MORRIS COUNTY — It was a beautiful fall night at the River River Barn to celebrate Columbus Day and the candidacy for the re-election of Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, Deputy Director Deborah Smith, and Commissioner John Krickus.
The attendees included a guest list of Morris Counties Powerful Elected Officials and local voters showing their support for the candidates.
Deborah Smith joined the board on January 3, 2016, and she is now serving her second, three-year term. She served as Director last year and was elected by her peers on January 4, 2021, to lead the board as Commissioner Deputy Director for a new year.
She also is chair of the County Budget Committee and is a voting member of the Insurance Fund Commission, and is the liaison to the County Administration and Finance departments.
Previously, Commissioner Smith served on the Denville Council for 20 years, with two years as Council President and two years as the Council’s Planning Board Member. She also served on the Denville Zoning Board prior to her Council tenure.
Commissioner Smith has long served her community, volunteering for many community activities. She was the Township Council’s liaison to the Denville Public Library, senior citizens’ organizations, the local historical society, fire department, and many other groups.
While serving on the Denville Council she cast the key vote that prevented potential development and led to the eventual acquisition and preservation of 420 pristine acres of former Jersey City watershed land, a site now named Jonathan Woods.
A graduate of Long Island University in Brooklyn, N.Y. with a BS in Mathematics and a Masters in Counseling, she received a Certified Financial Planning degree from Adelphi University, completed a Certificate in Municipal Government from Rutgers, and participated in the CTW Excellence in Public Service Series.
Commissioner Smith had careers in market and media research with AC Nielsen and Simmons Market Research Bureau, worked in financial markets as a stockbroker and commodity broker, and was an advertising director for a New Jersey rehabilitation magazine, before starting a 25-year-career with Dun & Bradstreet as a Key Accounts Manager. In November 2014, Commissioner Smith retired from D&B.
Commissioner Smith resides in Denville with her husband Steven, a small business owner in Randolph.
Stephen H. Shaw is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and has lived in Morris County for more than five decades. He is serving his first term on the board and was elected by his peers on January 4, 2021, to be Commissioner Director for 2021.
He also chairs the county’s Capital Budget and Facilities Review Committee and the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, which has been key to Morris County retaining its AAA financial rating throughout the pandemic. He is a voting member of the County College of Morris and Morris County School of Technology Boards of School Estimate, as well as liaison to the County Public Works.
Commissioner Shaw moved back to his hometown of Mountain Lakes 22 years ago and became active in public service, was elected to the borough council for 12 years, and was selected by his peers as mayor for three of those years.
He was a member of the Mountain Lakes Planning Board for seven years and was named “Mountain Lakes Police Citizen of the Year” in 2012. He also served his community as a leader of the Vestry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Mountain Lakes.
Commissioner Shaw was a member and Vice-Chair of the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund Committee, assisting in the preservation of the Giralda Farms Preserve at Loantaka Brook Reservation in Chatham Township with a $10 million Morris County Open Space grant.
Professionally, Commissioner Shaw owns and operates a small family contracting business and has been president of his local and state builder’s trade association.
He is a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology; Newark College of Engineering, with a BS in Civil Engineering; and in 2006 was named their “Outstanding Alumnus.” In addition, he is a licensed New Jersey real estate agent, a licensed private pilot, is married, and has two adult children and one grandchild.
John has served six years on the Morris County Board of Commissioners, during which time he did not vote for a tax increase and served on the budget committee which created the first 0 tax increase budgets in twenty years.
While holding the line on taxes other accomplishments include eliminating health benefits for Commissioners, doubling the miles of county roads repaved each year, providing the first increase in county aid to the County College of Morris, and sponsoring a change in the open space program which allowed for existing funding to go for trail development.
Prior to his term as Commissioner, John served as a committeeman in Washington Township, three of those years as Mayor. Key accomplishments include the third lowest municipal tax burden in the county and preservation of over 4,000 acres of farmland and open space.
John was born and raised in Madison, is a Marine Corps veteran, received a BA in economics from Drew University and an MBA from Lehigh University, and is a CPA. John has over 30 years of business experience as a product manager.
John and his wife Carolyn reside in Long Valley with their two daughters Kelly and Casey. Carolyn, Kelly, and Casey all are volunteer EMTs, and Carolyn currently serves as a captain for the Long Valley First Aid squad.