Jackson News

Jackson Mayoral Candidate Questions Residency of MUA Commissioner

JACKSON-John Maneri, a candidate for mayor in Jackson Township questioned the legal residency status of longtime GOP operative Geneva “Bubbles” Clayton at the March 13th Jackson Township Council Meeting.

“There’s been a lot of talk on Facebook about Jackson MUA [commissioner] Geneva Clayton,” Maneri told the township council.  “I have copies from the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, one is a deed, that she has a permanent residence in Florida and the other is seller information on a property she used to own on  Burke Road and there’s all kinds of accusations on Facebook…maybe you can clear this up?”

Maneri said he wanted to bring the matter before the Jackson Council as the council is the body that appointed Clayton to her position at the Municipal Utilities Authority where she receives a salary and benefits.

Maneri said he hoped that the council could resolve the issue and perhaps clear Clayton’s name, but also said if something is going on, it can be addressed.

“I would suggest you go directly to the MUA on Manhattan Street,” said Council President Ken Bressi.  “Address it with them, other than that, I’m not going to comment on it.”

“The MUA is an independent governmental entity,” said Township Attorney Jean Cipriani. “We don’t have oversight over their employees. You should certainly take your concerns to the MUA.”

Although the council appoints members to the MUA Commission, they wanted no part of Maneri’s line of questioning.

Utility commissioners came under fire during former Governor Chris Christie’s tenure.  He often criticized these boards at “pits” of “patronage” and “nepotism”.  Eventually, Christie passed a law barring these commissioners from receiving medical benefits for jobs where they only meet once or twice per month to attend formal board meetings.

Clayton, who was already serving on the Jackson MUA Commission is grandfathered under Christie’s law, but if she were to be replaced by the township council, her successor would not be eligible for medical benefits.

Meeting minutes from the Jackson MUA show that Clayton has been physically in attendance at all meetings since the sale of her Jackson home in December of 2017.

SNN obtained the records claimed by Maneri and verified their authenticity with the Ocean County Clerk’s records on file.  Clayton has filed several documents in conjunction with the sale of her Jackson home, listing her official residence as Avon Park, Florida.

If Clayton has declared her official residence as Avon Park, Florida, her appointed position as a commissioner on the Jackson MUA Board of Commissioners could be called into question.

We reached out to Jackson MUA Executive Director David Harpell for clarification of Clayton’s eligibility on the board and for a statement on the accusations being launched against Clayton on social media.

Harpell said, “Thank you for the information and we will look into it this matter.  Our records do indicate that Mrs. Clayton has a Jackson, NJ address.”

“As for the meetings, Mrs. Clayton rarely misses a meeting and if the meeting minutes reflect her attendance,” he added.

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