Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski has been a lifelong advocate for parks, libraries, public transportation, and community service and has built on that commitment while serving on the Freeholder Board. She was elected to her first term in 2004 and was re-elected in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. As Freeholder Chairwoman in 2007, she promoted initiatives for shared county-local services to reduce costs and increase efficiency. With her Freeholder colleagues, she works to continue ensuring high quality, cost-effective service.
A member of the Raritan Valley Railroad Coalition’s One-Seat Ride Committee, Freeholder Kowalski worked to bring direct service to New York for Raritan Valley riders during off-peak hours. With the rail coalition and the Freeholder Board, she continues to press for improvements in rail service. She has actively participated in the Freeholder initiatives for funding children’s projects at public libraries in Union County, as well as community gardens.
Addressing the issue of Rahway River flood control along with Chairman Bruce Bergen, Freeholder Kowalski has met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, legislators at both the state and national levels, and the local Mayors Council. The proposed plan can be reviewed by the public at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers web site.
Freeholder Kowalski currently serves as the Freeholder liaison to the Human Services Advisory Council, which coordinates the services of the county and various agencies and organizations to seniors, children, and those in need. As a member of the Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, she has worked with the Freeholder Board to add many acres of land to the Union County parks system.