County Freeholders Push Back Against Move To Change Their Titles

FREEHOLD, N.J. — Most New Jerseyans couldn’t tell you what a county “freeholder” is or does, let alone whose their own are.

As far as Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry are concerned?

A move by Trenton ostensibly designed, in part, to address the situation would result in little more than another expense for their taxpaying residents. 

According to Arnone, “if this legislation is signed into law, it would only amount to one more unfunded mandate out of Trenton that would place undue financial burden on counties. The sole reason I am not in favor of this legislation is the fact that counties would be forced to incur the costs of changing the official name on literature and signage.”

New Jersey Senate Bill S402 would compel all twenty-one counties to change their governing bodies’ names from “Board of Chosen Freeholders” to “Board of County Commissioners.” All signage and materials in all twenty-one counties would need to be updated accordingly, an expense which could cost millions of dollars. 

“As the first female Monmouth County Freeholder Director, I’ve broken through more than a few glass ceilings regardless of title. The title shouldn’t hinder accomplishments, especially when it comes to serving the public; ‘Deeds, Not Words.’ By keeping our title of Freeholders, we are showing the progress made in the evolution of a democratic state,” added Freeholder Deputy Director Burry in her joint statement with the director.

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