Definition of the County Commissioners

2.1 Term, Election, Vacancies, Compensation

a. Term. The Board shall consist of nine (9) members whose terms shall be concurrent. Five (5) members shall be elected from districts and (4) shall be elected at large;

b. Election, Vacancies. Essex County Board of County Commissioners shall be elected at the annual general election in November.

2.2 Organization

a. Date, Time, Place. During the month of December each year the Board shall, by resolution, establish the date, time and place it shall meet during the first week of January to hold its annual organization meeting;

b. Organization Meeting Agenda. At its annual organization meeting the Board shall by majority vote of the whole number of its members elect from among its number one County Commissioner to serve as President and another to serve as Vice-President.

2.3 President of the Board

President of the Board. The President and Vice-President shall serve for a term of one year and until their successor has been duly elected and qualified. Each may be re-elected to successive terms. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Board, appoint all members to committees of the Board.

2.4 Board Powers

Board Powers. The legislative and investigative powers of County government as granted by the Optional County Charter Law shall be vested in the Board. Pursuant to the grant of powers in the Charter the Board shall:

  • a. Adopt and amend an Administrative Code.
  • b. Advise and consent to appointments.
  • c. Pass ordinances and resolutions.
  • d. Appoint a clerk.
  • e. Appoint Counsel of the Board.
  • f. Override a veto of the County Executive.
  • g. Approve the annual operating and capital budgets.
  • h. Appoint accountant of New Jersey to perform audit.
  • i. Conduct investigations.
  • j. Designate staff to process and approve funding.

2.9 Clerk of the Board

Clerk of the Board. The Board shall appoint a Clerk of the Board.
The Clerk shall:

  • a. Attend all meetings.
  • b. Take and preserve the minutes.
  • c. Keep ordinances, resolutions and minutes.
  • d. Have custody of the County seal.
  • e. Provide secretarial service for the Board members.
  • f. Provide to the County Executive all documents requiring his/her signature.
  • g. Prepare an agenda.
  • h. Provide copies of all meeting notices and agenda.
  • i. Provide for the mailing of all notices.
  • j. Supervise secretarial staff.

2.10 Counsel to the Board

Counsel to the Board. There shall be a Counsel to the Board who shall be appointed by the Board. Counsel to the Board shall advise the Board on legal matters. He/she shall act as the parliamentarian at Board meetings; shall prepare resolutions and ordinances; review negotiated contracts prior to Board approval and represent the Board in any litigation or dispute with the Executive Branch; and represent the Board in any appeals from the Planning Board.


(973) 621-4486


(973) 621-5695


Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102