Essex County Board of County Commissioners 2022 Reorganization Meeting
(Newark, NJ) – On January 5, 2022, District 2 Commissioner Wayne L. Richardson of Newark and District 5 Commissioner Carlos M. Pomares of Bloomfield were unanimously re-elected President and Vice President, respectively, of the Essex County Board of Commissioners during the Board’s 2022 Reorganization Meeting. The meeting was held virtually due to COVID-19 safety concerns. All members of the Board, as well as Governor Phil Murphy, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo Jr., and Essex County Democratic Party Chairman Leroy Jones were in attendance as Commissioner President Richardson and Vice President Pomares were sworn in by New Jersey Superior Court Judge James R. Paganelli.
Commissioner President Richardson, who will serve as President for the second consecutive year, is also president of Laborers Local 55. In addition, he is a lead organizer for the Laborers Eastern Region Organizing Fund (LEROF) and chairs the City of Newark’s Central Planning Board.
Commissioner Vice President Pomares, who last year became the first Latino to be elected to a leadership role on the Essex County Board of Commissioners, will serve his second consecutive year as Vice President of the Board. He previously served as Councilman At-Large in Bloomfield Township, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Cuban Artists Fund. He is also a history and political science lecturer at Hudson County Community College.
Upon being sworn in, President Richardson spoke to the sense of urgency that still exists with respect to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. “2021 allowed us to come up for air, just to get hit with an unexpected wave that we didn’t see coming.” President Richardson stated. “It meant masking up again and trying to convince family and friends to get vaccinated, doubling down on testing, and continuing to help our neighbors who continue to suffer from food insecurity.” He also spoke to the Board’s willingness to raise awareness on social justice issues. “We responded to controversial constituent concerns, and through various resolutions, we stood against all forms of bigotry and acts of violence due to a person’s race, ethnicity, religion or sexual identity.”
Vice President Pomares congratulated President Richardson and wished him well on his second year as President, while also thanking the Board and the leadership of the County Administration for their efforts over the past year combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. “During the last two years in particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided its own set of unique challenges. There have been more COVID related deaths in Essex County than any other county in New Jersey. Although times have been challenging – as County Government leaders – we never wavered.” He continued, “Together, we exhibited a collective determination to provide relief to our residents impacted by COVID while continuing to offer the services they are accustomed to receiving.”
Prior to the swearing-in, congratulatory remarks were offered by Governor Phil Murphy, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., and Essex County Democratic Party Chairman Leroy Jones, who all spoke to the virtues of good government and service demonstrated by the Board under the leadership of President Richardson and Vice President Pomares.
The National Anthem was performed by Valerie Adams of Smooth Productions, and the invocation and benediction were presented by Reverend Maria Crompton of the Elmwood United Presbyterian Church of East Orange.
Looking for more information on the Essex County Board of Commissioners? The Essex County Commissioners Mobile App is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores.
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For Additional Information – Contact:
Kyalo Mulumba, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)