Surrounded by loved ones, Frank Sadeghi was administered a ceremonial oath of office to his first three year term on the Ocean County Board of Commissioners by former Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Buckelew during the Board’s 2024 reorganization meeting.
“I’d like to congratulate Frank Sadeghi on being sworn in to his first three-year term on the Board,” said the 2024 Director of the Board Barbara Jo Crea. “I remember the pride I felt when I raised my right hand and took the oath of office just a few years ago. There is nothing like it. I am certain Frank felt the same.”
Sadeghi, a resident of Island Heights, joined Crea and his colleagues on the Board, replacing longtime Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, who did not seek re-election in 2023.
“Commissioner Sadeghi brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge from both the private sector and public office all of which will benefit the residents of Ocean County,” Crea said.
Crea was appointed to lead the Board as Director in 2024 and Commissioner Gary Quinn was appointed Deputy Director of the Board during the meeting.
“I want to thank my colleagues on the Board for giving me this opportunity to serve as the 2024 Director of the Board,” Crea said. “It is humbling to receive this kind of support. I look forward to a very productive and successful year, working with all of you seated on this dais.”
Crea noted her accomplishments while on the Board included advocating for and successfully establishing the Homelessness Trust Fund in 2023.
“I am so very grateful that after much review and consideration, I was able to get this done,” Crea said. “More than 65,000 people in Ocean County are living in poverty and this includes families and children. Ocean County helps countless numbers of people every day through its established social services programs, and yet more needs to be done.
“We established the fund because this Board realized there was a need to help our residents that are struggling,” she said. These are single moms and dads, senior citizens, trying to make ends meet, to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.”
Crea also noted her work with the newly created Ocean County Opioid Advisory Council.
“As liaison to the Ocean County Opioid Advisory Council, I have closely worked with our Department of Human Services and other County agencies to make sure the funds distributed from the National Opioid Litigation Resolution against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors have the greatest positive impact on our ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic,” Crea said. “We are using the money to raise public awareness and to educate, we are working with prevention programs and early intervention, care management and workforce development.
“This council is staffed by dedicated workers and volunteers who have set priorities that benefit the men and women in our communities that need it most,” she added.
Crea also noted the board would continue its work to maintain a stable county property tax rate and its AAA bond rating.
“For the last 7-years, the county property tax rate has decreased. I anticipate it will remain stable in 2024 or continue to decrease,” she said. “Also our fiscally conservative approach to budgeting will allow us to maintain our AAA bond rating which gives us the ability to save tax dollars while still improving and maintaining the county infrastructure.”
Sadeghi also outlined his ambitious vision for the New Year as a newly elected County Commissioner noting the widening of Route 9 should be more of a Board priority in order to better move traffic through one of the county’s main corridors, waiting lists should be eliminated and more opportunities should be provided to residents who want to attend vocational technical school classes in Ocean County and the creation of an improvement authority should be considered to better assist municipalities and other public agencies.
“I can’t promise that you will always agree with me, but I can pledge that I will always do what’s right and good for this community that we all love so much,” he said. “All of my decisions will always begin with the gateway question of will this decision be the right one for the people that live in Ocean County?”
Sadeghi, who spoke about his humble beginnings immigrating to the United States at the age of 17 with $70 in his pocket and with hard work today is a successful businessman, said Ocean County is changing and predicts the county’s population will top one million people by 2050. The county’s current population is about 650,000 year-round residents.
“County government needs to recognize that change and rise to meet the challenges in front of us with bold thinking and innovative solutions,” he said. “We can’t afford to be reactive – rather – we need to think proactively and govern with vision.”
Commissioners Quinn and Haines also extended their appreciation to the County workforce during the meeting.
“We cannot do what we do alone,” Quinn said. “The administration, directors, division directors and all of the county staff are the foundation to providing the best services and programs to our residents.”
“Since I was first appointed to this Board in 2016, I have done my very best to serve the residents of this great County,” Haines said. “Of course, I don’t do this alone, I do it with my board colleagues and the professional and hardworking staff that keeps this County moving forward every day.”