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What is a County Freeholder?

Established in 1748, Cumberland County is one of twenty one counties in the State of New Jersey. Cumberland County government is administered by a seven member Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The term “Freeholder” has its roots in medieval England. In most other states, the office holder with the same type of responsibilities is called a County Commissioner or County Supervisor. Freeholders are elected at-large and serve three year staggered terms. Each January, the Board reorganizes and selects its leadership.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders establishes an annual budget and passes resolutions which guide the actions of County staff. Each Freeholder is the Chair of a Committee which oversees various departments and functions of County Government. Freeholder Committees meet on a regular basis to discuss the business of the various departments. Freeholders also take as many opportunities as possible to attend public functions in order to gain a sense of the needs and concerns of the citizens they represent.

Freeholders have the responsibility for welfare, law enforcement, the Cumberland County College, the Technical Education Center, roads, and the conduct of elections. Also, the Freeholder Board has oversight of the County Library, Planning, Social Services, and a number of other offices and agencies which serve the needs of the public.

The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders meets twice monthly, usually on the third and fourth Tuesday of the month, to conduct business. The initial meeting, held at 6:00 PM at the County Administration Building in Bridgeton, is called a Work Session meeting, where the Board reviews proposals for upcoming action. The voting meeting of the Board is held the following Tuesday at 6:00 PM at the Cumberland County Court House.