Warren County Boards and Committees
The Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders – The Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders is comprised of three duly elected officials who oversee the administration of the county’s $100 million annual operations. They are intimately involved in the oversight and management of all of county operations, including strategic planning, finance, infrastructure, transportation, public works, social services, community health, environmental protection, legal and legislative affairs, agricultural development and preservation, and more. The three Freeholders bring many decades of experience in business, agriculture, economic development, and governmental affairs to this project.
From left to right: Richard D. Gardner, Jason J. Sarnoski, and Edward J. Smith
The Warren County Economic Development Committee – The Warren County Economic Development Committee (EDC) is comprised of 11 members appointed by the County Freeholders. The EDC includes one member from agriculture, banking and finance, commercial services, corporate and industrial, tourism and real estate, municipal government, and nonprofits. These members are not only leaders in their community and respective areas of business, but contribute a plethora of experience in their respective fields. The EDC’s mission is to advise and assist the Freeholder Board with promoting economic development in Warren County. The eleven EDC members bring many decades of pertinent experience in business, agriculture, tourism, marketing, and economic development to this project.
The Warren County Agriculture Development Board – The Warren County Agricultural Board (CADB) is comprised of ten members, three of whom are advisory members from the county planning board, the local soil conservation district, and the New Jersey Cooperative Extension Office. Seven voting members whom are appointed by the County Freeholders are community leaders with extensive agricultural experience. The CADB oversees the county’s farmland preservation program on behalf of the County Freeholders, advises the county regarding agricultural policies, regulations, and legislation, adjudicates New Jersey Right-To-Farm matters, and generally promotes agricultural development throughout the county. The ten CADB members bring many decades of experience in agricultural production, agribusiness, and natural resource management to this project.
The Warren County Board of Agriculture – The Warren County Board of Agriculture (CBOA) is comprised of over twenty members who provide local farmers with a broad range of information. The CBOA works closely with the New Jersey Farm Bureau to advocate on behalf of the county’s agricultural community and to represent its interests to state officials and state agencies. The twenty-plus CBOA members bring many decades of experience in agriculture production, agritourism, and governmental affairs to this project.
The Warren County Planning Board – The Warren County Planning Board is comprised of nine regular members and two alternate members. Six of the regular members and the two alternate members are appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders who bring a diversity of views and professional experience to the Planning Board ranging from farming, engineering, journalism, insurance, pharmaceutical marketing and governmental affairs. Two are members of the Freeholder Board and one member is the County Engineer. The Planning Board reviews and approves site plan and subdivision applications that affect county roadways and drainage facilities including bridges and culverts. In addition, the Board develops and approves plans for the general development of the county. These plans deal with land use, transportation, open space and farmland preservation. The Planning Board also advises the Freeholder Board on matters concerning wastewater, land use, transportation, and open space and farmland preservation policies, regulations, and legislation that are promulgated by the various state agencies. The ten non-Freeholder members bring over 122 years of experience in a wide range of areas to this project.
Warren County Staff
Art Charlton, Director, Public Information Department – Mr. Charlton has 30 years of experience dealing with issues facing the County of Warren, first as a reporter for The Star-Ledger assigned to the area, concentrating on government, land use, and agriculture issues, and for the past 17+ years with county government. He has handled a variety of tasks including dissemination of public information, organizing media events, producing the annual government director, serving as the media contact and spokesman, promoting tourism, and assisting with economic development efforts. His office oversees content on the County’s official website and social media accounts, and produces an email newsletter for tourism called “Warren County Wanderings.” He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tufts University.
Corey Tierney, Director, Department of Land Preservation – Mr. Tierney has experience with community preservation and development projects, including preserving numerous farms, parks, and historic sites. He routinely coordinates with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as with various local groups and individuals. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Rutgers University and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Widener University’s Delaware Law School, Mr. Tierney is also a licensed attorney who assists county leadership with regional planning and policy matters pertaining to agricultural, environmental, recreational, tourism, and sustainable economic development. Mr. Tierney brings over 14 years of business, financial, legal, and governmental affairs experience to the project team.
