“Connect Our Community” initiatives presented at Union County Reorganization meeting
At the 166th Annual Union County Reorganization Meeting, held Jan. 6 at the Union County Administrative Building in Elizabeth, Commissioner Rebecca L. Williams was chosen as chair of the County Commissioners Council. of Union County and Commissioner Christopher Hudak, has been chosen as Vice President for the year 2022.
In the president’s speech, Williams thanked former Mirabella for her services. “In 2021 our theme was Union County Rising – and despite the circumstances, we stood up – thanks to former President Al Mirabella,” Williams said. “It takes a great leader to guide us through a time of uncertainty – and it is their ability to adapt and change direction as needed that has taken us to new heights.”
Continuing, Williams spoke of the biggest initiative for this term as president – one that remains connected to residents of Union County. Therefore, announcing this year’s initiatives as “Connecting our Community”.
“There is no greater responsibility for us as commissioners – as a county government – than to ensure the safety of our residents and to provide them with the means to live, prosper and succeed. “
According to the Board of Directors, “Connect Our Community” initiatives include:
- “Technology and infrastructure:” Being connected counts “ – Union County is currently in the process of developing a county-wide all-inclusive fiber ring. Funded with American Rescue Plan Act dollars, this fiber ring will be built in three phases. Phases 1 and 2 are expected to begin in early 2022. Connectivity between county buildings and the park system will be addressed during these first two phases. Phase 3 will add municipal buildings and police departments to the network. When complete, the lifespan of this fiber optic network is 20 years and will help bridge the digital divide to better ensure public safety and overall network reliability.
- “Making connections for mental health and well-being” – Williams will work with the Department of Social Services on additional programs and services with reference to the county community mental health.
- “Connections through cultural enrichment and leisure ”and“ Connecting and involving residents ” – A series of programs will be introduced that will not only help define and express who Union County is as a community, but also “contribute and enrich its ever-changing environment”. From the creation of an artistic and cultural development program for emerging playwrights to the opening of the all-inclusive park at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield and an intergenerational community engagement program, where young people can work with seniors on different projects, Union County “will continue to infuse arts, culture and recreation into its fabric, helping to pave the way for a place of distinction.”
Williams concluded the meeting with “The challenges we faced were endless. They weren’t always easy to resolve. But we had the opportunity and the resources to face them head-on. Our Union County team were available and ready to work together during a year of hardship and loss – and we owe it to those who elected us – to build a truly healthier, connected and stronger county. I am so honored and determined to serve all of you as President in 2022 and I am certain that if we stay connected and work together as one County in the Union, our future will be bright.
In a private installation ceremony ahead of the reorganization meeting, Mirabella and Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded were sworn in for their next term as Commissioners and James E. Baker Jr., sworn in for his first term as