NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders is getting back to business in 2016, after hosting its reorganization meeting on January 6.
A largely ceremonial affair to swear in newly elected or re-elected members, the reorganization meeting is a forum to set the committees for the year to come and appoint the county's Freeholder director, as well as give the officials-elect an opportunity to speak on their goals for the coming year.
This year, Carteret's Ronald G. Rios and Highland Park's H. James Polos, both Democrats whom were re-elected last November, were sworn in. The board voted that Rios retain his role as director, which empowers him to appoint members of the board to committees.
Freeholder Carol Bellante, a South Brunswick Democrat, was selected to serve once more as the board's deputy director. Middlesex County Clerk Elaine Flynn was sworn in for her fifth term at the meeting as well.
In the past, the Freeholders would come together on the first and third Monday of each month for a conference meeting to confirm the agenda for their regular meetings.
Regular meetings, where official action is taken on agenda items, are typically held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month at the Middlesex County Administration Building at 75 Bayard Street in New Brunswick.
Now, in a recent change, the conference meetings will be hosted at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, meaning the final agenda isn't set until just before the regular meeting.
While Middlesex County is home to more than 800,000 residents, its residents are not politically active. Last November's election results reflect the disengagement; only 21 percent of eligible voters checked the ballot, the lowest county turnout in any general election so far this century.
During the June primary elections, only three percent of those eligible cast their vote. Despite the indifference, the Middlesex County Board of Freeholders represents an important layer of government in New Jersey, commanding a more than $400 million annual budget that covers 25 municipalities.
To make sure you stay up to date with your elected officials here in Middlesex County, check the Freeholder Board's meeting schedule for 2016 and keep an eye on New Brunswick Today for ongoing coverage.
Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders Meetings for 2016*
Freeholder regular meetings are generally held on the first and third Thursday of each month, unless otherwise noted. All regular meetings are preceded by a "conference meeting" to finalize the agenda, one hour before.
- January 21, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- February 4, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- February 18, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- March 3, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- March 17, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- April 7, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- April 21, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- May 5, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- May 19, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- June 2, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- June 16, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- July 7, 2016 @ 6:00 PM
- July 21, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- August 4, 2016 @ 6:00 PM
- August 18, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- September 1, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- September 15, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- October 6, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- October 20, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- November 3, 2016 @ 6:00 PM
- November 14, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- December 1, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- December 15, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
- December 29, 2016 @ 6:00 PM
The "Freeholders' Meeting Room" is located in the Middlesex County Administration Building at 75 Bayard Street in New Brunswick, NJ.