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Grossi Running for County Clerk: 'I'm Taking a Risk'

Parsippany lawyer steps away from county freeholder board to make a bid for clerk's position.

Parsippany resident Ann Grossi has had a number of titles: lawyer, councilwoman, Morris County freeholder. Now, she is giving up her freeholder seat to run for another position: Morris County Clerk.

With Joan Bramhall's Friday announcement that she will not run for a fourth term, three area Republicans have indicated interest: Morristown Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, county Freeholder Douglas R. Cabana, of Boonton, and Grossi. A fourth candidate, Jefferson Township Councilman Michael Sanchelli, also expressed interest, Morris County GOP Chairman John Sette told PolitickerNJ.

"It's a different focus than being an elected official in a legislative or policymaking capacity," Grossi said of the shift between freeholder and clerk. "I have the administrative experience to run the office efficiently. I could do a good job during elections when legal issues come up such as that with Hank Lyon, which can save the county money. My legal background would be a benefit."

While the freeholder talked of running for re-election as recently as Nov. 6, she said she has viewed the clerk's position as an ideal use of her skills for "quite some time."

"I didn't think that the the clerk was going to retire so soon," Grossi told Patch. "A few months ago, when she was asked, she was still running, so it was shocking to me that she changed her mind. It was a surprise.

"I thought maybe within the next five years she might step down and that would have been an opportunity," she continued. "If I don't do it now it won't happen again for another 10 to 15 years. I'm not 20, I don't have another 10 to 15 years to wait. At different times in your life you make different decisions."

She added that a number of people—she would not name them—have supported her idea to run for the clerk's job.

"They have told me I'd be great in the job, which helped me define where I'm going this year," she said.

Grossi said that serving as county clerk would allow her to work for the people, make a contribution and still be involved.

"I'm not vanishing," she said. "I still intend to be involved with the Republican committee and attend events in the town and the county."

She has high praise for the outgoing clerk.

"I think Joan has done a wonderful job at what she does," Grossi said. "A lot of what's done is automated now, and that's a credit to her."

Bramhall is more than a potential predecessor, she said.

"She broke the barrier for women in a lot of areas in Morris County," Grossi explained. "Joan had a great influence in the county and has paved the way for women in politics." 

Grossi said that should she win, she will look at the mechanics of the clerk's office to determine whether any change is necessary.

"I'm not one of these people who makes change because I can make change," she said. "If something is working well, I would not change it."

Grossi said the clerk's office may be the next logical step in her work as a public servant.

"It's the county in a different way: I would not have to come to a consensus with six other people if i wanted to get things done," she said. "I would make the decisions in the best interests of the people in the course I set out on my own.

"That seems very appealing to me."

But she said she will miss serving with her colleagues on the fifth floor of the county administrative building in Morristown.

"I really like being a freeholder, the things i was doing," Grossi said. "I like the administrative part of it, working on the insurance commission (workers compensation and tort cases). I found it very fulfilling when I could use my legal background to the benefit of the county government and the people of Morris County. I like that it's a nice congenial atmosphere. Everybody treats everyone with respect."

Still, she said she is approaching the future with excitement.

"I'm a people person, and in elections, with being responsible for every document that needs to be filed in the county, that's an awesome responsibility," Grossi said. "All the archives, the historical documents... I know I would just love being there working with everybody.

"I'm taking a risk, but I would have to run for re-election as freeholder this year anyway," she said. "There's never a guarantee, though I'm pretty confident that i would be re-elected. People know me, and I think I could easily segue that into the clerk's position."

