Essex County, NJ – Freeholder Brendan W. Gill of Montclair and Freeholder Wayne L. Richardson of Newark were unanimously re-elected President and Vice President, respectively, of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders during the Board’s annual Reorganization Meeting held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at the Hall of Records. The program featured appearances from Governor Phil Murphy, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, and Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones.
Freeholders Rufus I. Johnson, At-Large, of Newark; Patricia Sebold, At-Large, of Livingston; Robert Mercado, District 1, of Newark, Tyshammie L. Cooper, District 3, of East Orange; Leonard M. Luciano, District 4, of West Caldwell, Carlos M. Pomares, District 5, of Bloomfield, and a multitude of other elected officials from different levels of government were in attendance.
Freeholder Gill was nominated by Freeholder Johnson and Freeholder Luciano. He was first elected to the Board as the District 5 Freeholder in November of 2011 and re-elected Freeholder At-Large in 2014 and 2017. As a life-long resident of Essex County, he has advocated for the needs of the residents of Essex throughout his tenure. Freeholder Gill graduated Magna Cum Laude from Seton Hall University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Previously, he served as State Director for United States Senator Frank Lautenberg from 2007 until his passing in 2013, District Director for United States Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Peter Eagler, and Communications Director for the NJ Department of Transportation.
In his remarks, Freeholder Gill expressed his gratitude for being re-elected to serve as the Board’s President. He thanked each of his colleagues on the Board individually, and conveyed his appreciation for the assistance he has received from all levels of government throughout the county. He stated, “Thank you to everyone that is here tonight. I know that you are here for this county and what you do on behalf of the county. Thank you for the vote of confidence, and let’s make 2019 a banner year.”
He went on to highlight the legislation that the Board has enacted as well as improvements to county facilities that have occurred during his tenure as President. “We’ve made unbelievable strides in the areas of public safety, open space, citizen services, and most importantly we continue to make sure that when we spend money out of this entity it will be spent in our communities and on our residents.”
Essex County Chairman Leroy Jones thanked Vice President Richardson and President Brendan Gill for their service and leadership. “I am so proud of Wayne and Brendan for what they have been to the leadership of this Board,” said Jones. “You have continued to recognize that our democracy is embraced in the fellowship of knowing our constituency and embracing our constituency.” He also added, “To Alixon, Mr. and Mrs. Gill…you have a husband and a son that has been a steadfast public servant. His dedication to public service has been second to none. He is a valued father, son, and a valued friend.”
Freeholder Richardson was nominated for the position of Freeholder Vice President by Freeholder Sebold and seconded by Freeholder Pomares. He was first elected as the District 2 Freeholder in November of 2014 and re-elected in 2017. He grew up in Newark, graduated from Barringer High School, and served as a District Leader and Assistant Ward Chairperson in Newark’s North Ward in the 1980’s. He has worked as a business agent for Laborers Local 108, an organizer for the Laborers Eastern Region Organizing Fund (LEROF), President of Laborers Local 55, and Lead Organizer in New Jersey, Delaware, New York City, and Long Island. In 2010, he was appointed to the Newark Central Planning Board and reappointed and elected Chairman in 2014.
During his remarks, Freeholder Richardson thanked his family, his colleagues, and expressed his excitement about the possibilities of the future. He conveyed the pride that he has in Essex County, and expressed his determination to work in unison with other elected officials to keep Essex County first. He shared a quote from the great civil rights and labor leader A. Phillip Randolph stating, “A community is democratic only when the humblest and the weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess.” Freeholder Richardson reaffirmed that he will continue to lead the way in fighting for the rights and well-being of his constituents.