Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios unveiled the county’s initiatives and goals for the coming year at the 2020 Reorganization of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Sheriff Mildred S. Scott, Freeholder Kenneth Armwood and Freeholder Charles Kenny were also re-elected to another term in November’s election. All were all sworn into office prior to the regular freeholder meeting at the reorganization event, along with the board’s newest Freeholder, Claribel Azcona-Barber.
Rios was once again elected to serve in 2020 as director by his colleagues and Kenneth Armwood was sworn in as deputy director during the Jan. 7 meeting held at Middlesex County College in Edison.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin both spoke at the event and offered their support and hopes for 2020 in Middlesex County, according to information provided by the Middlesex County Office of Communication.
“The reorganization of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders will create and renew relationships that allow us to work together toward common goals for New Jerseyans,” Murphy said, according to the statement. “I am looking forward to seeing how this dedicated and committed group of leaders build on their accomplishments and continue to move Middlesex County forward.”
“Middlesex County’s governance and stewardship continues to be a model which all counties should emulate. Tonight’s reorganization ceremony and the freeholder director’s remarks illustrate constant progress and focus on the things that matter to the taxpayers of Middlesex County. I am fortunate to have great county partners and look forward to our work in the year ahead,” Coughlin said, according to the statement.
This year’s overarching theme for upcoming programs and developments is “Middlesex County is where excellence becomes reality.”
“In the year ahead, our county will continue to innovate and envision new possibilities to preserve and enhance the county’s tradition of excellence, and reputation as a premier destination for businesses, residents, and visitors,” Rios said, according to the statement.
Rios detailed some of the county’s major developments over the past year, including: the opening of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, which will serve as the new home of the Arts Institute of Middlesex County and increase collaboration across all of the county’s arts partners; as well as the Middlesex County Improvement Authority’s expanded role as project manager for the North Brunswick Train Station project.
Rios shared that in 2020, the county will continue to strive for excellence in health care through the partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health at the George J. Otlowski Sr. Center for Mental Health Care, as well as through the partnership with RWJBarnabas Health at the Roosevelt Care Centers in Edison and Old Bridge. Rios announced that effective Jan. 22, RWJBarnabas Health will assume active management responsibility for all operations at the Roosevelt Care Centers in Edison and Old Bridge.
Building upon the research done through the county’s Destination 2040 Planning Initiative, and the Workforce and Economic Competitiveness Project led by Dr. Carl Van Horn, the county, through the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, will launch a new economic development strategy in 2020.
Finally, at the reorganization meeting, the board adopted a new organizational structure for the county, and officially launched the Middlesex County Department of Transportation, according to the statement.