Jackson Council President Barry Calogero is expected to resign today, weeks after he asked Gov. Phil Murphy to call in the National Guard to enforce his shelter-in-place executive order.
The conventional wisdom was that Calogero was fanning the flames of anti-Lakewood sentiment after numerous incidents of Lakewood residents refusing to adhere to Murphy’s social distancing guidelines.
Calogero, a Trump administration appointee, will hold on to his day job as state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture New jersey Farm Service Agency.
This is the second Jackson Township resignation in five months. Last year, another councilman resigned after becoming a defendant in a lawsuit filed by an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group that accused Jackson of targeting Jews on local development issues.
Jackson’s Orthodox Jewish population has been growing rapidly over the last several years along the township’s Lakewood border.
Calogero is up for re-election in a November non-partisan election. His resignation allows the Republican faction that controls local government to pick his replacement now and allow that person to run in the fall.
Three of the five council seats will be up for grabs in November. Incumbents Kenneth Bressi and Martin Flemming are expected to seek re-election. Flemming was appointed to fill a vacancy.
Speculation that Calogero might resign was first identified by Shlomo Schorr of the Lakewood Shopper.
Update: Statement of the Jackson Republican Club (6:00 PM)
The Jackson Republican Club would like to extend a sincere thank you to Councilman Barry Calogero for a combined 15 years of service to the residents of Jackson on both the Town Council and the Zoning Board. Public Service is not always appreciated for it’s difficulties and complexities and we appreciate the effort put forth by Mr. Calogero over the last decade and a half.
Barry has always accepted that criticism is part of becoming an elected official. This outlook has enabled him to stay true to his beliefs over the years and stand up for the residents against overdevelopment, bad planning, and “pretend media outlet” attacks.
We wish Barry the best of luck in his continued service to the Country as the State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency in New Jersey. His work in this capacity has been exemplary and his choice to forego the rest of his term on the Town Council to focus on this especially important work is another example of the character he brought to the Council these many years.