Sparta mayor, Franklin Council president to seek GOP nod in freeholders race

Sparta mayor, Franklin Council president to seek GOP nod for 2 seats

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Sparta Mayor Josh Hertzberg and Franklin Council President Dawn Fantasia announced Friday that they will be seeking seats on the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, according to a press release.

Hosting a fundraiser for the two are Sen. Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, Assemblyman Hal Wirths and Sheriff Mike Strada.

Fantasia and Hertzberg will file the necessary paperwork next week to begin a joint campaign for two seats on the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, according to the press release from Kelly Ann Hart.

They will be asking friends, family, neighbors, and party activists to circulate their petitions to secure the Republican nomination for those seats.

Fantasia and Hertzberg also announced that they will be holding a fundraising event on Thursday, April 5, at the Mohawk House in Sparta, at which they will make their formal announcement.

Fantasia grew up in Ogdensburg, graduated from Wallkill Valley Regional High School, and is raising two daughters and a son in Franklin. Her eldest daughter is now in college.

Hertzberg grew up in Sparta, where he lives today, with his wife and three young children. His retired mother still lives in Sparta too.

Fantasia holds a BA in theatre with a minor in communications and an MS in educational leadership. She's taught English, speech, and theatre, served on the executive team of a North Jersey public charter school network, and is currently the middle school principal of Bergen Arts and Science Charter School in Garfield. She has been active in educational advocacy efforts and provided testimony before the state legislature for fair school funding.

Hertzberg started his professional career working for the Department of Justice. While with DOJ, and then Homeland Security, he worked in Border Patrol, DEA, and then in Homeland Security in various positions and locations across the country. With this background, Hertzberg went to work at Port Newark for Maher Terminals. He is currently the Director of Business Operations for the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA).

Fantasia serves on the Franklin Borough Council and is the current Council President. Prior to this, she served on the planning board, zoning board, and economic development committee. Dawn ran for council on a platform that included support for police officers and first responders, on a promise of transparency and accountability, and of economic growth and stability. Working as a team, the mayor and council has consolidated its zoning and planning boards to become more business friendly; cut its municipal property tax rate; attained a positive Aa3 credit rating; and brought discretionary spending under control. Fantasia helped put the Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) before the voters and helped pass this important means of supporting our dedicated first responders.

As Mayor, Hertzberg says he has been part of a team in Sparta that has built a fiscal surplus and lowered the tax rate in two consecutive years -- all while continuing to add impactful capital improvements. This kind of fiscal responsibility has helped Sparta achieve a double A2 credit rating allowing further saving to the taxpayers. Sparta has just completed its first turf sports field with no tax impact to the residents. The township is partnering with the local VFW to create a local military outreach committee and has started a community business forum to help improve and grow the Sparta business community. With his background in national security, Hertzberg worked with Sparta's police chief to increase training hours for our officers and is bringing in a nationally recognized security firm to conduct a threat assessment and give our township employees, school employees, and teachers security training for worst- case scenarios.

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