Should Sussex Freeholders get $100,000?

Ann Smulewicz, an ardent and often loud supporter of Freeholder Phil Crabb apparently thinks so.  At last year's June 27th meeting of the Sussex County Board of Freeholders Smulewicz told the Freeholders that they do not make enough money. 

According to the Alternative Press, Smulewicz said that the "freeholders deserve $100,000 a year."  That's more than four times what they are currently receiving from the taxpayers.  A Sussex County Freeholder currently receives $23,000 a year, with an additional $1,000 for the director.  Freeholder Crabb is the only Board member who receives benefits and a pension, so a salary increase could be especially beneficial to him.

The plan to increase the Freeholders salaries would make Sussex County's Freeholders the most expensive in New Jersey.  Smulewicz defended the idea, telling the Press:  "It's not a part-time job."  In fact, it is a part-time job.  No Freeholder works a 40 hour or even a 20 hour week.  All that is required is attendance at two meetings a month and an occasional additional meeting or two.

Oddly enough, while wanting part-time elected officials to be paid more, Smulewicz wants full-time elected officials to be paid less.  Smulewicz objected to paying the County Clerk and County Surrogate more than $107,000 a year, even though they work documented 40-hour weeks, plus attending meetings after hours.  

One thing is certain, Ann Smulewicz is an enormous fan of Freeholder Phil Crabb.  During this year's February 26th meeting of the Sussex County Board of Freeholders, Smulewicz spoke up and loudly proclaimed her support for Crabb, as the official minutes of the Board attest:  "Ann Smulewicz of Wantage came forward, she said she was pleased that Freeholder Crabb is running for his Freeholder seat again and will work to make sure that he retains the seat."

Should public meetings be turned into venues for campaign endorsement? 

Should Sussex County Freeholders get a $77,000 pay raise each?

Should paying the Sussex County Board of Freeholders go from costing county taxpayers $116,000 a year to $501,000 a year?  Freeholders serve 3-year terms, that's $348,000 vs. over $1.5 million!

Feel free to let us know what you think.