MORRISTOWN, NJ - Deborah Smith was elected Freeholder Director by her peers while Stephen Shaw was elected Deputy Freeholder Director at Morris County's 2020 Reorganization meeting held on Friday, January 3, 2010.

Morris County Freeholders Doug Cabana of Boonton Township, Kathy DeFillippo of Roxbury, and Tom Mastrangelo of Montville, along with Sheriff James M. Gannon and new County Surrogate Heather Darling were also sworn into office last night at the Board of Freeholders’ 2020 Annual Meeting, held in Morristown.

Previously, Doug Cabana held the post as Freeholder Director. 

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“My goals this year are to make decisions that benefit all residents of Morris County, to keep close watch on spending while delivering critical public safety and quality of life services that make Morris County the number one county in New Jersey, by far,’’ said Freeholder Smith. 

“I look forward to working with and supporting my freeholder colleagues and the county administration in my role as Deputy Director. It is an honor and privilege to serve the residents of Morris County,” said Freeholder Shaw.

Showing support for those who took the oaths tonight were a host of political dignitaries and County officials, including Congresswoman Mikie Sherill, State Senators Tom Kean, Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco; Assembly members BettyLou DeCroce, Aura Dunn and Christopher DePhillips. Also in attendance was Former Assemblyman and Head of NJ Motor Vehicles, Dick Kamin. 

From the County government, County Clerk Ann Grossi, County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and First Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Zelante were in attendance.  Recently retired County Surrogate John Pecoraro, and former freeholders Frank Druetzler, Gene Feyl, John Inglesino, and John Sette were also there at the meeting.  Later that evening former Surrogate John Pecoraro got honored by his home town of Mendham Borough.

Freeholder Smith highlighted some of Morris County’s top rankings and high quality of life during her address to overflow audience in the County Administration and Records Building. She touted the following about Morris County stating:

  • It has the number one county park system in New Jersey;

  • It is a statewide leader in open space and farmland preservation;

  • It is the number one healthiest county in New Jersey;

  • It is a statewide leader in recycling;

  • It has the top-ranked Triple A bond rating;

  • It is ranked in the top 25 counties to live in the U.S.;

  • County College of Morris and the Morris County Vocational School are ranked among the best in the nation.

“The Freeholder Board is intent in 2020 to maintain those top rankings,’’ Smith told the crowd. “We know we have a lot of work ahead of us and look forward to your participation and collaboration.’’

2020 brings the first year that two Constitutional officers, County Clerk Ann Grossi and Surrogate Heather Darling are both female, serving along with a female Freeholder Director, Deborah Smith.

Smith joined the Freeholder Board on Jan. 3, 2016, and is now serving her second three-year term. She has served on the Budget Committee, chaired the Insurance Commission, and has been liaison to the Morris County Park Commission and Finance Department.

Previously, she was on the Denville Council for 20 years, including two years as council president and two years as the council’s Planning Board member. She also served on the Denville Zoning Board.

Freeholder Smith has long served her community, volunteering for many community activities. She was the Township Council’s liaison to the Denville Public Library, senior citizens’ organizations, the local historical society, fire department and many other groups.

She resides in Denville with her husband Steven, a small business owner in Randolph.