Samuel Frisby has been elected the new chair of the Mercer County Board of Commissioners for 2021.
After the swearing in of Commissioners John Cimino and Lucylle Walter, Frisby was nominated to become the next chair by Commissioner Nina Melker, and was unanimously elected by his fellow commissioners on Jan. 9 at the board’s annual reorganization meeting.
He takes over the duties of chairman from Commissioner Andrew Koontz, who led the board in 2020.
“Let me start first by saying thank you to my dear friend and mentor former Mayor Douglas H. Palmer for swearing me in today,” Frisby said in his remarks. “The fact that the term ‘freeholder’ has been eliminated from the lexicon of county government, which I believe to be a racist, misogynistic and non-inclusive term, I thought it only fitting to have the first African American mayor of the City of Trenton, who served on this board as a freeholder, swear in the first African American Mercer County Board of Commissioner chair.”
Members of the board officially adopted the title change in their last meeting of 2020 in December. In addition, Frisby thanked his colleagues for trusting him with the reigns in 2021.
“I’m believing that 2021 will bring much more peace and joy than we saw in 2020. With the vaccine now being disseminated, we are moving in the right direction,” he said. “I am looking forward to working with this administration and would like to host monthly Zoom meetings featuring different areas of county government to educate the general public on what the county government does and continue to update ourselves as commissioners on what the county is doing.”
The county clerk, county surrogate, county Division of Public Health and Department of Human Services and Parks Commission are being looked at as some of Frisby’s first guests.
Melker was nominated by Cimino to become the board’s next vice chair. She was also unanimously elected and replaces Frisby, who had served in the position during 2020.
“It is my honor and privilege to serve as a Mercer County commissioner and I am so honored to have the opportunity to serve as vice chair. This past year has been one that has been filled with many challenges,” she said. “I know firsthand how COVID has affected all of us as I had the virus and was very lucky to be a survivor. My thoughts and my prayers are with all of the families that have been affected by this virus.”
She added that the board is working hard to help get the vaccine out resident in Mercer County as quickly as possible.
“Our country needs to heal and unite and bring the change that we very much need,” Melker said. “I look forward to working closely with our incoming Chair Samuel Frisby.”