Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, right, takes the oath of office as 2nd vice president of the New Jersey Association of Counties.

Cape May County / Provided

TRENTON — Cape May County Freeholder E. Marie Hayes was sworn in as the 2nd vice president of the New Jersey Association of Counties at the group's annual reorganization Jan. 26 in the New Jersey State House Senate Chambers, county officials said.

She is the first freeholder from Cape May County to hold a position on the executive board of the organization, they said.

“I am extremely honored to serve on the NJAC executive board,” Hayes said. “I'm anxious to work with our President Mary Melfi and the entire board of directors as we face new challenges and address issues that affect county government.”

Hayes said some of the issues she hoped to address during her term on the board include the tax cap, the transportation trust fund, pensions, and health benefit reform that are adversely impacting county budgets.

“We must work together to get a handle on these matters to protect the taxpayer,” she said.

The association includes representatives from all 21 counties and serves as the united voice for county government, she said. Its mission is to advocate for legislation, regulations and policy directives that empower county governments to operate more effectively and efficiently.

The organization is nonpartisan and committed to innovative programs and initiatives that enhance the level of services that work to save valuable taxpayer dollars, Hayes said.

The board of directors is active in developing position statements, testifying at committee meetings, public hearings and other venues. Hayes said she has been active in the organization and as second vice president will continue to bring her knowledge and skills to address the problems facing county government.

The association meets regularly to discuss issues of interest for all areas of county government. Its annual conference, held each spring, brings county officials together to share ideas and best practices.

In addition to Hayes the executive board members are Mary H. Melfi, president, Hunterdon County; Brendan W. Gill, first vice president, Essex County; John Cimino, Mercer County; Heather Simmons, immediate past president; and John g. Donnadio, executive director.

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