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Paul DeGroot
On The Issues

TAXES- Keep taxes low by not only managing the budget but by cutting spending. The County budget has been able to maintain a 0% tax increase three years in a row NOT due to prudent fiscal policy but because rateables have gone up. When the housing bubble which is artificially inflated by State mandates for Affordable Housing bursts, you will need a fiscal conservative on the board to reign in County spending. Perhaps taxes can actually be lowered as Ocean County has done for several years in this same economy.

ECONOMIC DEBELOPMENT- Despite the States Business Climate, we need to work with our Morris County Businesses to keep them here and help them thrive.

PARENTAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION & MEDICAL FREEDOM- As elected officials we must stand with our parents to speak out and end the wokeness in our schools and fight for parents rights in making medical decisions for their children which should be between them and their doctors not the government.

SENIORS & VETERANS- Paul has always held a special place in his heart for seniors and Veterans. He would look to provide more services and benefits for seniors such as free or optional offering admission to all county museum and attractions. This can be obtained by cutting waste and spending in other areas.

My family often visits our local parks, which is one of the many reasons I love Morris County. Our parks are the best in the state, and I want to ensure they always are. However, I am concerned that the roads are not being paved and our parks are being ignored.

COUNTY COURT HOUSE- Providing adequate court facilities and securing those facilities are the sole responsibility of each respective County in New Jersey. To assess those needs, the County commissioned a Space Needs and Facilities Assessment in 2017. That assessment, completed in 2018, identified a significant shortfall in criminal, family, and civil court facilities. As a result, the Commissioner Board proposed plans for a 144,000-sf new courthouse in 2018. Those plans were downsized to 140,000 sf at an estimated cost of $62 million in 2020 but postponed due to the COVID pandemic. That delay will cost the taxpayers an additional $23 million for less space in the last proposed courthouse of 117,000 sf in 2022 at an estimated cost of $85 million. Rather than putting people to work during the pandemic and building at $445/SF, the taxpayer will now pay $725/SF for a smaller scaled-back courthouse at higher interest rates.

We need to ensure people feel confident in our free and fair elections, which are at the core of our democracy. The Commissioner Board's purchase of 541 voting machines to replace over 900 old machines left voters in long lines with machines jamming and did nothing to boost the voter's confidence in election integrity. Not only that, but the chaos of the November election caused the County to purchase additional machines costing $2000 more per machine than the previous year's purchase. Had the correct number of machines been purchased initially, it would have saved taxpayers over $500,000. Do we now have the correct number of voting machines?

IMMIGRATION- I believe in LEGAL immigration and the need to secure our borders. The rule of law must be followed, enforcing our current immigration laws and NO sanctuary cities.

A basic tenet of a healthy democracy is open dialogue and transparency. ~ Peter Fenn "Backroom" deals should not be made in the interest of politicians and not the taxpayer. I will always vow to serve the people and not myself. Therefore, I will always favor legally allowed information available to the public and online when possible.