TRENTON, NJ - Assemblyman Gary Chiusano (R-24) was confirmed today as Sussex County Surrogate by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and then on the Senate floor, by a unanimous vote of 35-0.
Chiusano, who received his nomination from Governor Chris Christie, told The Alternative Press, "I look forward to it [working as Surrogate]. I am flattered that the Senate and Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved it."
Chiusano noted how even in a bipartisan atmosphere, the vote moved quickly, which he attributed to his strong working relationships with both parties.
"There's a mutual respect," he added.
Senator Steve Oroho (R-24) agreed, and said, “Gary Chiusano has the last 30 years in service to the people of Sussex County, as a volunteer in the community, a member of the school board, elected to local government, his service as mayor of his hometown [Frankford], then elected county Freeholder [serving from 2003 to 2008], then to the state Assembly in 2007, and now nominated county Surrogate by Governor Christie and confirmed by a bi-partisan vote of the Senate.”
Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R-24) expressed similar sentiments, "Gary is a strong conservative, who has led the fight for less spending, less debt, and smaller government. He’s been a compassionate advocate for the average taxpayer, something that both Republicans and Democrats recognized today.”
Littell McHose said Chiusano was recently named “Legislator of the Year” by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, and received the New Jersey Small Business Development Center’s Business Advocate Award.
Sussex County Freeholder Gail Phoebus described Chiusano’s confirmation as, “a great plus for the taxpayers of Sussex County. In this time of needing to do more with less, having a fiscal conservative like Gary Chiusano at the helm of a county office is the right move.”
Chiusano will need to resign as member of the Assembly, and is expected to be sworn into his post as Sussex County Surrogate at the end of this week. He succeeds Nancy D. Fitzgibbons, who, after a 40-year professional career within the county, and 22 of those as Sussex County Surrogate, retired on Dec. 15, 2012.
The Sussex County Surrogate administers the Sussex County Surrogate Court, which probates wills; appoints administrators, trustees, and guardians; provides affidavits; processes adoptions; invests minors' trust funds; issues letters of conservatorship; processes contested probate matters; maintains Surrogate Records dating back from the 1800's; records Surrogate and Superior Court proceedings; assists with genealogy and title research; and provides outreach to both the senior and homebound populations.
The Sussex County Surrogate Court is located in the Historic Sussex County Courthouse at 3 High Street in Newton. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. The office phone number is: (973) 579-0920, and the court can also be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Some other important telephone numbers relating to some of the functions the Sussex County Surrogate Court assists with, can be found here). The Sussex County Surrogate Court also provides an online Surrogate Index Search, which can be accessed here.
Chiusano said he looks forward to continuing to serve Sussex County residents in his new capacity: “My job will be to continue the high standards of public service that the Surrogate’s Office is known for and to, if possible, expand the level of service and make it more efficient and accessible.”
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