Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little is expected to lead the county's governing body when it reorganizes next week, it was announced Wednesday.
Little, a Surf City resident, served as deputy director in 2011 and director in 2006. He has served on the freeholder board since 2003, when he was appointed following the death of James J. Mancini, a fellow Long Beach Island resident. John C. Bartlett, a Pine Beach resident, will serve as deputy director in 2012.
"I am looking forward to being director of the board in 2012," said Little, in a statement. "I am sure it will be a challenging new year but as a board we work in concert always putting the citizens of the county first."
In the release, Little said the board's primary goal for 2012 will be "developing a county budget that continues to allow our residents the ability to afford to live here."
Additionally, priorities will be continuing work to support Ocean County's 68,000 veterans – the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau will have a presence at the Southern Service Center in Manahawkin in 2012 – as well as implementing Gov. Chris Christie's to preserve Barnegat Bay, Little said.
Joseph Vicari, who defeated Democrat Michelle Rosen in November's board election, served as director of the all-Republican board in 2011. Traditionally, a board member who is up for re-election serves as director. Little's and Bartlett's terms both expire in 2012, though Wednesday's statement made no mention as to whether the pair would be seeking re-election.