JACKSON-Jackson Township Councilman Ken Bressi nominated multi-generational local small business owner Martin Flemming to serve on the five-member governing body to fill the seat vacated by Robert Nixon, who is at the center of a civil rights lawsuit against the township. Flemming is the owner of Countyline Hardware, which has served Jackson Township for over 100 years.
Flemming was also nominated to replace Bressi as the council delegate to the Jackson Planning Board.
Prior to the appointment the Lakewood Scoop question the council’s legal authority to make an appointment after the legal window to make the appointment had expired under state law.
Under New Jersey law, a town has just 30 days to fill a vacancy when an elected official in a non-partisan town such as Jackson resigns. While Flemming may be the ideal choice of the 9 qualified candidates that applied for the job, the appointment opens the door for a challenge should any resident decide to pursue it.
Township officials feel their decision was just because of the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah holidays that transpired during the 30 day expiry period since Nixon’s November 26th resignation.
In the meeting, the township council also appointed Gregory McGuckin as township attorney.
40A:16-12. Appointment to fill vacancy where incumbent was not nominee of a political party; time to fill vacancy
If the incumbent whose office has become vacant was not elected to office as the nominee of a political party, the governing body may, within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, appoint a successor to fill the vacancy without regard to party.