MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen, a former mayor of Chatham Township, was sworn in tonight as Director of the Board of County Commissioners after fellow board members Deborah Smith of Denville, John Krickus of Washington Township, and Stephen H. Shaw of Mountain Lakes were sworn in to new, three-year terms as Commissioners.
“I stand here as an American who appreciates everything this nation allowed me to achieve, and I want to continue paying America back through public service,” said Commissioner Director Selen, a Turkish immigrant who spoke tonight of moving to this nation 25-years ago.
He came with no money, unable to speak English and his first job was pumping gas at a service station in Madison, less than five miles from where he was being sworn in. By 2008, when he took the oath as an American citizen, he was leading the new branch development program for a major financial institution and later became mayor of Chatham Township.
“I am thankful to be living in Morris County – the best community anywhere – and with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic again at our doorstep, I will continue to work with this board to protect our residents and our business owners,” Selen said.
The annual Morris County Reorganization Meeting was held virtually this year due to a spike in the COVID-19 pandemic. Three Commissioners tuned in remotely via Webex, four others separately made their remarks before cameras in the Commissioners’ public meeting room in Morristown and the public watched remotely via Webex.
“Under trying circumstances, Morris County has stayed calm and carried on,” said Commissioner Krickus, as he was sworn into a new three-year term as Commissioner and separately as Deputy Director.
“We have enhanced our quality of life by funding open space, trails, and our park system, which really came in handy during the pandemic. We have the financial and organizational strength to respond to every twist and turn in this pandemic. All accomplished while not increasing taxes, one of the few zero-percent inflation services you will find,” Krickus added.
Commissioner Shaw, the past-Director, was sworn into his second three-year term on the board by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce as his wife, Cindy, held the bible. He congratulated Director Selen and, in place of his remarks, deferred to the video encapsulating serious highlights of the past year and a bit of levity.
“While our jobs are very serious, we cannot take ourselves too seriously,” said Commissioner Shaw. “I am a firm believer that, especially during these trying times, we must pause from time to time and take a moment to laugh. I tried to do that throughout the year.”
The video included the launch of the Morris County COVID-19 Regional Vaccination Center as well as the launch of new programs and expansion of existing programs by Morris County, despite the pandemic.
Deborah Smith, who had served as Director and Deputy Director in 2020 and 2021, respectively, looked back at the ability of Morris County to continue providing services and expand programs while tackling the pandemic.
“We have been able to address the pandemic these past two years while still meeting our annual goals for bridge replacements, road repaving, infrastructure improvements, preserving historic sites, creating new trails, and saving more open space,” Smith said. “We have continued to assist our most vulnerable citizens, helping seniors and maintaining all of our Human Services programs. We also have maintained our Triple-A financial rating.”
Commissioner Director Selen was accompanied by his wife, Tulin, as he was sworn in as Director by Sheriff James Gannon. The Sheriff also swore Commissioner Smith to her new term, as her husband, Stephen, stood with her.
Commissioner Krickus was sworn to his new term by Assemblywoman Aura Dunn while accompanied by his wife, Carolyn; daughter, Kelly, and son-in-law, Garrett Lare. He was sworn in as Deputy Director by Sen. Anthony M. Bucco.
Participating in the swearing-in, in person, was Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. The invocation was provided, virtually, by The Reverend Rod Perez-Vega of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Dover.
Singing the National Anthem, virtually, was Sara Lepre, a member of MAYO Performing Arts Centre’s Performing Arts Company.
The Morris County Board of County Commissioners will hold their next work session and regular meeting on January 12, 2022. The work session begins at 4:30 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. The meetings will be held virtually until further notice.