June 6, 2002

All of us who are privileged to serve as members of this Board are repeatedly vocal about our pride in the County and our pride in the many advantages our County offers to assure the desirable quality of life we all enjoy.

In fact, it has become almost routine for most of our County's citizens to take for granted the outstanding assets that make our County such a desirable place in which to live and to work.

Those of us who have been elected to help assure that Middlesex County remains the premiere county in our State share an obligation to be certain that our children and our children's children who choose to live here will enjoy the same benefits. In short, we have a responsibility to plan for our County's future.

Middlesex County is experiencing unprecedented growth in residential and commercial development that continues to tax the infrastructure of our 25 municipalities. This growth is most evident in traffic volume on our streets, roads and major arteries. The availability of potable water and sanitary sewer service is becoming more and more of a concern. And, long-range planning for waste disposal and recycling must be continually reviewed in view of our rapid growth.

It is time for us to plan for the future of our children and their children. We must ask ourselves how we can realistically build upon the previous plans and studies of the Middlesex County Planning Board.

With these thoughts in mind, I am announcing this evening the creation of the "Middlesex County Infrastructure Advisory Committee." This committee's task will be to build on the past, identify our infrastructure needs for the future and to assist in prioritizing those needs in view of the growth of our County. I will ask the Middlesex County Improvement Authority and the Middlesex County Utilities Authority to be involved in the committee's work and to help identify goals while seeking the availability of Federal and State funding to assist in reaching those goals. I have asked several leading citizens to serve as members. They are: Leonard Tobias of Monroe, who will serve as Chairman, Fred Kurtz of Old Bridge, Paul Clark of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, George Ververides, Director of County Planning, John J. Reiser, Jr., County Engineer, Dr. Richard Brail, Chairman of the Transportation Coordination Committee, and Nancy Ostin, President of the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

I look forward to having the work of this committee get underway and commit myself to reporting publicly on its progress from time to time.