Jo Ann D'Angeli 1. Biography Along with being a dedicated fiscal conservative, I am a life-long citizen of New Jersey and a 24-year resident of Sussex County. My husband John and I have raised two children in Lafayette. And now our children raise their children in Sussex County. I have served proudly as the President of the Board of Health, a Representative on the County Solid Waste Advisory Council, a member of the Quality Advisory Committee, and as Commissioner of the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority for 10 years, where I was Chairperson for four consecutive years. I was elected to the county Freeholder Board in December of 1997. Currently, I serve as the current Freeholder Director. 2. What are the three most important issues facing Sussex County? Taxes & Spending. We understand the impact taxes and spending have on the county. That is why Hal Wirths and I have been working tirelesslyand successfullyin reducing the county tax rate, paying down the debt at an accelerated pace and refinancing the debt to achieve a lower interest rate. Our efforts have earned the county a bond rating of A-1 from Moody's Investor Services. We've also reduced the size of county government and eliminated waste. We have saved the county hundreds of thousands of dollars through spending cuts and innovative programs--like the new county employee health care program, itself 600,000 savings for county taxpayers. We continue to diligently review departmental spending and encourage administrators to save. The bottom line: Making the county fiscally efficient is my top priority. Open Space. Preserving open space is the most critical component of maintaining the rural charm that makes our county so special. Hal and I will continue to work to preserve our precious green landscape and watersheds. In fact, we have initiated a program to preserve an additional 3,000 approved acres of farmland and open space. Transportation. Having the county's infrastructure in top shape is critically important for our quality of life and safety. I served for six years as the Liaison to the Department of Engineering and Planning and to the Division of Public Works. In that capacity, I oversaw projects to improve county roads and bridges and worked to secure the funds necessary to keep the county's infrastructure in superb condition. Specifically, I was instrumental in the refurbishment of the key bridges in Sparta after the devastating flood in August 2000. 3. What is your position on the proposed state Highlands Preservation Plan? The state Highland Preservation Plan needs to be improved markedly before I support it. Hal and I are strong proponents of open space and farmland preservation. However, we must respect and protect the private property rights of the landowners and make sure municipalities are fairly compensated for the lost tax revenue. 4. What is the best way to keep tax rates down while still providing services? The best way to keep the tax rate down while still providing services is to weed out waste, spend carefully, and maximize our resources, including encouraging our fine county employees to operate as efficiently as possible. In addition, it is incredibly important that we seek outside grants and resources to help fund vital projects and initiatives. Hal and I are proud to say we have done these things and will continue to do so if the fine people of the county choose to re-elect us. preserved over ten thousand acres of farmland. I will continue to do everything possible to preserve open space mid farmland through the voter approved dedicated county tax. The third issue is homeland security. I am the liaison to the Sussex County Sheriff and the Director of the Office of Emergency Management. I will work with both of them to make sure the millions of dollars coming into Sussex County are used in the most efficient way to protect our citizens. The number one obligation of an elected official is to provide for the safety of its constituents. Hal Wirths 1. Biography Term: November 10, 2000 through December 31, 2004 Freeholder Wirths was elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders In November, 2000. He is 39 years old and a life-long resident of Sussex County. Hal lives In Wantage with his wife, Debbie, and their two daughters, Courtney (9) and Erin (7). Freeholder Wirths is a member and past President of the Wallkill Valley Rotary Club; honorary and past member of Big Brother/Big Sisters; a member of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce; former Chairman, Wantage Economic Development Commission; former Board of Trustee of Upsala College; and has a Business Degree from Upsala College. Liaison appointments: Division of Engineering; Division of Public Works; Division of County Transit, Division of Facilities Management; Sheriff; Capital Projects; Budget Committee; Chamber of Commerce; Planning Board; Sussex County Technical School Board of School Estimate. 2. What are the three most important issues facing Sussex County? I feel the three most important issues facing Sussex County right now are the following. First, the taxes. Since I have been on the Freeholder Board we have been able to cut the tax rate. The 2004 Budget tax rate is at the lowest since 1995. This year we are able to have tremendous savings by refinancing the county debt, redoing the county health insurance plan and by continuing to look into ways to save taxpayers money. I will continue to run county government like a business. The second issue is preserving our rural character. This year marks a milestone when we preserved over ten thousand acres of farmland. I will continue to do everything possible to preserve open space mid farmland through the voter approved dedicated county tax. The third issue is homeland security. I am the liaison to the Sussex County Sheriff and the Director of the Office of Emergency Management. I will work with both of them to make sure the millions of dollars coming into Sussex County are used in the most efficient way to protect our citizens. The number one obligation of an elected official is to provide for the safety of its constituents. 