Reliable sources tell TLS that the Jackson Township Council plans to install a new Councilmember to fill the seat vacated by former Council President Robert Nixon. The Council has been operating with just four Councilmen since he resigned in November.
But are they breaking the law?
According to NJ Rev Stat § 40A:16-12 (2013), when a position like Nixon’s becomes vacant “the governing body may, within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, appoint a successor to fill the vacancy without regard to party.”
What seems pretty clear from the statute is that Jackson’s Councilmen would only be allowed to appoint another individual to the vacant seat if they were doing it within 30 days of Nixon’s resignation. And that is where the problem lies. Rob Nixon resigned on November 26th. The 30-day deadline to appoint his successor is well past.
An attorney contacted by TLS confirms that, in his legal opinion, the statute would pose a significant problem for Jackson if they go through with appointing someone to the vacant position.
Will Jackson openly break the law?
01-02-20 - REORGANIZATION
BREAKING UPDATE: Jackson appoints Marty Flemming as new Councilmember, in possible violation of New Jersey statute. https://t.co/GpVBkthwG4
— The Lakewood Scoop (@LakewoodScoop) January 2, 2020