Editor:

Outgoing Freeholder Director Jonathan Rose announced on Facebook that Howard Burrell was deemed “not acceptable” by the Sussex County freeholder board to serve as trustee of Sussex County Community College. 

Why did the freeholders decide that Dr. Burrell is “not acceptable?" After all, the freeholders’ own search committee nominated Dr. Burrell to be SCCC’s next trustee.

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Among his many qualifications, Dr. Burrell served as a Sussex County freeholder. He was a Vernon councilman and president of the Vernon Board of Education. He is a Vietnam era veteran, having served his country in the United States Air Force. Governor Christie appointed Dr. Burrell to the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission in 2013; he is now Vice Chairman.

Dr. Burrell is also a trustee of Centenary College, a member of the Felician University Council of Regents, and a trustee of the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Felician University.

It is hard to imagine a more “acceptable” candidate for the SCCC board. 

When, exactly, did the freeholders decide that Dr. Burrell is “not acceptable?”  No freeholder meeting agendas or minutes reflect such a discussion or a vote. Did the freeholders violate the Sunshine Law and reject this nomination in secret? The county prosecutor should investigate. 

Dr. Burrell is a role model, a family man and a honorable and decent human being. The freeholders owe Sussex County an explanation and owe Dr. Burrell an apology. 

Leslie Huhn, Chairwoman

Sussex County Democratic Committee