meeting before her retirement.

“Councilwoman Updegrave, my friend, my colleague, my mentor. She has smacked me on the hands many times during the course of six years. Your leadership made me a better councilman, your leadership made the township a better place. Thank you, God bless you and enjoy your retirement,” Calogero said.

Nixon said Updegrave taught him how to be a good person while sitting on the dais.

“We can talk about politics and government, but really it all comes down to the fact that you came here a good person with such a passion for service. The fact that you can go to Mass on Sunday and then come down here with a million great ideas on how to improve the town. The people in the audience who have come here for years have never seen how well prepared you are. I have never seen so many notes taken,” Nixon said.

Nixon said Updegrave was there for him whenever he needed a voice or a friend.

Updegrave said it has been an honor and a privilege to serve residents for more than 12 years.

“During that time I have met wonderful people. I have served with wonderful public servants, I am sitting with a bunch of them right now, but I would be very remiss if I did not mention the employees of Jackson and also the professionals. Without them the council would have nothing to go on. You are all wonderful people, God bless, I love you and I will miss you all,” she said.

Updegrave praised Eden for her service to Jackson as its municipal clerk and then turned to Township Attorney Jean Cipriani and said, “Not too many people say things to you, but I have to tell you that you are one kick ass lawyer and I love it. You give the best advice and you are always there to listen to any question that comes your way.”

Council members and residents in attendance sang “Happy Birthday” to Updegrave, despite her best efforts not to acknowledge Dec. 18 as her special day.