JACKSON – Three men are running unopposed for three four-year terms on the Jackson Township Council in the Nov. 3 general election. All three candidates said they want to acquire and preserve additional open space in the municipality.
The candidates are Martin Flemming, Steve Chisholm Jr. and Nino Borrelli. Flemming and Chisholm are current members of the council and Borrelli is a current member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Jackson has a nonpartisan form of local government and the candidates will not run under the banner of a political party.
Flemming owns County Line Hardware in Jackson. He was appointed to the council in January to fill an open seat and is now seeking his first full term. Flemming also serves on the Planning Board.
Flemming said he believes the highest priority for council members is to conserve as much open space as possible without affecting tax rates.
“This one focus would solve several long-term problems. I understand that the more property the township owns, the less property there is to generate revenue from, but the upside is the ability to maintain a higher quality of life for those who are already here, and to maintain the rural feel of the town, as well as help to maintain our stable tax rate.
“There are studies which say most residential building will actually cost a township more than it generates in taxes. Another focus we will have is to further our commercial corridor along Route 537. This is a long time coming, but the growth in that area was actually conceptualized when Great Adventure was originally planned (in the early 1970s).
“Third, we plan to focus on increased commercial growth in town. We recognize, however, that retail has severe limitations at this point in history so we plan to look beyond retail for our growth.
“This could come as increased senior developments, which tend to draw professional offices and similar growth, all clean and quiet uses,” Flemming said.
Chisholm has been a resident of Jackson for more than 40 years. He works for his family business, Aspen Tree Expert Co.
Chisholm was appointed to an open seat on the council in June and is seeking election to his first full term.
Regarding his priorities as a member of the governing body, he said, “My thought would be that we need to control spending since we don’t know how the economy is going to react after COVID-19.
“We need to attract more businesses and clean ratables to help keep tax rates for residents stable. We need to find more available land to preserve open space and the character of Jackson,” Chisholm said.
Borrelli has lived in Jackson since 2017 and works in human resources at the New Jersey Department of Human Services. He is seeking his first term on the council.
Borrelli said that as a member of the council he will work to stand with Jackson’s police officers and first responders, and to continue providing those individuals with the resources they need to do their jobs to keep the town safe and to protect the quality of life in Jackson.
The candidate said he supports the purchase and preservation of open space “to protect it from being overdeveloped … (and to pay for that initiative) by using our existing municipal open space tax fund and by working with other entities, like Ocean County, to accomplish that.
“On that note, I support the Township Council’s recent decision to place a question on the Nov. 3 ballot to let Jackson residents decide on a proposed increase in the municipal open space tax rate which would fund additional purchases of land in the future for open space preservation,” Borrelli said
He said keeping Jackson affordable and desirable for residents and business operators is a priority.
“Promoting a pro business environment by attracting and promoting smart and responsible commercial development in the appropriately zoned areas of Jackson. This will in turn help create jobs for our local residents and bring in much needed revenue, helping to ease the tax burden on our fellow residents,” Borrelli said.
Borrelli said he will work to maintain Jackson’s strong credit rating and to support local businesses as they get up and running following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he will “advocate for Jackson residents by fighting back against liberal policies coming out of Trenton such as higher taxes and spending, huge reductions in state school aid, sanctuary cities, and unfair and unreasonable affordable housing mandates which would detrimentally impact our town’s quality of life by placing a huge burden on our taxes, services and infrastructure.”