TAP into Montville recently asked the 12 Morris County Freeholder candidates five questions, similar to those posed at the debate held in Montville recently. Their answers will appear in a series. The following answers are from Democratic candidate Charles Bogusat.
1. Opening statement: describe your background and why you are running.
I am a retired high school teacher. Over the last two decades as an Executive Board Member and President of the White Meadow Lake Community I have demonstrated the skills of a civic leader. Civic leadership requires the interest to understand all sides of an issue and the ability to navigate a solution through bureaucracies and committees.
Among many infrastructure improvements to my community, I initiated a comprehensive lake reclamation program, receiving the 2002 North American Lake Management Association Technical Excellence Award for volunteer actions coordinating private association, municipal and state government lake reclamation activities. The project included, but was not limited to, the lake bed alum injection water clarifying and algae suppression system, and initiating street storm drain construction negotiations with the township. It also involved protecting the water flow into White Meadow Lake by participating in negotiations with local businesses, state and federal agencies toward developing a regional water use regime to address the proposed introduction of a hydroelectric pump storage project into an undersized watershed.
Prior to that, as the Founding Chairman of Sewer Our Streets, I successfully lobbied to expedite the completion of sanitary sewer lines to replace the septic systems around the perimeter of the lake.
2. How do you think the heroin problem in Morris County discussed by the Sheriff candidates should be addressed by the Freeholder Board?
Addicts saved from overdosing by the police should be required to participate in a mandatory rehab program, which should be funded by applying for federal grants through a coordinated effort with Congressman Frelinghuysen’s office.
3. Imagine the board finds a 10% windfall (of approximately $34M) in the county budget. How would you approach these funds?
I would pay down the county debt so that our bond rating would improve and thus, if we need to bond a project in the future, we would be able to do so at a lower interest rate.
4. What is your position on an Apprentice Program resolution, requiring contractor-bidders to have an apprentice program?
Learning a trade is a great opportunity for a proud and financially secure lifestyle, especially now that manufacturing jobs have been lost. I worked my way through college as a plumber, my father had a second job as a sheet metal fabricator while employed as a police lieutenant, and my brother was a truck mechanic. It is in everyone’s interest to require contractor-bidders to have an apprentice program.
5. What other issues do you think are important, that voters need to know about?
Our county Board of Freeholders needs to develop a cost-effective way to continue the quality care provided at the county’s Morris View Healthcare Center.