A former Bayonne freeholder who was universally revered by his peers, also the grandfather of the city’s newest 1st Ward councilman, died at 91 years old today.
“Today Bayonne and Hudson County lost a legendary public servant. Neil Carroll’s influence on a generation of elected and government officials is impossible to measure,” Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) said in a statement.
“He was always generous with his time, patience and knowledge. Among the many lessons I learned from Neil is that politics should not be personal and that when you make a commitment you stick to it – no matter what.”
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise also offered his condolences to the Carroll family on Twitter.
“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Neil Carroll Sr., a former Hudson Freeholder and dedicated, lifelong public servant. Neil was a great leader for our county and a wonderful friend. RIP Neil Carroll,” he tweeted.
While he only held elected office for two years, between 1997 and 1999, Carroll was a chief of staff to four different congressmen and his last notable position before retiring was serving as chief of staff to then-Freeholder Chair Sal Vega – also a former West New York Mayor and assemblyman.
Carroll, Sr. was on hand at Bayonne City Hall last month when his grandson, Carroll III, was appointed 1st Ward councilman.
“I was sad to learn of the passing of former Freeholder Neil Carroll. He was an outstanding public servant who worked in federal, state, and county government,added Mayor Jimmy Davis.
“While he knew people at the highest levels of American life, he never forgot that government’s job is to help ordinary people.”
The current Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair, Anthony Vainieri (D-8), also paid his respects in a statement sent to HCV.
“Hudson County lost a true legend with the passing of Neil Carroll. An incredibly dedicated public servant, Neil dedicated his whole life not to just his home city of Bayonne, but to all of Hudson County.”
Vainieri served with Carroll on the Hudson County Schools of Technology board.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with remarks from Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair Anthony Vainieri.