Rich Calls Parks And Open Space
The ‘Jewel In The Crown’ Of Hunterdon County
The new Director of the Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners, Zach Rich, called for a freeze in the county tax rate, along with parks improvements and other initiatives that take advantage of the ‘solid and continuing foundation established by the Board,’ following his unanimous selection at the annual County Re-organization Meeting, January 3rd, in the Historic County Courthouse in Flemington.
Rich, a former Mayor of West Amwell, who was re-elected to a second term on the Commissioner Board in November, stated, “the financial foundation that has been put in place over the years has resulted in this Board freezing the county tax rate every year since 2018.
I propose that in 2023 the county maximize its opportunity with that strong budget and financial foundation to again freeze the tax rate – for the fifth year in a row.”
Rich, who was sworn in by new State Senator Doug Steinhardt, said, “As prices and rates escalate everywhere else due to inflation, this Board can keep in check for our taxpayers the one cost that is our responsibility.”
Commissioner Board member Jeff Kuhl was unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as Deputy Director. A former Mayor of Raritan Township, Kuhl replaced retired long time Commissioner Matt Holt last year and was elected to his own term in November.
Kuhl, who was sworn in by former Congressman Leonard Lance, stated, “I am humbled by both the voters’ decision to elect me and my colleagues support to serve as Deputy Director. And I pledge my continued dedication to the conservative principles that have established the strong foundation referenced by the Director.
I am also most supportive of the initiatives laid out by Director Rich, particularly efforts to preserve and protect our farmers and our County’s agricultural heritage and economy.”
Rich and Kuhl are joined on the Commissioner Board by John E. Lanza, re-elected in November to a fourth term on the Board, Shaun C. Van Doren, and Susan J. Soloway.
Rich laid out an aggressive policy agenda for the Board during his remarks, saying, “Freezing the tax rate again is the beginning, not the end. In 2023, I envision leveraging the solid and continuing foundation established by past Boards to maximize opportunities for the benefit of the public.”
Rich noted, “Hunterdon County’s parks and open spaces are, in my view, the jewel in the crown of what makes our County a great place to live.”
The new Director called for the completion of an all-inclusive playground at the County’s Deer Path Park, modernization of the County Arboretum, and re-establishment of the summer Day Camp program at County Parks that was ended during Covid.
Rich said, “In the coming weeks the Commissioner Board will unveil plans to leverage the county’s foundational resources for preserving and protecting our farmers, economic development and tourism, providing support and resources for our municipal governments, and other significant initiatives.
My Board colleagues and I believe now is the time, as we move past the so called COVID era, to share the benefits of the strong foundation that has been established over the years in Hunterdon County.
Ultimately, these efforts are designed to do all we can to maintain Hunterdon County as the safest, heathiest, and best place to live.”
Rich concluded by asking a blessing on U.S. Troops around the world. “I encourage everyone to regularly keep in your hearts, thoughts, and prayers, all the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers that are out there on the knife’s edge, sacrificing, serving, and protecting our nation.
And if you want to do more, I encourage you to contact operationjerseycares.org, a non-profit group that provides care packages for all those from New Jersey serving the nation, and its headquarters is right here in Raritan Township.”