CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — The Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders 2020 reorganization and swearing in of Gerald M. Thornton and E. Marie Hayes took place Friday, Jan. 3.
Thornton and Hayes received the highest votes in the November election and retained their seats on the board.
Administering the oath of office for Thornton and Hayes, for a three-year term, was Judge Michael J. Donohue. Holding the Bible for Thornton were his wife, Linda, his son Mark and grandchildren. Holding the Bible for Hayes were her grandchildren. During the ceremony, both freeholders were surrounded by their families.
By freeholder resolution, Gerald M. Thornton was appointed freeholder director and Leonard Desiderio appointed vice director of the board. Other resolutions passed by the board set up the administration of county government for 2020.
After being sworn into office, each freeholder was given the opportunity to address the audience. Thornton expressed his appreciation to his family members, elected officials, department heads and administration.
“I want to first thank my family and the voters for their trust and confidence and for allowing me the opportunity to remain on the Board of Chosen Freeholders. I look forward to 2020 and anticipate another good year for the citizens of Cape May County,” Thornton said.
In his comments Thornton conveyed to the audience his pride in Cape May County and the outstanding leadership of the various departments and the work of the employees. He listed the many projects moving forward to enhance the quality of life in the county and noted economic opportunities at the airport and County Commons in Rio Grande.
In her comments, Hayes expressed her appreciation of her county department heads and workforce and the job they do providing services to the residents.
“I also want to thank everyone who had confidence in the job I do and re-elected me to serve as a freeholder. I am proud to serve the citizens of Cape May County and look forward to serving as president of the New Jersey Association of Counties and president of the South Jersey Freeholders Association,” Hayes said.
The meeting opened with the presentation of the colors by the Cape May County Sheriff’s Honor Guard. Treasa Hayes, a freshman at Ocean City High School, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America." Hayes’ son-in-law performed the invocation. Deacon Erik Simonsen, of Lower Township, performed the benediction.