The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its annual organization meeting on Wednesday swearing in Freeholder Gerry Little to his sixth three-year term on the Board, Freeholder Gary Quinn to his first three-year term and appointing Freeholder Virginia 'Ginny' Haines as the 2019 Board Director.

Freeholder Haines becomes the first woman in 40 years to lead Ocean County government and only the second since 1850.

She follows Freeholder Little who served as Director in 2018 and Freeholder Vicari who served in 2017.

“I am beyond proud to be the first woman in 40 years to lead this Board,” Haines said. “As Director, I pledge to never lose sight of our goals and commitments.”

Freeholder Little was joined by his son, U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew P. Little, a 2009 Southern Regional High School graduate during his swearing-in ceremony, who held the Bible and 9th District State Senator Christopher Connors who administered the oath of office.

“It is my privilege to be returned to this Board of Freeholders,” Little said. “I am looking forward to working with our Veterans Services Bureau in the New Year serving those men and women who have so bravely served us.”

Gary Quinn, a longtime Lacey Township Committeeman, was surrounded by family when he was sworn in to his first three-year term on the Board of Freeholders.

With his wife Linda holding the Bible and Senator Connors administering the oath of office, Quinn became Ocean County’s newest Freeholder taking the spot of the late John Bartlett Jr. who retired before his passing at the end of 2018.

“I want to thank my family and my colleagues for all of their support over the years,” Quinn said. “I now look forward to serving our citizens as an Ocean County Freeholder.”

Quinn will serve as director to the Ocean County Department of Human Services, Transportation/OceanRide and Solid Waste Management.

Freeholder John 'Jack' Kelly will serve as the Deputy Director of the Board in 2019.

He was also named Chairman of Finance, a position held by Bartlett..

The Board remembered their colleague Bartlett who had been the longest serving Freeholder in the state.

“Today, of course, is also bittersweet for us,” Haines said during the Board’s organization meeting. “For the first time in 40 years, we are not welcoming our long-time friend and colleague, John C. Bartlett Jr. back to the dais. John’s passing on Dec. 12 is still very raw for all of us here.

“Certainly, his many achievements and his legacies will not be forgotten,” Haines said. “It is my hope that in the New Year we continue to advance the many programs John had championed. Moreover, we continue to build on all of his successes.”

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