Steven Colpar January 07, 2013 at 07:59 PM
"I have the administrative experience to run the office efficiently. I could do a good job during elections when legal issues come up such as that with Hank Lyon, which can save the county money. My legal background would be a benefit." ** Because – of course – if you do law in one area of expertise – you pretty much know all of it. That’s the great thing about law. “I'm not 20. I don't have another 10-15 years to wait. At different times in your life you make different decisions." ** Yes – so little time left to get on the public dole. Hurry! She added that a number of people—she would not name them—have supported her idea to run for the clerk's job. ** Her imaginary friend Horatio the pocket elf …. And probably the rest of the Freeholder Board. "I'm not one of these people who makes change because I can make change," she said. "If something is working well, I would not change it." ** So conversely – Freeholder ain’t working out – so she’s changing. "It's the county in a different way: I would not have to come to a consensus with six other people if i wanted to get things done," ** Consensus is sooooo inconvenient. You go girl! Best of luck to you. Mind those documents!
PeoplesChamp January 07, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Seems like adult ADHD...does Ms. Grossi actually want to do the things she runs for?
clyde donovan January 07, 2013 at 10:37 PM
What does the Morris County Clerk earn on an annual basis?
Alice Jameson January 07, 2013 at 10:52 PM
According to nj.com, $124K.
clyde donovan January 07, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Thanks Alice.
Frank Stross January 08, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Mrs. Grossi the only reason why you are running for County Clerk is to retire with a big FAT pension!! You are not concerned about the Tax Payers of Morris County!! You are only concerned about yourself and always have been. You along with these career politican have been destroying the pension system for all the hard working state employees that wotk full time for 20 to 30 years. All you are doing is minipulating and circumveting the pension system so you can retire with a big FAT Pension!! And your speech you gave at the Freeholder reorganization meeting was embarassing to yourself and your fellow Freeholders!! All you talked about was your accomplishments and took TRIVAL cheap shots at your fellow board members!!Do you know what is to be a team player? And how are you going to be able to handle such aa important positon as county clerk!! The best choice for CLERK is Doug Cabana!!
Parker Jones January 08, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Let me tell you about Ann Grossi. She took a 20% cut in her Freeholder salary because she wanted to set an example in these hard economic times. She refused health benefits and would not accept the $2,500.00 payment given in exchange for declining the health benefits. Your unfounded accusations about manipulating the pension system to retire with a big fat pension shows just how ignorant you are and shows what a big FAT liar you are. In 2006 the pension rules were changed to eliminate newly elected persons from joining the pension. When Ms. Grossi is elected to the position of Clerk she will not be eligible to join the pension; hence, NO BIG FAT PENSION ENHANCENMENT at the expense of the full time employees. The next time you decide to spew mean spirited, hateful accusations against another person in a sad attempt to disparage their character, you should at least check your facts.
Par4theCourse January 08, 2013 at 02:06 PM
PJ, I'm glad you posted that. If true, that is very admirable on Ms. Grossi's part and she is to be commended.
Parker Jones January 08, 2013 at 02:46 PM
It's all true. If you have any doubts, you can call up the county and verify everything. She doesn't advertise. She does these things because she believes them to be the right thing to do, not for accolades.
clyde donovan January 08, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Grossi is a spend-and-tax politician, both when she was a councilwoman in Parsippany and in her short time as a freeholder. I thought she would run in the Republican primary for mayor in Parsippany, but the county clerk salary is bigger and there's less political heat. We'd all be better off if she was gone from any position in government.
Parker Jones January 08, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Wow....I guess some people are not happy unless they can rip someone else down. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Ann Grossi. While she has dedicated untold hours of her time to her community and the county, she and others similarly situated, must put up with being viciously and unwarrantly attacked by people who just sit on the side lines and never really do anything constructive for their communities. Having said that, Ann Grossi is anything but a spend and tax elected official. During her tenure on the county she has wokred deligently to produce a budget held the line onthe tax levey, while maintaining all of the services vital to our County. During her tenure on the Council she and John Cesaro cut spending in every budget. She and Cesaro worked together to make numerous motions to cut other line items, but they were not able to get the necessary third vote. In fact, one year she and Cesaor had over 1.5 million dollars in cuts which would have reduced the budget to the previous years spending, but they were unable to get the support fromthe other council membersi to move the cuts forward. While growing up I was taught that "if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all." Many people who blog should try that out once in a while.
Frank Stross January 09, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Freeholder Doug Cabana is clearly the best choice for Morris County Clerk. He was a former Mayor of Boonton Township, Freeholder for approximately 15 years and a township prosecutor for over two decades. He has saved the tax payers several million dollars over the course of his career. I am very confident that his superior leadership and diversified experience will be the best choice for the tax payers of Morris County.
Patriot January 11, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Self praise is no praise. Are you Anne trying to compliment yourself? Anne is ambitious and a big spender of taxpayer money. Didn't she work as an attorney for the AFL-CIO? Wasn't she involved with a GREEN BUILDING Complex in Parsippany...all the time playing so naive....she is a proponent of BIG GOVERNMENT...NOT LOCAL RULE.
Patriot January 11, 2013 at 04:41 AM
Golly...Gee... Patting yourselves on the back once again? Do you think people are fools? You are probably the only 2 people who would paint such false compliments on yourselves. Anne and John...don't blame others...you did not do your job. You were elected to represent the citizens of Morris County and stand up and make the correct and prudent decisions for our County. You both FAILED. You just continued in the usual, spineless, and vapid way...SPEND BIG DOLLARS and protect your positions. You should both hang it up and go away. The Taxpayers are disgusted with you both.
Patriot January 11, 2013 at 04:44 AM
Oh sure....and I ate a whole lot of green grasshoppers today!
Patriot January 11, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Clyde You got your description on Anne Right! Yes, We all would be better if she did VANISH (her term) from any position in government.
Roman Hoshowsky January 15, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Doug Cabana is a nasty little man on an ego trip. I wouldn't vote for him if he ran for dog catcher!

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