Jackson Council Appoints GOP Insider to Embattled Zoning Board Seat

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JACKSON-The Jackson Township Council has filled a vacant seat on the Jackson zoning board for the fifth time in just over one year.   Joseph Sullivan, a GOP operative was quickly approved by the council to serve as an alternate on the Jackson Township Zoning Board.

Over the past year, the board has been plagued with resignations, starting with the resignation of longtime member John Burrows.  After his resignation, Burrows made headlines calling for the deaths of New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer of Lakewood and Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore.

After Burrows’ resignation, the board was once again besieged with another scandal after builder Peter Kitay resigned amid accusations that his position as a land developer in Jackson was in conflict with his position as a member of the zoning board.

Last September, Anthony Morano, another member of the board was removed after he was caught with pornography with Jackson Police.   After a tense standoff where he was armed with a handgun, police successfully subdued Morano without incident.

In the interim, the board has appointed two other members who resigned almost immediately upon acceptance to the board.

The zoning board has also come under fire legally after being sued by an Orthodox Jewish developer wishing to build an all-girls high school on Cross Street.

At the council meeting, when asked to nominate a new member to the zoning board, Councilman Barry Calogero nominated Sullivan.  Calogero’s motion was reaffirmed by Councilman Scott Martin.

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The council then unanimously voted on Sullivan, without any discussion.

Sullivan was the first zoning board member appointed by the council since volunteer applications, called “Citizen Leadership” forms were amended by the township to ask prospects about their use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

On Sullivan’s citizen leadership form, he listed his personal references as Jackson GOP Club President Todd Porter, Richard Egan and Robert Skinner.  Sullivan identified that he maintains social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pintrest.

To the question, “Please list all properties owned in the Township of Jackson”, Sullivan answered, “none”.  He affirmed he had not declared bankruptcy in the last three years, has never been arrested or convicted of a crime nor does he claim to have any outstanding warrants, according to the township document.

The Jackson Zoning board hears applications from builders and land developers seeking to develop property in Jackson where such developments would not be permitted under township ordinance.   Builders appear before the zoning board to request variances that allow their development to circumvent township zoning and/or building laws, with township approval.  If a builder wished to build in Jackson and their project meets the township’s building and zoning laws, they appear before the planning board for approval.