The swearing in ceremony of the new Hudson County Board of Freeholders turned into a summit of Democratic leaders â€“ including U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), County Executive Tom DeGise, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and NJ Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), among other elected officials.
Four new members were sworn in as Hudson County Freeholders â€“ Kenneth Kopacz representing Bayonne, Gerard Balmir representing the southern section of Jersey City, Anthony Vanieri representing North Bergen and parts of Secaucus, and Caridad Rodriguez representing West New York, Weehawken, and Guttenberg.
District 2 Freeholder Bill Oâ€™Dea, entering his 6th term on the board, said his goal for 2015 was to “ensure every single homeless veteran has a place to live.”
Of the other returning board members, Freeholder E. Junior Maldonado – who represents Downtown Jersey City and parts of Journal Square – was sworn in as Chairman and Freeholder Tilo Rivas â€“ who represents Union City â€“ was sworn in as vice chair.
Maldonado said building a new Hudson County Courthouse and Schools of Technology, in addition to helping the homeless, were his top priorities.