Editor's Note: The following article has been submitted by Annette Scoca-Del Mauro, the Republican candidate for Essex County Surrogate.
I grew up in a blue collar neighborhood known as the "Silver Lake section" of Belleville in Essex County.
My father was a welder and my mother worked various factory jobs. Money was not in abundance. I learned early on that hard work was a must and I began working at the age of 14.
My parents worked hard at their jobs and at home. From my parents I learned the importance and value of hard work, family dignity and strength. Like so many Essex County taxpayers, I juggle the duties of hard work and family on a daily basis. It is those people that I hope to represent.
I live in Essex County with my mother, husband, Eugene, and my two teenage daughters. I have bestowed upon my children the values that I learned from my parents and the importance of giving back to the community.
I have always had a love and interest for public service. As early as 17, I worked for the Department of Parks and Recreation for Essex County and remained until I graduated from Rutgers University, Newark in 1983. After graduating from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1986, I was employed as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Carol A. Ferentz (now retired).
Subsequent to my clerkship, I was employed by the city of Newark as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for a time followed by a three-year position as an Essex County Public Defender in Newark. Those were truly my happiest years because I was doing what I loved, serving government. I entered private practice in 1990 and have remained a solo practitioner sharing space with my brother, Vincent C. Scoca, Esq.
I have become increasingly concerned with the financial status of our economy and county government. So many members of our community live in households where one or both parents are unemployed. So many members of our community can not afford to pay their mortgage. So many senior citizens have to chose between money for food and medication. So many families cannot afford to send their children to college.
As a taxpayer, parent, and businessperson, I decided that I wanted to educate citizens about taxpayer dollars and spending. I wanted to get back to doing what I loved best, serving government. I had an opportunity to run for the position of surrogate and I chose to do so. Knowledge is the key to understanding and I believe we can learn to do more with less without sacrificing efficiency during these hard economic times. I am committed to making Essex County a better place to live.
My goal as the surrogate will be to make the office work more efficiently with less money, and to improve public relations and communication with the taxpayers of Essex County. I want my children to be able to reside in Essex County, the county that I love, and not be forced out because they can not afford to live here.
In short, the people of Essex County have to take back their county, one step at a time. I am committed to making our county a better, affordable place to live.