New Search

JANUARY 5, 2001



My distinguished Freeholder colleagues, Reverend Clergy, staff, other elected officials, and citizens one and all of Middlesex County-"The Greatest County in the Land":

Once again, with sincere thanks to my Freeholder colleagues for their expression of confidence in me, I have the great pleasure and the unique opportunity to lead our County government into a new year. I do so with a strong personal commitment to service on behalf of the citizens of our County, which I know is shared by my Freeholder colleagues. I know it is also shared by the hundreds of County employees who, together, work hard to make Middlesex the most desirable county in which to live and to work in our State.

Traditionally, Freeholders entrusted with the responsibilities of the Directorship use these remarks to review the accomplishments of the year just past and to commit the Board to an agenda of progress for the New Year. While I, too, will follow that format, my primary thrust will outline an ambitious agenda that springs from my strong sense that we have earned the confidence of the people of our County. I believe the fact that incumbent candidates representing our political party won election two months ago with record pluralities is a tribute to, and an endorsement of, the work we do here.

I congratulate re-elected County Clerk Elaine Flynn and I congratulate my Freeholder colleagues, John Pulomena and Jim Polos. All of them are now beginning their second terms as elected County officials and they do so with a clear mandate to devote their energy and their skill to County service. We welcome them back. I commit myself to their support in the pursuit of their service to you and I invite their full participation as we struggle with the decisions in public policy so necessary to move our County forward.

It is noteworthy that County Clerk Elaine Flynn won re-election with a plurality exceeding 65,000 votes and that Freeholders Pulomena and Polos won reelection by an average plurality of 58,000. Once again, I consider their mandate to be a tremendous endorsement of this County administration.

Many people say that the taxpayer cost of government at every level is the best barometer of the quality of that service. While I do not necessarily agree with that generality, I believe your Board of Chosen Freeholders does, in fact, have an excellent record in terms of the County tax impact. In the year 2000, we actually cut the County equalized property tax rate following six years of actual reductions in the County tax levy. And, I am proud to say, we look forward to another year - this year of 2001 - to again continue our record of property tax stability while assuring the highest quality and quantity of County government services.

Middlesex is the third most populous county in one of the most densely populated states in the nation. We have the third highest disposable family income of any county in the country, facts that reinforce my contention that we are an extremely desirable place to live, to work, and to play. I believe county government plays a significant role to assure that truth.

We work hard to enhance the quality of life for all the citizens of our county. This commitment emerges when we look at the many assets our County provides such as parks, recreational programs, Middlesex County College, our Vo-Tech School system, a continuing program of infrastructure improvements and our commitment to neighborhood enhancement.

This Board actively seeks ways to find progressive and innovative ideas to expand upon these assets and to make them available to even more of our citizens.

Each of your Freeholders has a direct responsibility for a significant Department of our government. And this is a foundation to build upon.

The Department of Human Services, led by Freeholder Jane Z. Brady


The Department of Parks & Recreation led by Freeholder Stephen J. "Pete" Dalina


The Department of Engineering & Planning led by Freeholder Camille Fernicola


The Department of Public Works led by Freeholder H. James Polos


The Department of Public Health and Education led by Freeholder John Pulomena


The Department of Law and Public Safety led by Freeholder Christopher D. Rafano


And the Department of Administration and Finance led by myself as Freeholder and Director


And now, we look ahead at the year 2001, a year of great challenge and opportunity for us all

We have many parks and ample recreational facilities, but some of our children aren't playing simply because they can't.

In Roosevelt Park, we have a barrier-free playground. I am proposing that capital funds be provided this year to design and build barrier-free athletic fields, including benches and restrooms, for team sports, so that physically and mentally challenged children can have the opportunity, with assistance, to play baseball, football, and soccer rather than just watch others play.

Every child in our great County should be able to experience the fun and excitement of competing in team sports, and every parent should be able to enjoy the thrill and enjoyment of watching them as they do it. One possible name for this facility could be "The Level Playing fields".

I find that the great challenge in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.

In millenniums past, Middlesex County has been well served by a solid, modern foundation that we can use to build upon as we enter the new millennium.

I am confident that within our County we will use the combined talents of the leaders and citizens of our 25 communities to build upon that foundation and to create the infrastructure of the 21st Century. We will use this new foundation and infrastructure as our bridge to the third Millennium. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together assures success!

Happy New Year to one and all!

David B. Crabiel
Freeholder Director

January 5, 2001