A small contingent of the Sussex County League of Municipalities gathered for its final local meeting of 2019 at the Mohawk House on Thursday, Oct 17, 2019. League members were joined by County Clerk Jeff Parrott and County Surrogate Gary Chuisano, who spoke about local concerns ranging from the notarization of documents, the uptick in sovereign citizenship, and the new identification requirements coming soon for passports and RealID licenses.
The keynote speaker of the evening was Marvin Joss of the U.S. Census Bureau. Joss told the League about the 2020 census and its implications for Sussex County.
“I’m here to help you make sure that everyone gets counted,” Joss said, “Having accurate information affects the amount of money you get and the way you are represented in Congress.”
Joss said that while every area is different, Sussex County towns still need to be cognizant of counting transient and homeless populations.
“The point is to get as much federal money to you as we can,” he said. “People that may not have a home are still here using the county’s resources and services, even if they don’t have an address.”
Joss also wanted to let local leaders know that the Census Bureau will be hiring workers for the 2020 census and that he could help them set up job postings on their town websites.
“We collaborated with SCCC students to design some great stock weblinks and graphics that anyone can use for their sites,” Joss said, “Everything came out great.”
Until local links are set up, job seekers can visit www.2020census.gov/jobs. The part-time work will be paying $21/hour in our area.
Sparta Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn thinks the League of Municipalities is ending the year on a high note.
“We’re only in year three of this resurrected League, and we really were able to hit upon a lot of topics that affect us all," she said. "To have all 24 municipalities be participating in this group means we can all be on the same page.”
Newton Councilwoman Sandy Diglio thinks the League can play an instrumental role in bringing the county together on issues such as development and infrastructure.
“In Newton, we’re going to have an influx of people who need housing and schooling with all the building at Thorlabs and with the college acquiring the McGuire property for their technical programs, and Sparta is seeing a lot of growth, too," Diglio said. "There are only so many routes in and out of the county- we’re all going to need to worry about how those roads handle the traffic.”
Quinn says she believes that 2020 will be a year of action for the county.
“We’re going to be talking about marketing and branding quite a bit,” she said. “We know where we stand right now. When we reconvene in January, we’ll start figuring out how each town fits it to where we want to be.”