“It’s not like there’s an integrity problem; it’s more so, ‘Where are your priorities?’,” said James Santonastaso, the Democratic Committee executive director.”
The Sussex County Democratic Committee is calling on Republican Freeholder Josh Hertzberg to step down following his announcement that he would run for a seat on the Sparta Council.
Hertzberg should not split his focus between two separate governing bodies, committee representatives said.
The committee posted its message on social media for the freeholder to step down shortly after Hertzberg announced he would run for the Council spot citing issues in the township and “what seems like a lot of people’s personal agendas.”
The committee posted that while Hertzberg is within his rights to make a bid for the Sparta Council and help out his hometown, it should not come at the expense of serving the rest of the county.
“It’s not like there’s an integrity problem; it’s more so, ‘Where are your priorities?’,” said James Santonastaso, the Democratic Committee executive director.
The committee believes county officials should be focused on the entire constituency rather than only one section, Santonastaso said. Hertzberg should fully commit to either his freeholder duties or his Sparta Council campaign instead of trying to balance both for the next few months, he said.
“If he feels so strongly about the shortcomings of the elected officials in Sparta and about his need to come to the rescue, Mr. Hertzberg should not be putting the entire county and its residents in the crossfire of his inability to choose,” reads the committee’s post.
Hertzberg did not repond to a request for comment.
Last week, when he announced his council run, Hertzberg praised the leadership of his fellow freeholders and expressed optimism the county is trending in a positive direction.
Hertzberg served one term on the Sparta Council from 2015 to 2018 and was named mayor in his final year. He and then-Franklin Borough Council President defeated incumbent freeholders Jonathan Rose and Carl Lazzaro in the June 2018 primary, and both began their tenure on the freeholder board in January 2019.
If Hertzberg wins the Sparta election, he said he will forego the remainder of his freeholder term. The Sussex County Republican Committee would then appoint a candidate to serve through December 2021.
Hertzberg is running as a team with Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn for two open seats on the Sparta Council. Mayor Jerry Murphy is the other council member whose term expires at the end of the year.
Kyle Morel can also be contacted on Twitter: @KMorelNJH, on Facebook: Facebook.com/KMorelNJH, or by phone: 973-383-1292.
Source: NJ Herald, https://www.njherald.com/news/20200716/sussex-dems-call-for-freeholder-hertzberg-to-step-down?fbclid=IwAR22QZsZhbuqrbtwAg44-AljwSKZ6edUQmHeHJQLoLPLi9PtLlpEZopvEUA