Board member offers to step down if mayor will reappoint Krubner

By Dave Benjamin

Board member offers to step down
if mayor will reappoint Krubner

JACKSON — One Jackson Planning Board member has offered to give up his seat on the board rather than accept the fact that Blanche Krubner was not reappointed to the panel by Mayor Mike Reina this month.

Board member George McKay said, “I told the mayor that I was willing to forego my remaining term as alternate member No. 1 on the Planning Board if he would reinstate Blanche Krubner.”

McKay said Reina indicated that he would appoint Krubner to the alternate’s position if McKay resigns from the board.

Reina said he would do that, but said that as of July 23 he had not received a letter of resignation from McKay.

The issue surrounding Krubner came to the attention of the public several weeks ago when Reina did not reappoint the longtime Jackson resident and former teacher to the environmental commission or to the Planning Board.

The mayor said at the time, “Like all other towns, things have to change, and we saw a need for a change. Changes were made that were deemed appropriate at this time. These changes were all positive.”

This week, McKay said a person of Krubner’s character should never get caught up in politics.

“She is dedicated, prepared and will do all she can to see that this town is developed properly,” he said. “She is truly a local legend. Blanche is the teacher who never stops teaching, and we could all learn a lesson from that.”

Township Council President Mike Kafton said residents have communicated to him their displeasure at the mayor’s decision not to reappoint Krubner.

“I would like to thank George McKay for responding to that outcry by offering to step aside from the Planning Board, provided Mayor Reina would reappoint Blanche Krubner in his stead,” Kafton said.

Kafton said Krubner has always been, and remains, one of Jackson’s staunchest friends of the environment. He said it was a sad day for residents when the mayor decided not to reappoint her to the environmental commission or to the Planning Board.

He said Krubner could always be counted on to ask the tough questions and to not get steamrolled by developers who appeared before the board.

“My hope right now is that if another opening should arise on the board that Mr. McKay be asked to fill it, since he has done an excellent job on this board,” said Kafton. “It takes a lot of courage to do what George McKay just did and I applaud his efforts.”

The Township Council, which makes appointments to the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment, recently chose not to reappoint several sitting members of that panel.

When asked by the Tri-Town News what the difference is between the mayor’s decision not to reappoint Krubner to the Planning Board and the council’s decision not to reappoint several sitting members to the zoning board, Kafton said, “The council is very limited as to the number of appointments and the zoning board is the only board where they are permitted to select members and in this particular case, there were three seats that were up.”

Kafton said the zoning board has been dominated by Republicans and said in an attempt to bring some balance to the board, a majority of the council appointed one Republican, Mike Hoffman, and two Democrats, Kevin DiGesu and Gary Moliver, to the board, and moved John Suttles from an alternate position to a regular position.

Kafton said DiGesu had previously served on the zoning board, but had been thrown off for “political” reasons in 2006.