SOMERVILLE, NJ – Patricia L. Walsh of Green Brook was named 2016 director of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the board’s annual reorganization meeting, which was held Jan. 8 at the Historic Courthouse.

Peter S. Palmer of Bernardsville will serve as deputy director this year.

Mark Caliguire of Montgomery and Patrick Scaglione of Bridgewater, who both won re-election in November, were sworn in to new three-year terms. The fifth member of the board is Brian D. Levine of Franklin, who is beginning his second year as freeholder.

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Also taking the oath of office was Surrogate Frank G. Bruno of Bound Brook, who was re-elected to a fourth five-year term.

Walsh is a former Green Brook mayor who served on the Green Brook Township Committee for 15 years before becoming a freeholder in 2008. Freeholder Deputy Director Palmer was mayor of Bernardsville for 10 years and joined the freeholder board in 1997.

“Yes, we had a good year,” Walsh said after highlighting a number of 2015 accomplishments, “but 2016 will be even better.”  

She said this year the county will:

- Launch a new-and-improved website sometime in the first quarter of 2016.

·- Continue to work collaboratively and be a resource to local municipalities to benefit all the residents of Somerset County.

 - Open a new Senior Wellness Center in Bridgewater in the first quarter of 2016. 

  - Dedicate the New Walter J. Kavanaugh Board of Social Services Building in Somerville, also in the first quarter of the year.

  - Complete the Park Commission Management Study.

  - Continue to implement innovative leadership training for senior staff.

  - Continue towards a goal of 20,000 preserved parkland acres; the county inventory now stands at 14,300 acres of preserved parkland, 8,239 acres of preserved farmland and 3,253 acres of greenways.

 - Collaborate with the municipalities and with conservation groups and seek state and federal grants and look for innovative ways to protect open space.

 - Explore the possibility of a private/public partnership to facilitate a one-stop drop in center for veterans.

 - Continue to be open to new ways to collaborate with local municipalities, businesses and agencies to benefit all Somerset County residents.

 “We are a fiscally conservative board and will develop our 2016 budget, striving to maintain our quality services while being mindful of our responsibility to the taxpayers,” she added.

To read the full text of Walsh’s remarks, visithttp://bit.ly/2016Reorg