Levine Named Freeholder Director for 2019
Walsh to Serve as Deputy Director; Robinson & Sooy Join Board
SOMERVILLE – Brian D. Levine of Franklin was nominated as the director of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders for 2019 and was sworn in by former Gov. Thomas Kean at the board’s annual reorganization meeting, which was held Jan. 4 at the Historic Courthouse. Serving as deputy director this year will be Patricia L. Walsh of Green Brook.
Former Franklin Township deputy mayor Shanel Robinson and former Somerset Hills School District board of education member Sara Sooy of Bernardsville were elected to the board in November and were sworn in to their first three-year terms by Gov. Phil Murphy.
Robinson and Sooy are the first Democrats to hold freeholder positions in Somerset County since 1982 and this will be the first time in board history that three women will be serving simultaneously. Rounding out the five-member board is Brian G. Gallagher of Somerville.
Freeholder Director Levine joined the freeholder board in 2015 after serving as mayor of Franklin Township for 11 years. Freeholder Deputy Director Walsh, who served as mayor of Green Brook for 15 years, joined the board in 2008.
Freeholder Robinson served as a member of the Franklin Township Council from 2015 to 2018, and as deputy mayor in 2018. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, she is an information technologies manager at Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.
A lifelong resident of Somerset County, Freeholder Sooy served on the Somerset Hills School District board of education from 2015 to 2018. She also served on the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.
During his inaugural remarks, Freeholder Director Levine thanked everyone for coming and called for unity for all of Somerset County. He outlined his goals for the coming year, including education, human services, diversity and fiscal initiatives. He stated that he takes on this role "because of the myriad people that I have met, and because we are all in this together."
Standing in the Somerset County Historic Courthouse after the Board of Freeholders’ annual reorganization meeting are newly appointed Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine, Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia L. Walsh, and newly sworn Freeholders Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy.