FLEMINGTON, NJ – The Hunterdon Freeholder board held its annual reorganization meeting Monday.
Freeholder Suzanne Lagay was chosen to serve as the 2019 Freeholder Director after being nominated by John Lanza, her running mate when the pair first ran five years ago. Lanza was selected as Deputy Director and was nominated by Shaun Van Doren.
Susan Soloway – a former member of the Franklin Township Committee – was sworn to her first term on the board. She called the event, “Truly a dream come true for me for as long as I remember.”
Soloway recalled that as a high school sophomore, she attended her “first conservative political action conference in Washington and attended dinner with Ronald Reagan.”
Susan Hoffman was sworn to her seventh term as Surrogate, which officials believe makes her the longest-serving Surrogate in the state.
Freeholder Matt Holt noted that Denise Doolan is the state’s longest serving Freeholder board Clerk.
But, Doolan plans to retire.
“For 42 years she has served this county exceptionally well,” said Holt. “Her shoes are going to be very hard to fill.”
The board chose Brad Myhre to serve as acting clerk of the board. He is the county's Director of Human Resources and is also the mayor of Frenchtown.
Referring to the shoes Myhre has to fill, Holt quipped, “Brad has big feet.”
In her remarks, Lagay told the audience in the old Historic Courthouse here that it is a “Strong fiscally conservative governing body that you have chosen.”
Lagay promised to, “Continue considering enterprise resource management towards future cost effectiveness and operational efficiency which began in 2017.” That’s when changes suggested in an energy audit resulted in $300,000 savings over the first two years, she said.
This year, Lagay said officials will conduct a similar lighting audit, and promised that transportation “comes under our critical eye this year.”
The county manages the LINK transportation system.
Lagay observed that Soloway is “the fourth woman to serve as a Hunterdon freeholder in 305 years.”
The first was Marcia Karrow, who was elected in 1998. She was followed by Nancy Paladino and Lagay.
In his remarks, Lanza recalled that it was Holt and County Clerk Mary Melfi who first encouraged him to run for office.
“What’s the time commitment?” Lanza recalled asking Holt.
“Just two meetings a month,” was Holt’s response.
“Little did I know,” Lanza said, “That’s politician speak for, ‘The check is in the mail.’ ”