Warren County’s economic development efforts took another leap forward this year as the Board of Chosen Freeholders established the Warren County Economic Development Committee (EDC) to formalize what for more than four years had been an ad hoc advisory panel.

The Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC) had been established at Freeholder Director Jason J. Sarnoski’s urging in late 2011 to strengthen the freeholder board’s focus on economic development, after nearly a decade of a hands-off approach that left efforts to attract and retain businesses to outside organizations.

Last year, Sarnoski raised the issue with his board colleagues to establish a formal committee, and on Jan. 13, 2016 won unanimous support from Freeholders Richard D. Gardner and Edward J. Smith to create the EDC.

While the new group will continue to act in an advisory capacity to the freeholders, it also is charged with assisting the County in promoting economic development and establishing a framework to be utilized in coordinating local, state and federal efforts toward this end, with a major emphasis placed on providing the basic foundation essential for attracting and encouraging sound economic growth in Warren County.

The panel has 11 members serving 3-year terms (initial appointments were staggered with 1-, 2- and 3-year terms to maintain continuity) and members are designated from Agriculture, Banking/Finance, Commercial/Service, Corporate/Industrial, Tourism, Realty, Workforce Development/Education, Municipal Government and three district liaisons representing the Eastern District, Central District and Western District. All serve as volunteers, without compensation.

“This committee will be more structured than its advisory council predecessor,” Sarnoski said. “The challenge facing this committee is going to be raising revenue and encouraging people and businesses to move to the county,” he added.

The initial appointees, who met the following day and elected officers, are: Chairwoman Betty Schultheis; Vice Chairman Todd Tersigni; Secretary Eve Azar; and members Scott Anderson; Mitchell Jones; Andrea Kirchuk; John Kruk; Chris Maier; Stan Prater; Herman Shoemaker; and Linda Stettler. Sarnoski will serve as Freeholder Liaison.

The Committee meets the second Thursday of each month at 8 a.m. in the Freeholder Meeting Room of the Wayne Dumont, Jr. Administration Building.
 

Members of the Warren County Economic Development Committee

Front Row: Vice Chairman Todd Tersigni; Chairwoman Betty Schultheis; Secretary Eve Azar; Freeholder Liaison Jason Sarnoski.
Back Row: Linda Stettler; Andrea Kirchuk; John Kruk; Mitchell Jones; Herman Shoemaker; Chris Maier; Scott Anderson; Stan Prater