Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said that over the last 12 months, Middlesex County has made good on its promise to expand upon its “tradition of innovation, culture, collaboration and opportunity,” during his state of the county address on Oct. 9.
“We have engaged strategic partners to help us begin programs, complete projects, and improve service delivery. In short, Middlesex County is the living definition of the four themes we have put forth, and we are bringing them to life every day for everyone in our County,” said Rios as he delivered the 2018 State of the County Address.
Rios was the keynote speaker at an event sponsored by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The evening also featured remarks by Bill Neary, chairman of the Regional Chamber; John Fitzgerald, president and CEO of Magyar Bank; and Sarah K. Chaplin, president and CEO of State Theatre New Jersey.
“The Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud and honored to host this event and welcome Freeholder Director Rios to present the State of the County Address and John Fitzgerald and Sarah Chaplin to speak to our members about the exciting things happening in the County right now,” said Neary. “Tonight’s agenda was filled with important information that our businesses can use in planning their future.”
Rios said among the county’s most substantial achievements this past year are the development and construction of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center and expanded arts and cultural opportunities throughout the county; the partnership with RWJ Barnabas Health to manage the county’s two long-term care facilities; the opening of the Residence at Roosevelt Park, an 84-unit affordable, independent living facility, and the undertaking of “one of our most ambitious projects to date: our Comprehensive Master Plan that will envision Middlesex County through 2040.”
“I’m pleased to announce that we will soon be reaching out to our governmental, business and non-profit partners, in addition to the general public, to help us create a better vision for Middlesex County in the areas of Economic Development, Housing, Land Use, Public Health and Transportation,” he said. “Your input is vital as we plan for a better future. I ask that you please help us with this important project.”
Fitzgerald said: “Middlesex County has a tremendous amount of momentum. We’re home to a talented, educated and motivated workforce, have a strong transportation system, and are geographically situated between two major markets in New York and Philadelphia. Magyar Bank has seen this region reinvent itself numerous times in our nearly 100-year history. We’re proud to call Middlesex County home, we are proud to be part of the Middlesex County story that you are now seeing told in so many places and venues, and we look forward to being a part of the region’s development and continued economic growth in the years to come.”
Chaplin remarked: “A community is defined by many things – not least of all is its opportunities for residents to come together. We look to the arts as a reflection of a community. As convener. As a place for celebration and exploration. As a way to understand the world around us and to connect us across barriers of all types. Recognizing the arts as vital to a well-rounded and vibrant community and a thriving economy, and as an integral part of the overall Middlesex County story, Middlesex County has chosen to invest in the very places that make this possible and I, for one, sincerely thank them for these endeavors.”
Rios concluded: “As you can tell, I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish, and continue to accomplish, in Middlesex County. Middlesex County truly does represent, and deliver, Innovation, Culture, Collaboration and Opportunity. This is who we are. And it is what we will strive to deliver every day.”