Name: Gail Phoebus
Office you are running for: Assembly
Political affiliation: Republican
Hometown (Municipality where you reside in Sussex County): Andover Township
How long have you resided in Sussex County? If you are not a lifetime resident here please share where you lived previously: I have been a Sussex County resident since I was 7.
Tell me whatever you’d like to about yourself and your family:
I have been married for 41 years to my husband, Bob. We have two daughters, Lindsey and Ashley, and two granddaughters, Amelia and Abigail, and a newborn grandson, Hunter.
What business/career path have you worked in?
I am a graduate of Newton High School and Centenary College in Warren County with a degree in retail merchandising. Since 1985 I had been a co-owner of Farmstead Golf & Country Club, which employs over 100 local residents during peak season. Sussex County Freeholder.
What activities have you been involved in within the community?
I am a member of Newton Rotary International. I previously served as president of Hilltop Country Day School and the Sussex County Horse Show.
Is this your first time running for political office? If not, please list previous offices held and time periods:
I was elected to the Andover Township Committee in 2006 and served as liaison to the Fire Department and Department of Public Works, and as a member of the Recreation Committee. Two years later, I was chosen as mayor. In 2012, I was elected to the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. My oversight responsibilities include the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership, the Sussex County Community College Board of School Estimate and the Department of Human Services.
Have you been involved with any local committees/boards/organizations? If so please name them and your position(s) held:
I first became involved in public service as a founding member of the Andover Township Economic Growth Committee.
What are the top three political issues that you are most passionate about and why?
Combatting High property taxes. Trenton Democrats have controlled the Assembly since 2002, and they have refused time and time again to reform school funding or bring real lasting relief from property taxes in any meaningful way.
We have to address school funding. It is not fair to students and taxpayers in Sussex, Warren, and Morris counties that 31 urban school districts receive 60 percent of state funding. The system put in place by the unelected state Supreme Court and supported by Democratic Party bosses must end.
I will support the Fair School Funding Formula Constitutional Amendment. This will ensure our state education dollars are distributed equally, which will lower our property taxes.
I also support a special session of the Legislature to tackle just property tax relief and reform. If elected, I will become a prime sponsor of this legislation championed by Assembly members Alison McHose and Parker Space.
Job creation. New Jersey is overtaxed and burdened with excess government regulation. We should act on the Governor’s Red Tape Review Commission’s proposed reforms to eliminate these obstructions to job growth and economic prosperity. I want to work with 24th District Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space, and I want to work with fellow business owners to listen to their concerns on how to create a better business climate in this state, which will promote prosperity for all.
State tax reform. We need to lower the state income tax and state corporate taxes, which will provide the impetus for economic growth and make the state more competitive. In addition, we need to start repealing wasteful appropriations laws on the books in order to save taxpayers money.
What do you think should happen overall to make life more comfortable for current residents to live in Sussex County (and if for assembly candidates, Leg Dist 24), and to retain our resident base?
Property Tax relief and reform.
We need to eliminate and/or reform the Inheritance Tax and the Estate Tax to keep that capital here.
We need to work very hard to complete the Lackawana Cut-Off and provide passenger rail service in Sussex County.
We live in a high tech world and we need the tools for homes, schools, and businesses. We need high-speed internet and fiber optic capability throughout Sussex County.
If elected, what would be the first order of business you would like to tackle?
Is there anything more you’d like to share, in conclusion as a candidate not already asked above?
I am a gun owner and member of the National Rifle Association. My running mate, Parker Space, and I are endorsed by the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJ PBA), the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police (NJ FOP), the New Jersey Organization for a Better State (NEW JOBS PAC), National Federation of Independent Business Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust (NFIB-SAFE Trust), New Jersey Right to Life State PAC, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA), the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs PAC, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, and the Probation Association of New Jersey (PANJ).