UNION COUNTY, NJ— January 6, 2022 — The 166th Annual Reorganization Meeting was held on a smaller scale due to the growing numbers of the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Union County Administration Building, in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Commissioner Rebecca L. Williams was selected as the Chair of the Union County Board of County Commissioners and Commissioner Christopher Hudak, was chosen as the Vice-Chair for the 2022 year. In the Chair’s speech, Commissioner Williams thanked former Chairman Mirabella for his service for the last two years due to the ongoing pandemic.
“In 2021, our theme was Union County Rising — and despite the circumstances, we did rise – thanks to former Chairman Al Mirabella,” said Chair Williams. “It takes a great leader to guide us during a time of uncertainty – and it was his ability to adapt and change direction as needed that took us to new heights.”
Continuing on, Commissioner Williams spoke on what the greatest initiative is for this term as Chair – which is remaining connected to the residents of Union County. Therefore announcing this year’s initiatives as “Connecting our Community.”
“There is no more important responsibility to us as commissioners—as a county government—than to keep our residents safe, and to provide ways for them to live, thrive, and succeed.”
The “Connecting Our Community” initiatives include:
“Technology & Infrastructure: “Being Connected Matters”: Union County is currently in the process of developing an all-inclusive countywide fiber ring. Funded through dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, this fiber ring will be completed in three phases. Phases 1 & 2 are set to begin early in 2022. Connectivity between County buildings and our parks system will be addressed in these first two phases. Phase 3 will add municipal buildings and police departments to the network. Once complete, the life expectancy of this fiber network is 20 years, and will aid to bridge the digital divide to better ensure public safety and overall network reliability.
“Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing”: Chair Williams will work with the Department of Human Services on additional programs and services in reference to the mental health of the County community.
“Connections through Cultural Enrichment and Recreation” & “Connecting & Engaging Residents”: A series of programs will be introduced that will not only help define and express who Union County is as a community, but also helps significantly contribute and enrich its ever-changing environment. From the creation of an Arts and Cultural Drama Development program for emerging playwrights to the opening of the all-inclusive park at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield and an Intergenerational Community Engagement program, where young people can work with senior citizens on different projects, the County of Union will continue to infuse arts, culture and recreation within its fabric, helping to lead the way of a place of distinction.
Chair Williams concluded the meeting with “The challenges we faced were countless. They were not always easy to solve. But we had the opportunity and the resources to face them head-on. Our Union County team was available and prepared to work together during a year of hardship and loss – and we owe it to those who elected us – to build a county that is truly heathier, connected and stronger. I am so honored and committed to serve all of you as Chair in 2022 and I am certain that if we stay connected and work together as one Union County – our future will be bright.”
In a private installation ceremony before the reorganization meeting, Commissioners Alexander Mirabella and Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded were sworn in for their next term as Commissioners and James E. Baker, Jr., was sworn in for his first term as a Commissioner.