UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders met virtually December 3, approving use of gender-neutral pronouns for its County code, and announced golf revenue is up while also congratulating the County manager for being listed as one of the 'most powerful New Jerseyans'.

Key takeaways from the meeting included:

Golf Revenue is Up

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County officials said that its yearly revenue at some of its golf courses is up this year despite the pandemic.

At the Scotch Hills course, revenue is at $389,000 as of November, according to Recreational Facilities Director Armando Sanchez. The number exceeds the expected $300,000 in revenue the course was expected to bring in this year.

Because of the increase in usage, the County is looking to increase the budget for the Scotch Hills Golf Course to $320,000 from $269,000 last year.

  • “With the golf course being utilized a lot more than what we had anticipated, we need to service it,” Sanchez said.

The County’s two other golf courses, Ash Brook and Galloping Hill, will have an expected 2021 budget of $4.83 million, which officials said is similar to last year’s. The Warinanco Sports Facility will also have a 2021 budget similar to last year’s, around $639,269. 

Officials said this year’s revenue from the facilities is expected to exceed last year’s. The golf courses and Warinanco facility are all managed by KemperSports Management.

Gender-Neutral Pronouns

The Freeholders approved an ordinance to replace gendered pronouns like “he” or “she” in the county code book, using non-gender pronouns instead.

  • “It’s certainly in line with the progressive nature of this county to have that wording gender-neutral,” said Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The Freeholders also approved an ordinance that would enact their title change from “Freeholder” to “commissioner,” following a state-wide bill passed in August to eliminate the title, which was criticized as racist; the term was created centuries ago, referencing that only white landowners could hold office.

Power List

The Freeholders also acknowledged County Manager Edward Oatman for placing in the New Jersey Globe’s 2020 Power List. Coming in at 50th out of 100 political influencers in the state, he is credited with  being “a key player in major political campaigns in the state.”

  • “I think he should’ve been higher, that's my only criticism,” Mirabella said in jest.