Council appoints professionals for ’09


JACKSON — After a few busy weeks that saw a new mayor named and an open seat on the Township Council filled, municipal officials have appointed a host of professionals to serve the community in 2009.

The council held a reorganization meeting on Jan. 6. Municipal Clerk Ann Marie Eden explained that while the true reorganizationmeeting for Jackson’s nonpartisan municipal government is held on July 1, the professionals who work for the town have to be appointed according to the calendar year at the beginning of January.

The council appointed George Gilmore as municipal attorney; Tom Fellen and A.J. Larsen as municipal auditor; Dan Burke as municipal engineer; Charles Rooney as township engineer; Remington Vernick & Vena as municipal planner; Joseph D. Coronato as municipal prosecutor; James W. Holzapfel as labor counsel; Megan Clark as municipal bond counsel; John Russo as affordable housing attorney; John Maczuga as affordable housing planner; Brian E. Rumpf as Rent Leveling Board attorney; Kevin Starkey as special legal counsel; and CME Associates as environmental engineer.

Gary Lovallo was named Jackson’s municipal forester in a 4-1 vote of the council. Council President Michael Kafton voted no on Lovallo’s appointment and said it was due to the handling of the gypsy moth problem in Jackson last year.

Councilman Howard Tilis was appointed as the council’s representative to the Planning Board.

William Spedding was appointed to the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee vacancy left by Tilis when Tilis was named to the council. Councilman Scott Martin abstained on the vote and said to wait several weeks; Tilis voted yes to the appointment; Councilwoman Ann Updegrave voted no and said more names are needed; Councilwoman Bobbie Rivere voted yes; and Kafton voted yes on Spedding’s appointment.

Kafton said the council has passed a resolution for the Economic Development Advisory Committee, whose task it will be to try to attract new businesses to Jackson.

“We have plans to establish a Going Green Commission and a commitment from a resident environmental specialist who has agreed to chair such a committee and guide us toward making sound economic and environmental changes,” he said.

Kafton said there are plans to introduce monthly seminars on topics that are beneficial to residents and will impact positively on their daily lives.

“There is another area which is very important to me that I will ask the council to support, and that is to establish a youth council,” the council president said. “The purpose of this youth council would be to explore new and creative ways in which we can help our young people maximize their abilities and talents and at the same time reach out and help others in our community.

“Another priority of mine is to add to the hundreds of acres of open space that I have been part of preserving in the past,” he said. “Maintaining the rural beauty that makes up much of Jackson should always be at the top of any administration’s list.”

Kafton said that just as residents must tighten their belts in the face of economic turmoil, so must the township.

“I hope to accomplish this as painlessly as possible by seeking out ways to share services both within the town and outside with other communities,” he said. “We are all in this together, and I am always looking for guidance as to how to maximize our strengths and make our tax dollars work best for us.”

The council will meet again on Jan. 27.