Posted Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Served as Morris County Freeholder, Mountain Lakes Mayor, and Executive Director of Morris 2000

Former Morris County Freeholder and longtime volunteer Carol Rufener was honored recently by the current county governing board for a lifetime of public service to Morris County and to her hometown of Mountain Lakes.

Carol Rufener Honored for a Lifetime of Service to Morris County

Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana (center) presents a special resolution to Carol Rufener. Also (l/r) County Clerk Ann Grossi, former Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom, Freeholders Tom Mastrangelo and Christine Myers, Morris Plains Mayor and former Freeholder Frank Druetzler, and Freeholders Kathy DeFillippo, Heather Darling and Deborah Smith

Rufener was honored at the Oct. 10 Board of Freeholders “road meeting’’ which was held in Mountain Lakes, where Rufener served as mayor before winning an appointment to the Freeholder Board in 1982.

She subsequently was elected to three-year terms in 1983 and 1986, serving as Deputy Director in 1983 and Director in 1984. She was just the third woman elected to the Freeholder Board (following Leanna Brown and Pat Maynard).

Rufener was joined at the Oct. 10 event by her husband Hop, daughter Bethany, and other family members, plus a host of local and county political dignitaries. Included were state Sen. Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, County Clerk Ann Grossi, former Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom, plus former Mountain Lakes mayors Joan Belz, Laurel Capodanno, Blair (Wilson) Schleicher Bravo, Steve Shaw and current Mayor Lauren Barnett.

Also attending the event was Morris Plains Mayor Frank Druetzler, who served briefly with Rufener on the Freeholder Board in the 1980s in an interim capacity to fill a vacancy (He later was elected and served several terms as a Freeholder in the 1990s and 2000s).

Carol Rufener Honored for a Lifetime of Service to Morris County

Carol Rufener is joined by (l/r) Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo, Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, Freeholder Christine Myers, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, Freeholder Doug Cabana, state Sen. Tony Bucco, and Freeholders Heather Darling and Deborah Smith

The following are excerpts of remarks made by Freeholder Director Doug Cabana:

“It is my pleasure and privilege tonight to award a special Freeholder Board resolution to our friend, former freeholder, former Mountain Lakes Mayor and longtime Mountain Lakes resident Carol Rufener.

“Carol needs no introduction to county government and the Freeholder Board. She is the True Dean of Morris County Freeholders.

“Carol served with a host of exceptional freeholder colleagues, many of whom rose to higher office in subsequent years: John Davidson, Alex DeCroce, Frank Druetzler, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Pat Hyland, Fred Knox, Walter Lugar, Pat Maynard, Carol Murphy, and Al Scerbo.

Carol Rufener Honored for a Lifetime of Service to Morris County

Carol Rufener with her family

“She has been an inspirational leader for women in elected office in Morris County — elected three times as mayor of Mountain Lakes, and first woman to serve in that position. Carol also was just the third elected female Freeholder in Morris County – following close on the heels of Leanna Brown and Pat Maynard.

“She has set a precedent and trend for women in elected office in Mountain Lakes, where Joan Belz, Laurel Capodanno, Blair Schleicher Bravo, and now Lauren Barnett have followed in her footsteps as mayor.

“In addition to serving in elected office, Carol has long been a leader in Morris County. Most importantly, she helped to found and then serve, among many others, as director of the Morris 2000/Morris Tomorrow planning group.

“That group of inspired county volunteers worked to prepare Morris County for the future in areas such as housing, infrastructure, transportation, water supply and so many other vital areas that have improved the quality of life for all of us today in Morris County.

We welcome Carol tonight, with her husband – and fellow world traveler, Hop, and her daughter Bethany and family, to receive this special county resolution to say thank you for all you have done for your community and our county. Thank you, Carol!’’

Carol Rufener Honored for a Lifetime of Service to Morris County

Carol Rufener with her Mountain Lakes “family”