David Dech, Director, Planning Department – Mr. Dech has planning experience in a variety of areas including transportation, solid waste, recycling, site plan/subdivision review, economic development, the U.S. Census, and historic and open space preservation. In his role as a licensed Professional Planner, he coordinated planning activities between State, County and local entities in projects related the NJ State Development and Redevelopment Plan, and the Highlands Regional Master Plan. Holding Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University, Mr. Dech brings over 30 years of experience to the project team.
Sarah Shoemaker Perramant, Public Health Planner, Health Department – Ms. Perramant’s experience as the planner for the Health Department has led to involvement in areas ranging from emergency preparedness, to epidemiology, to community engagement. Under her direction, the Warren County Community Health Improvement Coalition (CHIC) and its Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) partners were 2015 and 2016 Shaping NJ grantees. Through this grant, the CHIC promotes health eating and physical activity throughout the community. The project, called “Choose Healthy Warren County,” includes the annual Phillipsburg Farmers’ Market Day event in a low-income neighborhood and the promotion of county park walking trails, among other activities. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Communication from Marist College and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from George Mason University, Ms. Perramant brings 3 years of planning experience to the team.
Adam Zellner, President – Mr. Zellner works directly with a host of corporate and government clients, including several Fortune 500 companies, on energy and sustainability issues. In addition, he advises on major policy issues for an array of elected officials and governments both here in the US and abroad. Mr. Zellner previously served as the Policy Director to a former Governor of the State of New Jersey, overseeing the development of a variety of statewide initiatives including the State’s Energy Master Plan, the Renewable Portfolio Standards and the drafting and implementation of the Global Warming Response Act. Prior to joining the Governor’s staff, he served as the Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Legislative Affairs for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). He was the inaugural Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Council and is the former Executive Director of the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth.
Benjamin Spinelli, Esq., Principal – Mr. Spinelli specializes in advising clients about complex land use issues. His career includes 20 years as a trial attorney where he handled a wide array of litigation matters as well as representing clients in the areas of municipal law, land use, real estate and planning. He was the executive director of the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth and served three terms as the mayor of Chester Township where his accomplishments included the permanent preservation of over 3,000 acres of environmentally important open space and farmland. He was an original member of the Highlands Council, the founder and president of the Raritan-Highlands Planning Compact and is a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program in Washington D.C. He graduated from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History and received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Seton Hall University’s School of Law.
Frank Pinto, Principal – Mr. Pinto advises clients in land use and municipal planning. He has 25 years of experience in the public sector with increasing responsibility, working for the County of Morris, NJ. He is now using that experience to assist landowners, non-profits, local and county governments with issues related to farm management, farmland tax assessment, open space planning, open space land management, affordable housing policy, strategic planning and non-profit business development. He graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Masters in Public Administration.
Zenon Tech-Czarny, GIS Coordinator – Mr. Tech-Czarny is an Environmental Planner and Urban Designer focused on creating more sustainable and resilient communities. He has over ten years of diverse experience working with various leading firms, organizations, institutions and individuals on a wide variety of projects. In addition to his professional work, he has also been an instructor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the Rutgers Department of Landscape Architecture. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning & Design with a minor in Agroecology from Rutgers University and a Master of Urban Planning in Urban Design from the City University of New York.
Kenneth Campbell, Sustainability Consultant – Mr. Campbell works with a large array of clients, including local and county governments, non-profit organizations, and for-profit businesses, on a number of different sustainability projects, ranging from consulting in renewable energy to land use. He has experience working on municipal land use, stakeholder outreach, and the formation of long-term plans. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, paired with a Sustainability Studies minor, which provides him with a diverse background that allows for a holistic problem-solving approach when working with clients.