3. What is your position on the proposed state Highlands Preservation Plan? The ever-changing Highlands Preservation Plan has some good and bad points. We are all for the preservation of open space and clean drinking water but I also want to make sure the property owners and farmers are protected and are fairly compensated for any losses that may occur. I am concerned that the state does not have the funding mechanism in place at this time. 4. What is the best way to keep tax rates down while still providing services? The best way to keep taxes down while providing services is to run an efficient and effective government. After running my own business for eighteen years I am and will continue to run county government like a business. I will also make sure the tax payer's assets such as roads, bridges and buildings are properly maintained as not to run up huge costs in the future. Steve Oroho 1. Biography I am 45 years old and live in Franklin. Prior to moving to Franklin nine years ago we lived in the Highland Lakes section of Vernon for 11 years. Rita and I have been married for 24 years and we have five children, three boys and two girls, ranging in age from 23 to 12. I have a professional background as a Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Public Accountant. I was a Senior Vice President of Finance for Young & Rubicam, an S&P 500 company, I was also an Assistant Vice President and Assistant Controller for W. R. Grace, and I started my career with Price Waterhouse & Co. I am a Councilman in Franklin (2004 Council President), a member of the Franklin Economic Development Committee, a member of the Saint Clare's Sussex Hospital Advisory Board, a lector at Immaculate Conception Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus (4th degree), and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. I coach football and baseball at Pope John High School, and I also coach in the Wallkill Valley youth programs. I was also a member of the Highland Lakes Volunteer Fire Department. 2. What are the three most important issues facing Sussex County? A) Fiscal responsibility n County spending is up an average of 6.8% per year for the past four years, three times faster than the rate of inflation. Cumulatively from 1997 county spending is higher by 50%. Taxes since 2000 have increased over 7% per year, and are up more than 50% cumulatively from 1997. Many of our senior residents rely on Social Security benefits -- which have increased by less than 15% cumulatively since 1997 -- or on fixed pension income. We owe it to our residents to live within the same constraints they do. B) Balancing Growth while maintaining our Quality of Life -- We need a leader who can help bring additional quality employment into our county. I understand how business works and how business decisions are made. I can help attract revenue producing projects that will enhance the image and value of our county, and reduce the tax burden on all our residents. At the same time I understand how important the rural nature of Sussex County is to us. I love the beauty of our county. I believe bringing the right types of businesses into our county will help balance the need for revenue producing projects and additional county employment with the concern for maintaining our beautiful surroundings. C) A Secure Present for our Seniors and a Good Future for our Children n Our seniors should enjoy their golden years without the constant worry about ever rising costs. I will work to promote senior priorities such as housing, tax reform, and transportation within Sussex County. Our children should have access to the kind of education they'll need to compete. I'll combine my experience in business and as a youth athletic coach to create career-mentoring programs for young people. 3. What is your position on the proposed state Highlands Preservation Plan? The Highlands plan will affect all Sussex County municipalities n some directly in the preservation area, and some indirectly in the planning area because of the growth limitations of the land in the preservation area. I suspect we all agree on the need to preserve our precious water supplies. The areas of concern for me are: 1) fair compensation for our residents and municipalities for the loss in value of their properties; 2) adequate compensation to farmers to help cover their operating costs that were previously financed utilizing the value of their property; 3) an identified, permanent (non-revocable) funding source (a number of Sussex County municipalities recently have had their New Jersey State funding significantly reduced or eliminated); and 4) the funding source must be adequate to provide for the fair compensation of our residents. 4. What is the best way to keep tax rates down while still providing services? First and foremost, is to have a disciplined financial plan with spending control benchmarks (like the rate of inflation), and it is important to regularly monitor the spending plan through operating reviews. Second, it is important for Sussex County to have the right type of revenue producing projects, such as service related businesses and age-restricted housing ventures. Attracting service related businesses that utilize today's technological advances and telecommuting capabilities will help reduce our tax burden and will also provide quality employment opportunities for our workforce in Sussex County, where 65 percent of our workforce commute outside the county for jobs.