November 28, 2021

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Morris Co. Launches Coronavirus Taskforce, Looks Toward Recovery

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – As New Jersey continues to adapt to the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, officials throughout Morris County are coming up with ways to ease into the new normal.

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“We thank Morris County residents for their great effort to deal with the current crisis, from sewing masks and helping to feed unemployed families to social distancing, hand washing, and caring for their family, friends and neighbors,” said Freeholder Director Deborah Smith. “Now we have to consider the next step to determine how recovery will occur, how we will get our great country on its feet again.”

The Morris County Board of Freeholders is creating a Morris County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, to include a group of key leaders from all segments of Morris County life, to help plan for the county’s eventual return to normalcy from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Task Force would operate in concert with President Donald J. Trump’s three-phase plan to gradually Open Up America Again. https://www.whitehouse.gov/ope…

The Board of Freeholders voted to create a Task Force subcommittee, including Smith, John Krickus and Tom Mastrangelo, to spearhead the effort.

Leaders from government, health, education, labor, social services, and others would be invited to participate in an effort to gather information, share ideas and develop strategies for the post-COVD-19 world in Morris County, in conjunction with state and federal governments. They would consider how to overcome potential obstacles to recovery, officials said.

The Task Force could:

  • Gather information on the current state of Morris County’s economy, to determine what is and what is not working in the current response to the virus;

  • Examine the potential gradual ramping up of the county’s work force;

  • Consider how various businesses, industry, government, and education could adapt to new concepts to be able to reopen;

  • Examine the role of local and county governments to assist in the reopening of the county.

At the same time, Senator Anthony Bucco and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce announced the formation of a COVID Economic Advisory Committee to develop specific recommendations that can have immediate positive impacts on local businesses, married with ways to safely reopen the economy as the State emerges from this crisis.

Bucco will rely on the business-led blueprint in making recommendations to the Murphy administration while offering proactive solutions that can be used as part of the six-state council to restore the economy.

“Too often, leaders in government create policies and economic funding formulas that sound good on paper, but miss the mark because many politicians have no experience running businesses or creating jobs,” said Bucco. “We need business leaders of all sizes to have a voice in the simple ways we orderly and safely get people back to work now, while addressing the long-term measures that can get New Jersey back stronger after the pandemic. For example, our lake-based marinas are permitted to be open for personal boating use, but unable to rent boats and generate sales – which could be done safely with occupancy limits. We’ve already had successes with cutting red-tape for things like craft brewery deliveries and online car sales, and there is still more to do. I’m excited to get to work with the Morris County Chamber.”

The County Chamber is moving quickly to build an Advisory Committee touching on all sectors – from retail to commercial real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, global pharmaceutical companies, service-based businesses, and entertainment venues, officials said.

“Our members are proud to support this effort with Senator Bucco, to provide them a voice in the policy formation that directly impacts their livelihoods and the jobs they represent across Morris County,” said Meghan Hunscher, President & CEO of the Morris County Chamber. “Our goal is to quickly develop concrete solutions that help drive decision-making. We are also exploring survey capabilities for all of our members, regardless of whether they serve on the committee, to provide input.”

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This article originally appeared on the Long Valley Patch

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