County Government Information

What is a Commissioner?

A Commissioner is the elected county government representative in New Jersey who serves on the county's main governing body, the Board of County Commissioners.

The Sussex County Board of County Commissioners sets policy for five County departments and 13 divisions, plus a number of boards, commissions, authorities and committees. The Commissioners appoint a County Administrator to supervise the actual day-to-day operation of county government.


The basic law establishing the Freeholder form of county government in New Jersey was enacted in 1798. In the beginning, each corporate municipality was represented by a Freeholder on the county governing board. But as the number of municipalities increased to the point where some Boards were bogged down by sheer weight of numbers, the law was changed. In 1912 the "Small Board" Act was adopted, permitting counties to elect Freeholders from the county at large. The exact number of Freeholders making up each county Board was to be determined by the respective county's population. The law was permissive, and subject to approval by the voters at a referendum.

On January 1, 2021 the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders became the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners. A county may have between three and nine Commissioners, depending on its population and classification.

The Commissioners are elected at-large to serve three-year staggered terms. The five Commissioners elect a Director from among themselves to run their meetings and to serve as spokesperson for the Board.


County Flag

The flag, with its background of vibrant yellow, represents the sun or a harvest moon as it spreads its light over the mountains, hills and valleys.

The gentle blue is the reflection of the tonality of the sky upon our beautiful crystal lakes while the stars remind us of our high ideals.

The gently waving wheat gives living evidence of the fertility of thought, words and deeds. This is Sussex County.


County Seal

The Sussex County Seal is a gold seal with a solid green circle encased within a dark blue circle. Within the green circle are five gold sheaves of wheat held in place by a burgundy ribbon decorated with three gold stars.

The date 1753 appears below the ribbon to remind us of our forefathers' perseverance to establish Sussex County as an independent entity to govern, protect, and enhance the lives of its residents.