JACKSON, NJ – Jackson Township Councilman Barry Calogero has announced today that he his hosting a special meeting of the Jackson Township Council and Mayor on Tuesday, May 5th. A special council meeting agenda was released to the public on Friday. That agenda was essentially blank, listing simpy, “Opening comments by Council President Calogero”, with comments by the township council and a public comment portion of the meeting.
Calogero and Mayor Michael Reina were both absent at last week’s regularly scheduled meeting. Tuesday’s special council meeting represents just the third time in the past 15 years that the Jackson Township council has held a special meeting. In October, the council hosted a meeting to discuss litigation with their federal civil rights lawsuit versus Agudath Israel of America. Shortly after that meeting, Jackson Councilman Robert Nixon resigned from his seat on the board.
Tuesday’s meeting does not indicate any discussion of lawsuits as that would be required to be on the official agenda by law if discussed during the executive session. Some insiders within the Reina administration today suspect a resignation could be possible in the form of Jackson Township Councilman Barry Calogero. Calogero was condemned this week by the Anti-Defamation League and denounced by several high ranking members of the New Jersey GOP organization for his call to Governor Phil Murphy to deploy the New Jersey Army National Guard to neighboring Lakewood Township.
“In face of this public crisis, we share the fears that many residents in Ocean County feel for their safety and that of their loved ones. But we cannot allow this fear to embolden those who would take advantage of this moment to stir hatred and division. In this regard, we are deeply concerned by recent statements of Jackson Township Council President, Barry Calogero, suggesting that people are “hiding behind their culture and religious beliefs” to put others at risk,” said ADL Vice President Evan Bernstein “As we are seeing a spike in online anti-Semitism and attempts to scapegoat the Jewish community in Ocean County for Covid-19, these accusations are not only baseless – the virus has spared no religion, township or county – but also deeply offensive to a community that like everyone else is coping with the loss of life. Residents and public officials need to reject attempts at finger-pointing and work together to defeat this virus that is threatening us all.”
Calogero is a political appointee of President Donald J. Trump and heads the USDA’s NJ Farm Services Bureau, a big career change for a lifelong New York City guy who never worked on a farm.
Others suspect Calogero could be resigning because of declining health issues related to his condition of Parkinson’s Disease. Another insider suspects that the township could simply be offering a public presentation of a proposed legal settlement of one of many of the town’s ongoing state and federal lawsuits.
The town has refused to publicly or officially announce the nature of the meeting.