For those with an interest in county politics, Freeholder Director (and Collingswood resident) Louis Cappelli Jr. will deliver the annual State of the County address today at 4 p.m. in Camden City Hall.
Newly elected Freeholder Michelle Gentek (Gloucester Township) will take her oath of office alongside returning Freeholders Ian Leonard (Camden City) and Jeffrey L. Nash (Cherry Hill).
The Democratic slate swept the field in the November 2012 elections, earning nearly twice as many votes as Republican challengers Jim Pearce, Ian Gill and Eugene Lawrence.
Cappelli's address will likely touch on several concerns, none larger in the eyes of many residents than the push for the countywide police force that is slated to take over policing of the "most dangerous city in America" later this year. The tug-of-war among area police leadership and the county government heated up in protests this summer as the plan advanced.
Below are biographies of the three freeholders who will be sworn in today, provided by the county government (with links by Patch).
Michelle Gentek resides in Gloucester Township with her three sons. Michelle served as councilwoman, a position to which she was first elected in 2009.
During her first term on Council, Michelle took a leadership role in the township's sustainability program, and in just one year spearheaded the township's qualification for the Sustainable Jersey program, which received a silver certification.
Through her leadership, Michelle has helped the township develop a comprehensive Energy Master Plan that includes installation of solar panels on the municipal building, a shared services solar project with the Gloucester Township Public Schools and the Black Horse Pike Regional School District and the implementation of the township's first Community Gardens program.
Ian Leonard became a freeholder in 2008. Born and raised in Pemberton, NJ, Leonard moved to Camden in 1996 to attend Rutgers University, where he earned a degree in political science and a master’s in public administration. Shortly after graduation, he bought an historic home in Camden City, where he lives today.
Leonard gained a wealth of governmental experience in his role as chief of staff for Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts. Working on statewide issues that affected millions of New Jerseyans, he learned the value of helping those in need.
In 1998, Leonard joined the Air National Guard, and currently serves in the 177th Fighter wing.
Jeffrey L. Nash of Cherry Hill has served on the freeholder board since 1992. Under his leadership, Camden County has improved government programs and public access to programs.
He led the efforts to support the expansion of Camden County College, now viewed as the best two-year college in the state. Nash also led a bold initiative to secure and preserve nearly a thousand acres of open space and farmland, with plans to double that in the future.
His passion for parkland and recreational spaces for the families of Camden County are best illustrated in .