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Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios
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Middlesex County Freeholder Board Reorganizes
Freeholder Director Rios Calls 2014 ‘Year of Opportunity’

JANUARY 5, 2014 -- During his Director’s Message, Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios today briefly reflected on 2013, paid tribute to longtime Freeholder Stephen J. Pete Dalina, and laid out an aggressive agenda for 2014.

“Middlesex County is ready to seize new opportunities because we are building on a strong past and are not afraid to challenge ourselves to perform even more effectively,” said Rios, Middlesex County’s first-ever Hispanic American Freeholder Director. He was sworn into office by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez as Rios’ family joined him on stage.

“Truth be told, I never thought I’d ascend to this post and become the first Hispanic American Freeholder Director of Middlesex County,” Rios said. “For that, I must thank my parents for their love and support and belief in the American dream. I must thank my wife, Micki, my daughters, granddaughters and son-in-law, for without them and their sacrifices, I could never hold public office.”

Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti was sworn in to her fourth term on the Freeholder Board, and Freeholders Kenneth Armwood and Charles Kenny were sworn into their first full terms. Sheriff Mildred S. Scott was sworn in for her second term as Middlesex County Sheriff by Middlesex County Assignment Judge Travis L. Francis.
                                                 
Just before Rios was elected by his Freeholder colleagues to hold the Director’s post for 2014, he introduced Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac to offer a tribute to longtime Freeholder Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, of the Fords section of Woodbridge.

McCormac’s speech, which offered a glimpse into the personal and public life of Freeholder Dalina, was accompanied by a photo montage. Dalina’s family, including his wife of 61 years, witnessed the tribute. Dalina’s son, Richard Dalina, who now holds the Council seat vacated by his father when he ascended to the Freeholder Board, tearfully accepted a Resolution from the Freeholders.

Rios began his speech by highlighting the Board’s 2013 achievements, including retaining the County’s Triple A Bond rating and making investments in infrastructure and technology to safeguard County residents, bring efficiency to daily operations and lower the cost of running government.  

“These are great accomplishments indeed, but we should never be content to rest on our laurels. In fact, I am calling 2014 Middlesex County’s Year of Opportunity,” he said.

Key initiatives for 2014 include:

 

Rios concluded: “We are fortunate to have a Freeholder Board that is committed to raising the quality of life here in the County and who is dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of our citizens. We have built strong and vital relationships with our municipal, state, federal and private-sector partners, and as a result have been able to innovate, create and move forward. Because of this, our boundaries are endless.” 

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Caption: The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its annual Reorganization Meeting on Sunday, January 5 at Middlesex County College.  Pictured from left: Freeholder H. James Polos, Freeholder Charles Kenny, Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios, Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante, Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro and Freeholder Kenneth Armwood.

Caption: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (right) swears in Ronald G. Rios as Freeholder Director of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders as Rios’ wife, Micki holds the Bible during the Board’s Reorganization Meeting on January 5.