Essex County Freeholder Vice President Wayne L. Richardson (left) and Freeholder President Brendan W. Gill (right). PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON


(Newark, NJ) – Freeholder Brendan W. Gill of Montclair and Freeholder Wayne L. Richardson of Newark were unanimously re-elected President and Vice President, respectively, of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders during the Board’s annual Reorganization Meeting held on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at the Hall of Records. The program featured remarks from Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, and Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones.

Freeholders Rufus I. Johnson, At-Large, of Caldwell; Patricia Sebold, At-Large, of Livingston; Robert Mercado, District 1, of Newark, Tyshammie L. Cooper, District 3, of East Orange; Leonard M. Luciano, District 4, of West Caldwell; Carlos M. Pomares, District 5, of Bloomfield; and a multitude of other elected officials from various levels of government were in attendance.

Freeholder Gill was nominated by Freeholder Johnson, which was second by Freeholders Pomares and Graham and affirmed by the Board. Initially elected as the District 5 Freeholder in November of 2011, Freeholder Gill was re-elected Freeholder At-Large in 2014 and 2017. As a life-long resident of Essex County, he has advocated for the needs of the residents throughout his tenure. Previously, he served as State Director for United States Senator Frank Lautenberg from 2007 until his passing in 2013, District Director for United States Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Peter Eagler, and Communications Director for the NJ Department of Transportation.  He currently chairs the Democratic Committee of Montclair and operates his own public affairs and political consulting firm, the BGill Group, LLC.

In his remarks, Freeholder Gill expressed his gratitude for being re-elected to serve as the Board’s President. He thanked each of his colleagues on the Board individually, and conveyed his appreciation for the assistance he has received from all levels of government throughout the county. He stated, “I am committed to keeping our Essex County residents’ best interests at heart and will do all I can to ensure good will and good governance.”

He went on to note last year’s highlights including the creation of an Independent Citizen Oversight Task Force of the Essex County Correctional Facility, the first of its kind in the Nation; an unprecedented partnership with the City of Newark and the state of New Jersey to finance the replacement of lead water lines in Newark; the passing of a resolution supporting the advancement and passing of Bill A4743, which will provide Driver’s Licenses for undocumented residents; an advocate of the implementation of voting machines that require signed paper ballots and calling for federal funding for all states to enhance security measures around the voting process; and finally, addressing the feral cat population issue with support of the Trap, Neuter and Return policy or TNR; initiated to save the lives of cats while preventing future generations, to name a few.

Freeholder Richardson was nominated for the position of Freeholder Vice President by Freeholder Mercado and second by Freeholders Sebold and Cooper. Freeholder Richardson was first elected as the District 2 Freeholder in November of 2014 and re-elected in 2017. He grew up in Newark, and served as a District Leader and Assistant Ward Chairperson in Newark’s North Ward in the 1980’s. He has worked as a business agent for Laborers Local 108, an organizer for the Laborers Eastern Region Organizing Fund (LEROF), President of Laborers Local 55, and Lead Organizer in New Jersey, Delaware, New York City, and Long Island. In 2010, he was appointed to the Newark Central Planning Board and reappointed and elected Chairman in 2014.


During his remarks, Freeholder Richardson thanked his family, his colleagues, and expressed his excitement about the possibilities of the new decade. He stated, “As President of Laborers Local 55, it has been my life’s goal to fight for civil rights and the wellbeing of working class people. I am privileged to continue this work as a public servant.” 


Essex County Chairman Leroy Jones as well as Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., addressed the standing room only crowd with supportive words for a productive 2020. Father A. Benny Prado, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Montclair provided the invocation and benediction during the event.



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For Additional Information:
Kathy R. Brown, Public Information Officer

Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4489 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
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