Over 500 attendees came out to hear the Board lay out their vision for the coming year at the 2019 Reorganization of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The event was held on January 7 at Middlesex County College in Edison.
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As part of the Reorganization event, Freeholder Ronald G. Rios and Freeholder Shanti Narra were sworn into office prior to the regular Freeholder Meeting, as each was re-elected to another term in November’s election. Rios was once again elected to serve in 2019 as Director by his colleagues on the Board. In addition, Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro was elected Deputy Director of the Board.
Special guest speakers included Governor Phil Murphy, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Congressman Frank Pallone.
“I would like to congratulate Freeholder Director Rios and Freeholder Narra for being sworn in for new terms on the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.”, said Governor Murphy. “The residents of Middlesex County will benefit greatly from their experienced leadership.”
“As a resident of Middlesex County, I’ve experienced Freeholder Director Rios and Freeholder Narra’s leadership first-hand. I am proud of their successes and contributions to our neighborhoods, and I look forward to continuing our work together in 2019,” said Speaker Coughlin.
“I’d like to commend Freeholder Director Rios and Freeholder Narra on their re-election to the Board of Chosen Freeholders.” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “Under their leadership, I am sure the County will remain fiscally strong and continue to provide the quality of life residents expect.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with Director Rios, Freeholder Narra, and the entire Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.” said Congressman Pallone. “They have been wonderful partners in government and I know the County will continue to advance with their guidance.”
The Freeholder Board’s vision for 2019, consists of four main initiatives: Healthcare; Transportation Strategy; Destination 2040 for Economic Growth; and Arts and Culture.
Director Rios announced that Middlesex County is finalizing the recently announced partnership with RWJBarnabas Health to bring the most medically advanced care available to our older residents. In the first quarter of 2019, the Roosevelt Care Centers are expected to start operating under the new agreement.
In 2019, Middlesex County is working to transform transportation by creating a new Middlesex County Department of Transportation. This new department, under the leadership of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, will serve as the catalyst and integrator of best ideas, policy and investment approaches from these partners to improve the current transportation infrastructure.
In 2019, the County will also be focusing on Economic Development and Strategic Planning with Middlesex County’s Comprehensive Master Plan, Destination 2040, that will envision what Middlesex County will look like, and what it needs to be, through the year 2040, and will focus on enhancing quality of life for residents and continued growth for our businesses.
Finally, the Freeholder Board pledged to continue its commitment to expand arts and cultural opportunities in the County. In 2019, coinciding with the opening of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, the Board will be creating The Arts Institute of Middlesex County. The Arts Institute is a revolutionary new approach to arts management in the County and will serve to enhance Middlesex County’s arts partnerships.
Director Rios summarized, “As we think about key areas and priorities of focus in 2019, we are constantly looking for ways to make the biggest impact. Ways in which we can play to our unique strengths as a service provider to our residents and businesses, and partner to our municipalities and other partner organizations.”