When New Jersey rebrands freeholders as county commissioners on January 1, the leadership titles will remain the same.
“Current statutes authorize non-charter counties to appoint a director and charter counties to appoint a chairperson or president,” said John Donnadio, the executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties in a memo obtained by the New Jersey Globe.
Donnadio said counties should “always defer your county counsel, believe we would need a legislative change for a non-charter county to appoint a chairperson or president to leadership and for a charter county to appoint a director.”
Fifteen counties that currently have freeholder directors — Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren – will have directors of the county Board of Commissioners, according to guidance from the New Jersey Association of Counties.
In the five counties with a County Executive form of government – Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Mercer – can opt for either a board president or chair. It’s the same thing in Union, the only place in the state with a County Manager.