February 3, 2009


Governor Jon S. Corzine Administers Oath of Office to Freeholder Clark
During January 23rd Ceremony at the State House in Trenton

(Newark, NJ) – Essex County Freeholder Carol Y. Clark of East Orange was sworn-in as President of the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) for 2009 by Governor Jon S. Corzine during a ceremony in the Senate Chambers at the State House in Trenton on Friday, January 23, 2009.  A Reception in her honor was held at the Trenton Country Club in West Trenton following the ceremony.  Governor Corzine also administered the oaths of office to the other 2009 members of the NJAC Executive Committee: Somerset County Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, 1st Vice President; Bergen County Freeholder James M. Carroll, 2nd Vice President; and Sussex County Freeholder Glen Vetrano, Secretary/Treasurer.

NJAC is an advocacy group that represents the interests of county governments and their taxpayers, promotes federal and state legislative initiatives to advance county interests, fosters cooperation and coordination among New Jersey’s counties, and aids county officials in providing efficient and effective service to their constituencies.

Freeholder Clark was first appointed to serve as the Essex County Freeholder Board’s representative to NJAC in January of 2003 during her first month as a freeholder, and has been re-appointed to serve in that capacity every year since.  At NJAC, Freeholder Clark’s keen interest in county government and skills became very apparent to her NJAC colleagues and she was appointed to serve as the organization’s Secretary/Treasurer (2006), 2nd Vice President (2007), 1st Vice President (2008), as Legislative and Conference Chair, as well as Chair of the Health & Human Services Steering Committee, prior to her ascension to the position of President this year.

Elected officials from across the State, especially from Freeholder Clark’s home county of Essex, were joined by a large contingent of family and friends who packed the Senate Chambers to view the swearing-in and hear Freeholder Clark’s remarks.  Senate President Richard J. Codey of West Orange and Congressman Donald M. Payne were present, as were State Senator Ronald Rice, Freeholder President Blonnie Watson, Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr., Freeholder Rufus Johnson, former Freeholder Johnny Jones and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, who served as NJAC President in 1997.  Freeholder Clark’s hometown of East Orange was represented by Mayor Robert Bowser and Councilmembers Alicia Holman, Quilla Talmadge and Lonnie Hughes.  Newark City Council President Mildred Crump, Essex County Democratic Chairman Philip Thigpen and East Orange Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones were also in attendance.

During her remarks, Freeholder Clark called upon county officials to be more assertive in pressing their needs with state and federal officials, and promised to re-orient NJAC to have a more forceful voice in Washington, DC.  “Thousands of interest groups are lining up for a piece of federal bailout funding, and we need to be at the front of that line,” said Clark.  “The county transportation network is the circulatory system for the state’s economy and we are badly in need of funding for road and bridge repairs.  We need to compete aggressively for our fair share.”

Echoing the mission statement of the organization, Clark said, “County governments are essential, especially at a time when unemployment is soaring, businesses are failing and more people are in need.”  She went on to add, “Our business is to do what businesses cannot – to provide services that determine whether many people can stay in their homes, receive basic medical care or get a job to support their families.”

Freeholder Clark was elected to her first term on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders in November 2002, and was re-elected to successive terms in 2005 and 2008 to represent District III, which encompasses the municipalities of East Orange, Orange, South Orange and portions of Newark’s Central and West Wards.  Prior to her service on the Board of Freeholders, she also represented the Fifth Ward on the East Orange City Council for 8 years, having previously served the City as Assistant Director of Community Affairs and Public Relations

left to right: NJAC Exec. Dir. Celeste Carpiano, Governor Jon S. Corzine, Freeholder Clark and Senate President Richard J. Codey

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For additional information, please contact:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders