What is a Freeholder?
The term Freeholder, based in English common law, originally referred to all men who owned or held property free of any debts or encumbrances. This term is now used by New Jersey’s 21 counties to describe county legislators. The residents of Middlesex County’s 25 municipalities elect seven (7) persons to serve as members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Freeholders are elected at-large to staggered three-year terms in the November general election. In January of each year, the Board reorganizes, selecting one Freeholder to be Freeholder Director and another to be Freeholder Deputy Director. The Freeholder Director appoints Freeholders to serve as Chairpersons and members on the various committees which oversee county departments.