Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. was sworn in today to a fifth term as the Essex County Executive, pledging to continue working on quality of life issues that have made him one of the most popular vote-getters in Essex County history.
“I am humbled by the confidence and trust that the public has placed in me to serve as their Essex County Executive. I have the same passion and energy to serve our 800,000 residents and 22 municipalities today that I had when I was first elected 16 years ago,” DiVincenzo said. “We have accomplished so much to strengthen our finances, modernize our parks and infrastructure, and enhance services and programs to assist our residents. We have transformed Essex County and have to continue to work hard to maintain the high standards of government service that our residents deserve.”
Sheriff Armando Fontoura took the oath of office for his tenth term as Sheriff, and newly-elected Surrogate Alturrick Kenney was also sworn in at an inauguration ceremony held at the Donald M. Payne, Sr. School of Technology, a state-of-the-art school spearheaded by DiVincenzo that opened last year.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker swore DiVincenzo in, with the county executive’s son and granddaughter, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones holding the bible.
DiVincenzo touted his accomplishments as county executive, including the first Aaa bond rating and an expanded parks system. The Turtle Back Zoo and South Mountain Recreation Complex, where DiVincenzo is known to manage even the smallest detail, have become a regional destination for tourists.
Elected in 2002 after twelve years as a freeholder, DiVincenzo was re-elected in November 2018 with 81% of the vote against Republican John Chiaia, a North Caldwell councilman.
Fontoura has been the sheriff since 1990.
“Safety and security are among the primary concerns of our residents no matter where they reside. We will continue to work cohesively with our law enforcement counterparts throughout Essex to make sure our communities remain as pristine and safe as possible,” Fontoura said. “I am proud to lead the men and women of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, which is one of the premiere law enforcement agencies in the country.”
David Fontoura held the bible as the oath of office was administered to his grandfather by Essex County Assignment Judge Sallyanne Floria.
Kenney was elected surrogate after Ted Stephens resigned last summer to become the new Essex County Prosecutor. He is a former deputy mayor of Newark and served on the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board.
“As a young man growing up in Newark, it’s a surreal feeling to witness nearly 175,000 residents throughout the county choose my name whether they knew me personally, relied on your word for support or used blind faith and believed the Democratic Party chose the right candidate to follow a giant in the Honorable Ted Stephens and others who served in the office from former Newark Councilman Earl Harris, Assemblyman Tom Giblin and Judge Joseph Brennan. I also understand the tremendous responsibility entrusted in me,” Kenney said.
Newark Deputy Mayor Rahaman Muhammad administered the oath to Kenne, while the Quran f was held by his wife, Jheryn, daughter Yasmin and son Elijah.