JACKSON-Jackson Township Council President Ken Bressi who has a reputation of being boisterous and sometimes violent during his many tenures in public office lashed out Tuesday night at an Orthodox Jewish man who challenged the Vietnam veteran on an ordinance that blocked the construction of an eruv.
Each meeting, Bressi starts his council meetings by thanking the veterans for preserving the freedoms we hold so dearly in America, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, among others.
One Orthodox man who questioned Bressi’s allegiance to those freedoms after Bressi’s council voted unanimously to shut down a proposal by the local Orthodox community to build a public eruv in the town, got a front row seat to the councilman’s latest outburst.
“All that we are asking was that the language including the opportunity to request permission to request a variance,” the man said. He went on to question the council about their commitment to freedom, saying their decision to infringe upon the religious freedom of the Orthodox community was kin to “pissing on the graves” of American veterans.
Bressi erupted in a violent tirade against the man, at one point telling him to leave the meeting and to “get the hell out of here”, if he doesn’t “salute the flag”.
“You don’t have to be here!” Bressi screamed at the top of his lungs.
Bressi cut the man’s right to speak before the public in the meeting, ordering him to sit down.
The man later apologized for his comment and Bressi acknowledged he could have toned down his response.
*Correction: Councilman Bressi said “Salute the flag”, which from audio and the loud volume in the audio system sounded like “approve the plan”. Additionally, the commenter never said whether or not he wanted to salute a flag.