John A. Pulomena
County Administrator

Middlesex County Reorganizes,
Sets Agenda for 2009

JANUARY 6, 2009 – The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders welcomed new members and paid tribute to the past during its annual reorganization meeting this afternoon.

Longtime Freeholder Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, who was elected to serve as Freeholder Director for 2009, said it is his goal to enhance the County’s already impressive catalog of programs and services while practicing budget restraint.

“My mission as Freeholder Director remains twofold: to provide and care for those County residents who need our assistance and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used for the services that our County residents require,” he said.

Freeholder Ronald Rios was sworn in to his first full term on the Freeholder Board. Rios was appointed in May to fill the vacant seat left by John Pulomena, who now holds the County Administrator position. Rios was elected to a new three-year term in November.

Mildred S. Scott of Piscataway and Carol Barrett of South Brunswick also were sworn into office. Scott was elected in November to fill the seat left by retiring Freeholder Camille Fernicola. Barrett was selected by the Middlesex Democratic Committee to the fill the unexpired term of Freeholder Director David B. Crabiel, who died Dec. 1.

The meeting included a video tribute to the late Freeholder Director, who had served as a Freeholder for 28 years, 13 of those years as the Board’s Director.

“The Middlesex County we know today and the one that will be realized in the future would have been quite different if it were not for the leadership and vision of our friend and colleague Freeholder Director David B. Crabiel,” Rafano said in introducing the video. “In recognition of his accomplishments, the Board of Chosen Freeholders has put together a tribute that only scratches the surface of the life he has led, the friends and family he cared for and the County that he loved.”

After the tribute, Freeholder H. James Polos introduced a resolution creating an official County slogan: “Middlesex County … The Greatest County in the Land!”

Crabiel almost always closed his public remarks with the phrase. The Freeholders said they strongly believed the adoption of his favorite phrase would be a fitting tribute.

In addition, Freeholder Polos said the Freeholders will sponsor a contest for all students in Middlesex County to design a logo incorporating the slogan.

Winners will be announced in the spring at the annual David B. Crabiel Scholarship Foundation Awards Dinner.