Posted Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The Morris County Freeholders have unanimously elected William J. Chegwidden and Douglas R. Cabana to serve as the board’s director and deputy director respectively.

The action occurred during the freeholder board’s Jan. 5 Stated Annual Meeting, which also featured the swearing in of new freeholders Ann F. Grossi of Parsippany and Thomas J. Mastrangelo of Montville for three-year terms.

Also during the meeting, Edward V. Rochford of Morris Plains took the oath of office to begin his 7th three-year term as Morris County Sheriff.

Noting the difficult economic climate, Chegwidden, who also serves as mayor of Wharton, praised the county government employees who agreed to accept zero percent salary increases this year.

“With the exception of three bargaining units, 88 percent of the workforce beneath the umbrella of the Morris County government made a personal sacrifice at a most difficult time to help us respond to current economic conditions and to continue to serve the citizens of this county,” Chegwidden said. “The freeholders applaud those employees and offer them a heartfelt word of thanks.”

Chegwidden said the freeholders intend to adopt a county budget this year that once again is prudent and that stays within the state-mandated 2 percent cap.

“And, we will do this without harming those who are most in need of our assistance,” said Chegwidden, who for the past two years held the deputy director’s post.

Cabana, who last night began his 5th three-year term on the board, said the freeholders in 2011 will continue to look for opportunities for the county and municipalities to share services and save money for county taxpayers.

“We are mindful of the need to reduce spending and at the same time maintain the quality services that our residents expect,” Cabana said. “The freeholders have a long history of working cooperatively with our municipalities, and this year promises a continuation of that commitment.”

The freeholders in 2011 will continue to conduct their regular public meetings on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The meeting schedule is posted on the county government Web site,