Freeholder Comments December 18, 2007:
Hall of Records, Freehold, NJ 1:00 pm workshop meeting
I would like to take a moment to reflect upon the many rewardiing experiences that have enriched my life since becoming your Monmouth County Freeholder February 26, 2006. These experiences have not only offered me the opportunity to give back to Monmouth County, my home, but they have also contributed to my growth as an individual and as a
governmental representative, your elected office holder.
In 2006 my Freeholder Assignment was Finance. After suggesting 5% - 10% budget cuts, a goal of keeping budget increases below the rate of inflation, and convening a Budget Review Committee, I participated with fellow Freeholders and staff members in the open discussion of direct departmental budget cuts and the effect upon county departments and the tax levy.
Impressed with Rob Clifton’s commitment to developing a shared services department with a grant from the state of New Jersey, I was excited about taking part in a shared services round table armed with a list of shared services opportunities already existing in Monmouth County government. (See top ten list of examples) We investigated and later that year began using biodiesel fuel in county vehicles highlighting the potential cost savings, taking advantage of incentive grants from the state of New Jersey, and also benefitting the environment.
And the highlight of 2006 for me was hosting the Economic Development Summit on September 29. This exciting event brought together top business, government and civic officials to explore programs to preserve high-paying jobs and to attract new ones in Monmouty County. We heard from municipal and business leaders and individual citizens committed to preserving and enhancing our wonderful way of life.
Some have already spun off into discussions of their own regarding topics and issues raised at the Summit. Others have gained renewed enthusiasm for projects they had already initiated. I am very proud of all of these efforts.
In 2007 my Freeholder Assignment was changed to Administrative Services: (Belford Ferry, Brookdale Community College, Buildings and Grounds, Clerk-Board of Chosen Freeholders, County Administrator, County Counsel, Economic Development and Tourism, Information Services, Insurance Office, Personnel, Public Information, Reclamaton Center, Vocational Board of Education).
I was privileged to support the dock and roll program between Middletown train station and the Belford Ferry. Brookdale Community College accepted my proposals to consider revenue producing opportunities when designing their capital improvement projects, and Monmouth County educational institutions considered my suggestion to promote expansion of technology related curriculum into technology and business incubation in Monmouth County. The recent federal grant received at the Biotechnology vocational school is evidence of these efforts. Committees of professionals have been created within Monmouth County to evaluate and make recommendations regarding awards of contracts via the fair and open process. While no process can produce perfect results, these committees further professionalize government operations.