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Posted on: February 2, 2018

2017 Year in Review

On January 4, 2018, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders hosted its 181st reorganization meeting. Freeholders Bruce James and Theodore “TJ” Best were sworn into three year terms, and Freeholder Assad Akhter was sworn in to serve out the final year of the unexpired term of former Freeholder Hector Lora, who resigned to become the Mayor of the City of Passaic. Additionally, Freeholder Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara and Bruce James were re-elected unanimously to serve as Director and Deputy Director respectfully. 

“I want to thank my colleagues on the Freeholder Board for putting their confidence in me for another year as Director,” stated Freeholder Sandi Lazzara. “In Passaic County it is a true team effort, with every Freeholder and county employee contributing to our collective success. In 2017 we made great progress, kept the tax levy flat, secured a credit upgrade from Moody’s Investor Services, and invested millions of dollars in improving the Passaic County Park System. I am confident that together this Board will build on these noteworthy accomplishments.”

In 2017, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders had a banner year, including:

  • Introduced and passed a budget with no increase to the tax levy;
  • Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the County’s general obligation rating to Aa2 from Aa3 because of the County’s “strong and improving financial position bolstered by significant reserves” and “manageable debt and pension profile”;
  • Consolidated most of the County’s holdings into a community bank to eliminate fees and generate over $1,083,235.53 through in interest revenue, up from $36,520 in all of 2015;
  • Increased revenues at the Preakness Valley Golf Course by 35% after hiring a PGA Golf Professional to run and manage the golf operations;
  • 172,000 meals were delivered to seniors in Passaic County through the Meals on Wheels program;
  • 56,500 meals were served to seniors at congregate sites operated by the Nutrition Division;
  • 152,000 rides were provided for medical appointments, social day care, nutrition sites, recreation, and other activities by the Paratransit Division;
  • Processed 15,780 applications by the Division of Home Energy and Weatherization to assist residents with energy costs during the winter and summer seasons; and
  • Provided weatherization services to 368 houses in Passaic County to improve energy performance of dwellings for a total costs of $2,746,357.36.

“This Board continues to improve Passaic County’s financial position and protect our taxpayers with sound fiscal management, providing a safety net for our seniors, and investing in the Passaic County Park System, providing every family access to quality recreational facilities,” stated Freeholder Bruce James. “I am confident that this Board will continue to move in the right direction under Director Lazzara’s leadership in 2018.” 

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