News Department

Hunterdon County Commissioner Matt Holt retiring May 1

“I leave the County in the very best of hands,” Holt said

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Saying he leaves Hunterdon County’s government in a good place, and the best of hands with his Commissioner Board colleagues, six term veteran County Commissioner Matt Holt has announced his retirement from the Hunterdon Board effective May 1, 2022.

Holt, a three-time Director of the Board first elected in 2006 and a former Mayor and Council member in the Town of Clinton, said, “My service to the people of Hunterdon County over the years has been a labor of love. My family and I came to Hunterdon County in 1970, 52 years ago, and it has been our home ever since. I make this decision with a heavy heart, as serving the public and affecting public policy has been so much a part of my life during the course of the last twenty-nine years.”

“A while ago, Megan and I purchased property outside of New Jersey, initially as a vacation home to visit from time to time. Having retired from a 45-year work career earlier this year, and after taking an extended vacation at that home, we have decided to spend much more time there than initially planned. Going forward, as we will be doing a number of projects on this house and property, and anticipating more time away from Hunterdon County, I feel that it is time to pass the baton and no longer serve on the Board of Commissioners and will be retiring effective May 1st,” Holt said.

“Over the course of his many years on the Board, Holt has served as liaison to every Department through the County. “The opportunity to learn from our knowledgeable and experienced Department and Division heads
gave me so much background, which in turn I believed helped me to do my job better,” Holt said.

While serving on the Freeholder/Commissioner Board, Holt spent the majority of that time also serving on the executive board of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, and also served as the Chairman of the NJTPA in 2012 and 2013.

Holt also represented Region 2, four states, on the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Regional Councils for two terms, and in 2014 was awarded the very prestigious National Association Of Regional Councils Bradley Leadership Award, and the Newark Regional Business Partnership Transportation Award.

While the impact of his service runs deep, Holt points to three governmental accomplishments of which he is most proud.

“First the ability to talk about the change in the County demographics and economy as far back as 2008, and to bring about the implementation and success of our economic development and tourism initiatives. Additionally, working in 2008 to gain public support for the adjustment of the Open Space Referendum language to not only eliminate the sunset clause, but also of equal importance, ensuring that funds are available for the maintenance and upkeep of lands the County acquires. You cannot buy and preserve land and not ensure that it is properly maintained for the use in which it was intended. That would be like buying a car, and never changing the oil,” Holt siad.

When questioned about the third area of accomplishment, Holt replied,” The budget and our total elimination of debt, of course.”

A member of the Board’s Budget Committee for many years, Holt said, “Actual real tax reduction was accomplished at the same time as the total elimination of debt. And not with the use of one time gimmicks, but real long term sustainable spending reductions, accomplished by changing the thinking about spending in County Government.”

“I believe the effects of that work will be felt in a positive way for years long after my departure am gone. Every Board seat has changed once and some twice since my joining the Board. And yet, we have continued to work as a team, to never lose sight of the goal of proving that government can be run more efficiently, planning longer term, and with less tax dollars,” Holt said.

Holt said, “I also believe our Hunterdon County residents could not be better served by the team presently serving on the Board. Director John Lanza, Deputy Director Zach Rich, and Commissioners Shaun Van Doren and Sue Soloway are an experienced group, dedicated to a continuation of the conservative fiscal philosophy that has served the taxpayers well. Joined by Constitutional Officers Surrogate Susan Hoffman, Sheriff Fred Brown, County Clerk Mary Melfi, and Prosecutor Renee Robeson, all involved always start the discussion with ‘what is best for Hunterdon County’,”

“I thank the people of Hunterdon County for allowing me to serve for the past 29 years, and I absolutely believe I leave the County in the very best of hands,” Holt said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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