JACKSON — Jennifer Kuhn and Scott Sargent have been sworn in to office and have begun serving their first four-year terms on the Jackson Township Council. Their terms will run through Dec. 31, 2026.
Michael Reina was sworn in to office by Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn as he began serving his fourth four-year term as Jackson’s mayor. The mayor’s new term will run through Dec. 31, 2026.
Jackson’s municipal government held its 2023 reorganization meeting on the evening of Jan. 3 in the municipal building. The meeting was live-streamed to the community.
Kuhn and Sargent were Reina’s running mates in the November 2022 general election. Reina swore both new council members into office.
Kuhn and Sargent joined Martin Flemming III, Nino Borrelli and Stephen M. Chisholm Jr. on the council. The next municipal election in Jackson will take place in November 2024.
Kuhn and Sargent defeated Andrew Kern and Samara O’Neill in the November 2022 council election. Reina defeated Flemming in the race for the mayor’s office.
As the first order of business after the new council members were seated on the dais, Chisholm nominated Flemming to serve as council president for 2023.
Borrelli, Chisholm and Flemming voted “yes” and Kuhn and Sargent voted “no” without explanation. Flemming won the council president’s position in the 3-2 vote.
Borrelli then nominated Chisholm to serve as council vice president for 2023.
Borrelli, Flemming and Chisholm voted “yes” and Kuhn and Sargent voted “no” without explanation. Chisholm won the council vice president’s position in the 3-2 vote.
Township Clerk Mary Moss then swore in Flemming and Chisholm to their council leadership positions.
During council comments, Borrelli welcomed Kuhn and Sargent to the governing body and said, “let’s keep Jackson in a strong financial position.”
Kuhn thanked the residents who supported her election bid and said, “I look forward to serving you (residents) for the next four years.”
According to a post on her Facebook page, Kuhn is a lifelong resident of Jackson and a graduate of Jackson Memorial High School. She is a real estate professional.
During his initial remarks as a councilman, Sargent said, “I am looking forward to working with all residents of Jackson, not just one specific group.”
Reina addressed residents and said, “I am humbled to do this once again for you. Jackson needs to move in one step together. … 2023 is going to be a tough haul. All we ask is that we all work together. We have some hurdles.”
Reina has lived in Jackson for 35 years. He was appointed mayor in December 2008 and was initially elected to the position in a special election in November 2009. He was re-elected as mayor in 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. Reina is the Ocean County superintendent of bridges.
Jackson has a nonpartisan form of government in which the mayor and Township Council members are not identified by any political party affiliation they may have.
In municipal elections, mayoral candidates and council candidates do not run under the banner of a political party, however, a political party or a political club may endorse a candidate or candidates.
In other business during the reorganization meeting, Gregory McGuckin was reappointed as the township attorney.
Flemming was appointed to a seat on the Planning Board through a council resolution.
Reina made the following mayoral appointments to the Planning Board: Tzvi Herman; Joseph Sullivan; Kenneth Bressi (a former member of the Township Council who will serve as Reina’s designee on the Planning Board); Business Administrator Terence Wall; Jeffrey Riker (representing the Jackson Environmental Commission on the Planning Board); Lisa DeMarzo; and Shimshon Heller.