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At Jackson Township Council's Reorganization meeting last night, re-elected Jackson Township Mayor Mike Reina and his new supporters on the Township Council returned the favor to those who previously went out of their way to provide additional support to their election efforts.

Newly reelected Mayor Reina was administered the Oath of Office by Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn. Mayor Reina then administered the Oath of Office to Council Members Jennifer Kuhn and Scott Sargent, who defeated Andrew Kern and Samara O'Neill.

At that point, council members voted to reappoint Martin Flemming and Stephen Chisholm, as Council President and Vice President respectively. However, the votes were not unanimous - Kuhn and Sargent voted against these appointments.

Kuhn and Sargent were also the 2 dissenting votes against the appointment of Council Members Flemming and Chisolm, and residents Joseph Riccardi and Anthony Canderozzi, to a one year term on the Economic Advisory Committee; as well to the appointment of Todd Porter for a 5 year term on the Jackson Township MUA; as well as to awarding a $30,000 contract to Phoenix Advisors as Financial Advisors.

Mayor Reina then announced the appointment of Shimshon Heller as a new alternate member of the Planning Board. Mr. Heller will replace Noah Canderozzi in this 2 year term appointment.

Mayor Reina also announced that Tzvi Herman, who last year was appointed to a 2 year alternate member position, will be upgraded to a regular Class IV member with full voting rights. Alternate members only vote if a Class IV member is absent. Class IV members are appointed for a 4 year term.

Lisa DeMarzo, who was last year's Mayor's Designee on the Planning Board, will fill Herman's one year unexpired term. Kenneth Bressi will be this year's Mayor's Designee.

Joe Sullivan was appointed a Class IV member for a 4 year term to expire 12/31/2026. Terence Wall and Environmental Commission Representative Jeffrey Riker were reappointed to their seats.

Moshe Heineman, a new member of Central Jersey Hatzolah, was appointed as the "resident appointee" of the Jackson Township Safety Committee.

Mordechai Gottleib was reappointed to the Shade Tree Commission.

In June 2022, Mayor Reina was eagerly seeking reelection, but faced strong opposition at the Jackson Republican Club. To deal with this issue, with his full endorsement, Orthodox Jewish leaders Mordechai Burnstein, Tzvi Herman, and Yehuda Tomar led an organized effort to get Jewish residents to join Republicans for Jackson to run against Jackson Republican Club incumbents on the Ocean County Republican Municipal Committee.

The Ocean County Republican Municipal Committee controls Republican politics, which ultimately controls township government as the committee chooses who runs for office and receives the club's financial support.

As part of this organized effort, Jackson Republican Club members Anthony Canderozzi and Noah Canderozzi were replaced by Republicans for Jackson members Shimshon Heller and Rafael Englard.

As part of these efforts, GOP Club President Todd Porter and Municipal Committee Chairwoman Clara Glory were originally ousted, however, stunningly, a loophole in the club's by-laws permits for leadership to come from outside of the elected membership.

Amazingly, Porter and Glory handpicked members to sit on the club's screening committee to screen candidates. Unsurprisingly, this committee got ready to choose Flemming and his allies.

Instead, at an extremely contentious club meeting in early August 2022, Tzvi Herman offered a motion for a floor-based vote to endorse Reina. Todd Porter refused to recognize this vote.

In response, Shimshon Heller and another club member filed a lawsuit in Superior Court, seeking for a declaration that the club did endorse Reina.

Ocean County Superior Court Judge Craig Wellerson denied to hold a hearing on the petition, saying it was "premature," and that the Court declines to interfere with the internal decision of a political organization, as "to act otherwise would plunge the court deep into the business of resolving extra party controversies contrary to the established principle of judicial restraint in this area."

Judge Wellerson subsequently also denied a Motion for Reconsideration.

In response, at a following club meeting, club members held another vote to endorse Reina.

Seems that Reina and his supporters have now returned the favor of this extra support...

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