Departing Middlesex County Freeholder Bids Farwell

Carol Bellante on Feb. 2, during her final meeting as a member of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The crowd gave Bellante a standing ovation.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The mood at the Middlesex County Freeholders meeting grew emotional tonight, as administrators and elected officials said goodbye to Carol Bellante, the board’s departing deputy director.

Bellante submitted her letter of resignation to the county clerk last Friday. After serving as a freeholder since 2009, she will officially step down tomorrow.

No one mentioned Bellante’s pending departure until just before the board sought a motion to adjourn. At that time, Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios delivered a heartfelt speech in which he described Bellante as a “dear friend” and praised her for her service.

Sign Up for E-News

“Carol brought to this board such a love of working with everyone,” Rios said. “This wasn’t Carol’s show while she was here.”

Bellante worked for the county for 40 years and also headed the largest union that represents county employees, Rios noted.

During her tenure as a freeholder, she worked to preserve “thousands of precious open space acres,” he said.

It was her personality, however, that Rios mentioned most often.

“I will miss her wit, her humor, her compassion and her true caring for everyone,” he said.

Bellante, smiling and seemingly on the verge of tears, thanked her colleagues, county workers and the public. She also touted Middlesex as the “greatest county in the land.”

She said she’s stepping down to retire and spend more time with her family.

“It’s been a long time, working all these years, and I’m tired,” Bellante said. “I’ll miss you guys an awful lot.”

After Bellante finished speaking, those in attendance saw her off with a standing ovation that lasted roughly 30 seconds. Various county administrators and residents then lined up to shake her hand and wish her well.

Prior to becoming a freeholder, Bellante served on South Brunswick’s municipal council.

Bellante’s term runs through the end of 2017. County Democrats are expected to float the names of three possible successors, and the chosen one will likely run for another three-year term in the upcoming election.

A county insider has said Freeholder Charles Tomaro is likely to take over as the board’s deputy director.

Bellante’s resignation is the second to hit the county board since October, when former Freeholder H. James Polos left his seat for a government job. Shanti Narra took over the remainder of his term.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Prosecutor defends his effort to oppose release 911 tape.

March 5, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, who was recently ordered to pay two news organizations more than $100,000 for legal fees in a battle over a 911 call, defended his decision not to release a recording of the call related to a fatal police shooting.

On March 2, a state Appellate Court upheld a lower court decision ordering Carey’s office to pay $71,848.28 ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Urges Support for Students Participating in Protests: Letter to Local School Officials Asks for Encouragement Rather Than Punishment

March 16, 2018

EWING, NJ – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) sent letters to principals and other school administrators in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District urging support and encouragement for students who engage in protests and demonstrations for gun violence prevention amid reports that some New Jersey schools had suspended or otherwise punished students for their ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts “The Jews of Tsarist Russia and Bessarabia Before the Holocaust” Program

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) presents the fifth installment in the series “The Jews of Eastern Europe Before The Holocaust” on April 8 at 2:30 pm.

“The intent of the series is to bring to light the legacy of my Jewish ancestors, prior to their annihilation during the Shoah,” said Dr. Michael G. Kesler, ...

Need a Passport? Save Money by Getting It Before April 2

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—If you are planning to get a new United States passport, you can save $10 by submitting your application at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) before Monday, April 2.

The cost of a passport’s execution fee is rising from $25 to $35. The fee increase is mandated by the Department of State for any passport application submitted to ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...