JACKSON – Martin Flemming, Steve Chisholm Jr. and Nino Borrelli were sworn in as members of the Jackson Township Council during the Jan. 5 reorganization meeting of the governing body.
The three men were elected to four-year terms on the council in the Nov. 3 municipal election. Flemming and Chisholm were already serving on the council after having been appointed to open seats. Borrelli served as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment in 2020.
Jackson has a nonpartisan form of municipal government and the candidates did not run under the banner of a political party.
During the annual proceedings that mark the start of the new year of business for the municipal government, Councilman Andrew Kern was unanimously elected by his fellow council members to serve as council president in 2021. Flemming was unanimously elected to serve as council vice president.
Borelli congratulated Kern and Flemming for achieving their leadership positions and went on to say, “I am thankful to God for putting this passion in me for politics and public service, wanting to give back to the community I live in.” He said he is honored to serve as a councilman.
“I look forward to working hard for residents, as their Jackson representative; working with people who are dedicated to doing the right thing by a wonderful town. All my fellow council members … are guys who grew up in Jackson. I will always be a kid from Brick and I am proud of my beach boy roots, but I am a Jackson guy now and I am proud of it,” Borelli said.
The councilman said his father, Tony Borelli, passed away about 20 years ago, but settled in Jackson and lived on his aunt’s farming after immigrating to the United States from Italy.
Borelli said he looks forward to governing on the platform he campaigned on and won on.
“Conservative leadership and putting Jackson first. Working on priorities and initiatives like protecting valuable open space from high density development. We want to keep our town as rural and suburban as possible. Also, protecting the many beautiful resources we have, like our environment and our parks,” Borelli said.
He said maintaining Jackson’s credit rating remains a priority.
“Keeping municipal taxes and spending in check is always going to be a top priority of ours. And working with our local businesses as they get up and running from the COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, we will stand with our police officers and first responders to help them keep Jackson safe and secure and protect the quality of life we enjoy in Jackson,” Borelli said.
Borelli quoted President Andrew Jackson, the township’s namesake who was a founding member of the Democratic Party and said, “Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
He said he is looking forward to working with Mayor Michael Reina, the administration and the coucil.
Chisholm said, “It is great to be up here as an elected official as opposed to an appointed member. I am looking forward to the next four years, just serving the people of Jackson.”
Councilman Alexander Sauickie thanked the members of the governing body for their assistance in 2020 during the pandemic.
“Welcome to 2021 everybody and thank you all for all of your assistance last year. I know it was a rough year for most of the world and I think we are all looking forward to a much more happy and healthy new year. Congratulations to the new councilmen who were elected in their own right, (I am) really looking forward to working with all of you this coming year,” Sauickie said.
Sauickie, who served as council president in 2020, said residents should feel good about the new council.
“Special congratulations to our new council vice president, Marty Flemming, and especially to my good friend, council President Andrew Kern. The town should feel really good about a council that has some experience under its belt, that I think will listen to the residents, and that will be working for you in lockstep. Maybe for the first time in a while, I really believe we have a very strong council that is going to do the best for the residents of this town,” Sauickie said.
In his remarks, Flemming said, “It does feel different to have been elected than to be appointed, although both are a great honor.” He congratulated Kern and said he believes they will work well together.
“I think we put together a pretty good team. Like (Sauickie) said, we work as a group and I think that is going to show. I think we are going to get a lot done and we are going to do what this town needs,” Flemming said.
Kern said he was humbled to be elected by his peers to serve as council president.
“It has been an honor to work alongside such a fantastic group of leaders we have who have each selflessly donated their time to our community for many years; whether we needed a scout leader, a youth sports coach, a first responder, a Chamber of Commerce leader or a land use board member. These wonderful individuals who serve with me today have always answered the call,” he said.
Kern thanked Sauckie for his service as council president during 2020 and he thanked residents for approving an increase in Jackson’s open space tax rate that will “give us additional resources to protect as much of our precious lands as possible.”
“The council has much work ahead of us in 2021. Our community needs a chance to reboot and to reconnect after being apart for most of 2020.
“Our local businesses, our civic organizations and many of our residents need help recovering from the impact of the shutdowns and restrictions that were unduly and disproportionately imposed by Gov. Murphy.
“We will work diligently this year on behalf of our current residents, the people who elected us, to do everything in our power to protect our beloved town, to protect our watersheds from pollution and overuse, to protect our wetlands from over-development and our residents from increased traffic,” Kern said.