Newly appointed Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H. Vicari has hit the ground running.
Less than 24 hours after being sworn in as 2023’s Director of the Board, Vicari penned a letter to President Joe Biden asking that more federal aid be directed to the county.
“We need assistance to ensure that our more than 200,000 senior citizens continue to receive the best possible care,” Vicari said in the letter.
Vicari noted that Ocean County has one of the state’s largest senior citizen populations, and has a growing number of adults aged 85 and older.
“The county already funds numerous programs to keep our older residents safe and healthy, but with Washington’s help I know we can do even more,” he said. “For the same cost as a one-day stay in the hospital we can feed a senior through our meals-on-wheels program for an entire year.”
Vicari, liaison to the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, said the county already funds a number of preventive health and nutritional problems for older adults.
“Please help us continue our work in protecting our vulnerable senior citizen population,” he said in the letter. “I know you will agree with me that our seniors have given their all for their nation and they have earned our support and our help.”
Vicari, who is the longest serving county commissioner in the state, also asked for additional aid to help protect the Barnegat Bay.
“Barnegat Bay is the true jewel of Ocean County,” he said in the letter. “The County already works with the National Estuary program to protect and preserve the bay, but I feel additional federal money can be earmarked to assist us in guaranteeing that the bay will be enjoyed by generations yet to come.”
Vicari said Washington’s dollars could further contribute to efforts such as the county’s pump-out boat program and new educational programs teaching residents and visitors alike the importance of bay protection.
“We have always balanced the need for preserving the bay with the desires of residents and tourists who enjoy the bay for boating, swimming and fishing,” he said.
Vicari also asked for more federal beach protection and restoration aid.
“Ocean County also has more than 44 miles of oceanfront property, the most in New Jersey,” he said. “The preservation of our coastline depends on further cooperation between our county, our towns and Washington.”
Vicari said working with state and federal officials to bring more aid to Ocean County is one of his main goals for the New Year.
“This county’s government has always delivered results for our residents,” he said. “But we can’t do it alone. We need to continue and enhance our important partnerships with the State of New Jersey and Washington D.C.”