Gary J. Rich, Sr. was elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders in November 2011. He was sworn in to office on Jan. 5, 2012.
As the Freeholder responsible for the oversight of Finance and Administration, Freeholder Rich oversees those departments that are at the core of Monmouth County government operations and has focused his tenure in office on delivering strong fiscal management and efficiency in operations to Monmouth County taxpayers.
Since his election to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Mr. Rich has worked with his fellow Freeholders and Senior Staff to:
- Maintain a zero-increase to the tax levy (now 3 years in a row), by asking department heads and their staffs to analyze the best ways to maximize their output with fewer dollars each year
- Oversee the rollout of new purchasing and personnel/payroll systems which seamlessly integrate and communicate with the each other, allowing our departments to operate with optimum efficiency
- Renew the County’s focus on its Strategic Plan which identifies goals and objectives to strengthen the County’s operations. This includes:
- a Communications Plan, which was developed to enhance the mission of Monmouth County government by promoting effective, accurate and timely exchanges of information among our diverse audiences and stakeholders
- an Energy Plan, which is being developed to identify energy efficient practices and projects throughout the County. The idea is simple: decrease the County’s energy consumption, lower the County’s energy expenses, save the taxpayers money and do our part to curb the County’s impact on the environment, all while making strides towards hardening our infrastructure to make the County less susceptible to the next Superstorm.
- Lead the charge on analyzing the viability of maintaining or privatizing the County’s Care Centers
- Assess the County Library System to create a business plan that ensures sound economic management and top-notch service
- Oversee the implementation of the new Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program by the Monmouth County Tax Board which will save $7.5 million over 10 years in costs to perform re-evaluations. The new program helps municipalities eliminate the guesswork involved in budgeting for tax appeals AND empowers property owners with real-time information about the value of their property.
Freeholder Rich, a resident of Spring Lake, began his career as a schoolteacher working at St. Rose Elementary School in Belmar, Freehold Borough Middle School and Marlboro Middle School. In 1979 he left teaching and began working for several major corporations in the computer business, becoming President of Atlantic Systems.
Before serving office at the County level, Mr. Rich was elected to public office four times. In 1980, he was elected to the council in South Belmar, which today is called Lake Como. After moving to Spring Lake, he was elected to the Borough Council where he served for three terms.
Mr. Rich served on the Spring Lake finance committee for several years and helped Spring Lake avoid tax increases and increases in the municipal budget. This effort was accomplished maintaining a superb level of public services while rebuilding an aging infrastructure that had a 100-year-old water and sewer system. Additionally, as a councilman he served on many committees including Public Safety, Traffic Safety, Planning Board, Beach Committee, Board of Health and the Water Sewer Advisory Committee.
Mr. Rich currently works at a Fortune 500 company as an Account Executive. He lives in Spring Lake with his wife, Ann, of 34 years. They have three children, Gary Jr., Steven and Devin.