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Monmouth County Prepares For New Year With Reorganization [PHOTOS]

Monmouth County’s government is starting off 2012 in a celebratory fashion with the swearing of three officials at the reorganization meeting.

Taking place Thursday in the General Purpose Room of the Bio-technical High School in Freehold, the space was standing room only as State, County, and Municipal officials all were present for the beginning of Monmouth County’s 2012 governmental year.

Rosemarie Peters was the first elected official of the night to be sworn in before several hundred attendees. Monmouth County Judge Lawrence Lawson swore in Peters who was re-elected to her second term as Monmouth County’s Surrogate.

The Surrogate’s Office is responsible with working with handling people’s estates and will’s after they’ve passed, as well as working with parents looking to adopt, and handling many of the County’s records.

Peter’s sees her re-election as an opportunity to continue work on many of the projects she started in her first term.

“I have a number of projects that are underway which is actually one of the reasons why I think people run for re-election. They get projects started during one term and they want to continue them and see them to a conclusion.” She notes that in her first term in the Surrogate’s Office (each term is five years), she has worked on getting records for hundreds of years digitized.

“My goal is to have all of the records going all the way back to the 1700’s and their indexes in electronic form” says Peters.

Freeholder Lillian Burry was also sworn in, for her third term on the board. Congressman Chris Smith guided Burry through her oath to make her November re-election official. Burry hopes her new term continues many of the projects she started on in the previous years.

“My goals are really to complete a lot of the things I have begun in the last six years. First on the list is my dedication to seeing Fort Monmouth being transitioned into a viable community again.” Governor Christie appointed Burry to the Fort Monmouth Revitilization Authority; Burry notes that the economic fuel that Fort Monmouth provided must be restored.

“That was 1,000 acres that was just padlocked by the Federal Government and there were 5,000 jobs lost so it’s a very important thing that happened in Monmouth County.” She adds that her close work with veterans, and more specifically homeless veterans, could help bring forth a project for the property that would still aid members of the military.

“We do have a program that we’re looking into and hoping to implement there to assist these veterans on Fort Monmouth.”

The second member of Monmouth’s Freeholders to be sworn in, Gary Rich, also holds the distinction of being brand new to the board.  Rich was the third Republican elected to County government this November. As the newcomer to the Board of Freeholders Rich says the first thing he will do is learn from the other members and work to continue saving taxpayers money.

“We want to take a look to see how much more efficient we want to become, I want to meet with my department heads and continue to try and understand some of their challenges and maybe some of their ideas for us to be able to implement.”

While Rich was entering the Board, Freeholder Robert Clifton gave his farewells after being elected to the State Assembly. Clifton officially takes his oath for Assembly on January 10th, however he gave is farewells to the people he has worked with on the Board of Freeholders for seven years.

Clifton says he feels that he can help not only Monmouth County but all of the states 21 counties by working towards fiscally responsible legislation at a state level.

“Until reforms are made at the state level, the county level is never going to be able to realize those savings.’

During the meeting the Board also unanimously appointed John Curley as Freeholder Director and Thomas Arnone as Deputy Director.

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