JACKSON, NJ – At the April 14, 2020 Jackson Township municipal council meeting, Mayor Michael Reina and his fellow Republican council committee members passed a resolution that sought to bolster the power of Governor Phil Murphy. That resolution was in support of a New Jersey Assembly bill sponsored by pay-to-play lawyer Gregory P. McGuckin. If enacted by the Governor, the Reina-McGuckin bill would impose $10,000 fines on those who violate Phil Murphy’s dozens of executive orders since March.
For the past two months, Reina has been a no-show in his town. Residents had not seen or heard from the mayor throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Reina has missed 61 out of 109 township municipal meetings in the last five years.
After declaring that he would restart sports in his town earlier this week, via a letter delivered to the town council to read at last week’s council meeting, in which he also didn’t attend, Reina’s trademark temper flared out of control again on Friday after Murphy shut down his plan to restart sports.
In an interview with NJ101.5, the absentee mayor called for the resignation of Murphy.
“Now I am mad. I’ve been disrespected. You took away the one pleasure we were offering the children during a bad time for them to get out and you took that away, too. Really? Really? We know you’re the governor. We get it. Everybody goes through their power trip syndrome and now you’re enjoying yours,” Reina said as his Napoleonic temper flared. “I am the last person who would minimize or use something as leverage to get back at a political figure let alone the governor. I am above that.”
Reina’s plan called for fields to be opened in Jackson to allow kids to start training and conditioning under the social distancing guidelines set forth under Phil Murphy’s executive orders. For the time being, it appears Murphy has shut down Reina’s plan, and if the Reina-McGuckin bill does happen to get to Phil Murphy’s desk for a signature, those who want to use the fields outside of the scope of Murphy’s Law, could be fined as much as $10,000.
Reina is having an especially tough week this week, which could be the root of his frustration. After repealing a popular township ordinance that restricted the construction of dormitories and schools, that Reina put his stamp of approval on two years ago, residents have been upset with him. Reina has been missing-in-action as a mayor since the pandemic began and has awoken, apparently angry from his two-month-long hibernation.