Bobbi Jo Crea To Be Director Of Ocean County Commissioners In 2024

Ocean County Commissioner Barbara Jo Crea, an advocate for the environment and the County’s most vulnerable residents, will serve as the Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners in 2024.

“I am looking forward to serving in the role as Director of the Board for the New Year,” said Crea who was first elected to the Board in November 2021. “A new year always comes with great optimism and opportunity and I know 2024 will be a good year for Ocean County.

“It’s a privilege to be a member of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and to serve alongside so many talented and dedicated public officials devoted to making certain Ocean County is the best place to live, work, raise a family and retire,” she said.

Crea said she will work with her colleagues on the Board to maintain a stable county tax rate and the county’s AAA bond rating.

“I also believe that open space and recreational areas should be available to all of our residents,” Crea said, noting Ocean County has 30,000 acres of preserved land and 27 County parks. “These areas are free and open to the public to enjoy.”

With more than 200,000 senior citizens living in Ocean County, Crea pledged to support programs that help keep seniors living independently.

Crea, the former Mayor of Little Egg Harbor Township, brought about significant change to several county programs that serve the needy and the homeless including advocating for the creation of the Homelessness Trust Fund.

“The County-run Homelessness Trust Fund gives us the ability to look at real time economics and have great funding flexibility unlike many programs provided by the state and federal governments which regulates the funding for many social services programs,” Crea said. “It is far from one size fits all when it comes to providing the assistance our residents need to keep them from becoming homeless or to get them re-established once they are homeless.

“We can use the funds raised by the Homelessness Trust Fund with more flexibility to provide supportive services and prevention services,” Crea said.

Crea worked closely with the Ocean County Board of Social Services and the Department of Human Services to provide assistance to needy individuals and families having a hard time making ends meet in the County.

“Social Services serves as a lifeline for thousands of Ocean County residents who are having a difficult time keeping food on their table or a roof over their heads,” she said. “The mission of the Ocean County Board of Social Services is to serve County residents in the administration of approximately 60 programs including General Assistance, SNAP (nutrition assistance) and Family Care.”

Crea’s work with the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management has resulted in the creation of new recycling programs such as the boat flare disposal program which began in May and resulted in more than 1,300 marine flares collected and disposed of properly. A second collection was held in October.

“Our Department of Solid Waste Management is known for its innovative programs that touch every corner of the County,” Crea said. “From our single stream recycling collection efforts to residential document shredding and household hazardous waste collection and now the boat flare disposal program, protecting the environment by disposing of waste properly is a priority of this Board of Commissioners.”

Commissioner Crea also serves as liaison to the Ocean County Planning Department, which plays an integral role in county government, charged with a number of regional responsibilities including the Community Development Block Grant program.

Commissioner Crea proudly served as both a Committeewoman and Mayor in Little Egg Harbor Township. She was a member and liaison to the Little Egg Harbor Township’s Senior Advisory Board.

“When we serve in public office we can do great things for many people,” Crea said. “I know that working together, this Board will provide good government to all of our citizens. We will be the stewards of our environment and we will make a positive difference.”

The Ocean County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to organize at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 3 in Room 119 of the Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Ave., Toms River.

Commissioner Gary Quinn is expected to serve as Deputy Director in the New Year, a post he currently holds on the Board.

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