JACKSON-The embattled Jackson Zoning Board lost two more members this week after one board member, Anthony Marano was charged with distributing child pornography and another, Peter Kitay abruptly resigned in the wake of allegations by political opponents against him at a recent township council meeting.
Marano is facing child pornography and weapons charges after a tense armed standoff with police last week.
Since taking his seat on the board, Kitay, a builder, has been criticized by a political opponent, Rae Anne Walker, who wanted the seat. Walker had called the council’s hiring of Kitay as an “Error of judgment”.
The council announced Kitay’s resignation but did not say why the new board member resigned.
Kitay replaced hardline Republican board member John Burrows, who resigned after moving out of Jackson Township. Burrows has also since been a critic of the township council over the Kitay appointment. Since withdrawing from the board, Burrows has been involved in several questionable social media rants against Orthodox Jews, including one wishing death upon Lakewood State Senator Robert Singer and Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore.
On Tuesday, Councilman Scott Martin nominated Toms River Car Wash owner Larry Schuster and longtime rent leveling board member Scott Najarian to the zoning board. The council unanimously approved Martin’s nominations.
Despite past objections from fellow Republican Club members, the council again opted to pass on Walker for the board position.
Councilman Barry Calagero said that he would like to see a better screening of applicants nominated for the township’s boards and said he had sent township attorney Jean Cipriani and council president Ken Bressi his ideas to improve the process.
Calogero said all new applicants should disclose past criminal judgments, civil financial judgments, bankruptcies and other ethical questions. Calogero also requested background checks on all future board members. Calogero did not state whether such checks would also be applicable to the township council members.
Tuesday’s appointed members were appointed without those checks and balances.