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Warren County Freeholder

Warren County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders whose three members are chosen at large by the citizens of Warren County on a staggered basis in partisan elections with one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. Each Freeholder serves a three-year term in office. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Freeholder Director and other as Deputy Director.

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  • Theresa Bender Chapman

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    Lori Ciesla

Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenges facing your county?

What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for addressing these challenges?

What policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our county?

What role do you envision for the county government in combating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for future pandemics?

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Campaign Address 12 Meadowview Dr, Phillipsburg NJ 08865
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The most important challenge facing our County right now is the overdevelopment of warehouses. First, our rural character is very important to all of us here. Second, overdevelopment of just one type of business is not good from an economical standpoint. We need diversity to ensure we have a stable economy for years to come. Towns need commercial ratables to help their residents, but we need to seek and attract smart ratables that enhance our way of life. There is a place for everything, and warehouses belong near the roadways that can already support them, not on roads that cannot. Our County cannot afford major road expansion projects, and in some places, due to Highlands restrictions, we cannot expand. We must all come together to make sure we are planning at the local level in a way that will help us, not hinder us.

We also need to support our farmers in any way we can. They are the lifeblood of our County.

Another challenge is getting better internet service to our County. While utilities are not necessary a function of the Freeholder position, we can lobby together as a county to get better service out here. We also need to bring our County's operations into the 21st century. I've already started working on that as a member of the Technology and Transparency Task Force. The more you can communicate to your residents, the better. Our residents are why we serve, so let's make it easier for them to participate by posting more in depth agendas, recording and/or live streaming meetings, as well as adding online forms and payment options so they can conduct business with the County from home or work. We have a great County that has been run very responsibly, and I seek to enhance our way of life here.

"Brain Drain" is an issue for all of NJ, and I want to continue to support our County schools so our children, and our adult students, can get the education and training they need to live and work here in NJ. I'd like to expand our certificate options, increase our partnerships with 4 year private NJ schools, and add more recreational clubs, including sports, to entice more kids to attend WCCC instead of another NJ community college.
I am a former local elected official so I am aware of the scope of the Freeholder position, and the many, many laws and regulations that we all must deal with in NJ. I can hit the ground running, aware of what I can and cannot do in my role. I also know whose role it is, if it is not mine, and how to reach out to them effectively. I can also lean on that experience to help our municipal leaders with their issues.

As a former elected official, I sat on many committees as a liaison, so I have experience with supporting boards, committees, and commissions. I will be here to support all in our County as well, such as our Ag board, Recreation board, preservations committees and more. I have served on several County committees already too, so I understand the County processes and will do all I can to use that experience plus my professional experience to get their objectives completed.

As an IT professional with many years of Corporate experience, I know how to make processes more efficient and less costly, and I know how to run projects successfully from start to finish. My experience has been in the Financial Industry, so that combined with my experience with municipal budgets will allow me to dive right into our budgeting process.

I have had experience leading people in both business and government, so I am ready to lead our County employees and help them succeed for all of us. I believe in bringing people to the table to discuss and brainstorm ideas, and will be inclusive in seeking input from all residents in all communities.

All voices must be heard. The needs of rural North Warren communities are different than the more populated areas of South Warren. I am running to be Freeholder for all, and my professional and public service experience will help me ensure all residents are included in our governing.
Having worked in Corporate America all of my life, diversity has always been a priority for every company I've worked for. When I first started in IT many years ago, there were very few women. It was a challenge at times, but having the company's support made it easier. I don't think I need to remind you about how few women there are in politics! Equality for all is needed so that we can all succeed. I think one of the most important ways for people to feel their government is inclusive is to have it actual represent them. The diversity of our staff should be reflective of our community and I will seek to make sure this is the case. When soliciting RFPs, we can ask about our vendors diversity as well. I'd also like to set up a task force, to bring people together and discuss the issues around our County, and seek ways we can improve social and racial justice in our County. The best input is always from those who are directly affected.
Our County has already stepped up to the plate and partnered with a local health care provider to set up a COVID-19 testing center when it was needed. Should we have another wave, I would do the same again. We need to support our Department of Health and make sure they have the resources they need to deal with COVID-19 and any future pandemics. We need to make sure we have a healthy supply of PPE on hand at all times. Communication is huge during a pandemic, and by upgrading our website, we can more easily provide information to people in real time. Using social media is also a key tool in providing information, and I am seeking to expand and enhance our social media activity. We can also use Nixle and other emergency calling/texting services to get information out to everyone. We also must help our businesses and residents navigate through the red tape involved in seeking financial help during a pandemic. The County did put all relevant information on their website during COVID-19, but since NJ is known as the 'Red Tape State', I would dedicate staff resources to answering questions and offering assistance to our residents to help them apply for any programs available.