The Burlington County Board of Commissioners began the new year at their 2022 Reorganization Meeting on Jan. 5, where they selected a new director and deputy director and resolved to continue to find new ways to help residents and businesses during the ongoing pandemic.
Commissioner Dan O’Connell was selected to serve as the board’s director for 2022 and Tom Pullion was selected to serve as deputy director.
O’Connell and Commissioner Felicia Hopson were sworn in for new three-year terms on the five-member board. Hopson served as director during 2020 and 2021.
Brian Carlin took the oath as the new Burlington County surrogate.
“2021 was a year of perseverance, transition and recovery. We had hoped to see the last of the COVID-19, but unfortunately, we are faced with another resurgence of the virus,” O’Connell said in a statement released after the meeting. “We’ve worked hard during the last two years to provide assistance to businesses and residents – from basic necessities that no one should be without to assuring our local small businesses remain the foundation of our communities. In 2022, we will continue this mission and also seek new and innovative ways to help our residents and businesses recover.”
The longtime Delran resident and former Delran councilman first joined the board in 2019 by filling an unexpired term and was elected to the full term in November 2019, according to the statement. In 2021, O’Connell served as the board’s deputy director in 2021 and as its liaison to the Health Department, Public Safety and Library System.
“I thank my colleagues on this board for their service to our county, particularly Commissioner Hopson, who led this body through two incredibly challenging years. Our entire county has benefited from her extraordinary leadership and it’s my honor to continue to serve alongside her,” said O’Connell, who was sworn in to his new term by State Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, and sworn in as director by State Sen. Troy Singleton.
“I would also like to thank many of the partners who have worked with our county and aided our COVID-19 response, including Virtua Health, the New Jersey National Guard, our governor and our county’s representatives in Congress and the New Jersey Legislature, including Assembly members Herb Conaway and Carol Murphy and Sen. Troy Singleton. All three have demonstrated a deep commitment to our county and their ability to lead by example has inspired us all to do more,” O’Connell said in the statement.
O’Connell is a graduate of Holy Cross High School in Delran and a retired locomotive fireman and engineer for Penn Central, CONRAIL and NJ Transit. He is also a past New Jersey State Legislative Director for the United Transportation Union.
Carlin assumes the post of county surrogate after serving more than a decade as Burlington Township’s mayor. As surrogate, he will lead the office responsible for probating wills and estates, as well as some adoption and guardianship issues, according to the statement.
Pullion has dedicated the better part of the last three decades serving in local and county government, including the Edgewater Park School Board and Edgewater Park Township Committee.
He was elected to the Burlington County Board of Commissioners in 2017 and served as the board’s director in 2019 and deputy director in 2020.
In addition to his leadership post as deputy director, he will continue to serve as the board’s liaison to the Departments of Solid Waste and Recycling and Public Works, according to the statement.