Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders


Julie A. Acton – Director
Chairperson – Administration Committee

Julie ActonA lifelong resident of Salem County and resident of Pennsville Township, Julie Acton has the distinct honor of serving as Freeholder Director for the past three consecutive years. Julie has served as a member of the Salem County Freeholder Board since 2007.

Julie has dedicated herself to the residents of our county and has past and present involvement in a number of local organizations, including serving on the United Way Women’s Leadership Committee, E.I. DuPont Community Advisory Panel, Salem County Women’s Services Board, Meals on Wheels, Parish Council and Finance Committee for Queen of Apostles Church, former committee person for the Boy Scouts, Troop 15, New Jersey Governor’s Board of Volunteerism, member of the NAACP, and Board of Trustees/ Treasurer for Family Promise of Salem County.  She has also served as co-fundraiser Chair for the United Way of Salem County, American Red Cross, and Meals on Wheels.

Mrs. Acton graduated from the first class of the Christine Todd Whitman Excellence in Public Service Series, graduated from the New Jersey Association of Counties LEAD program, and National Association of Counties Leadership Institute.

Julie was honored to receive the following awards:

  • Southern NJ Freeholder Association Stars Award.
  • Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church Distinguished Award
  • The Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award
  • Southern Council Boy Scout of America Women of Achievement Award

Julie and her husband, John, reside in Pennsville and have two sons, Jonathon and Justin. She is the daughter of Jean Gross and the late Virgil Gross.   Contact Director Acton

Ben H. Laury – Deputy Director
Chairperson – Public Works

Freeholder Ben Laury Freeholder Ben Laury is a lifelong resident of the Borough of Elmer. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and is licensed as a Professional Engineer and Master Plumber in the State of New Jersey. Currently Freeholder Laury is the President and CEO of the local (Pennsville and Vineland) and successful Laury Heating Company. Laury Heating is a regional leader in plumbing, heating, and air conditioning sales and service in Southern New Jersey.

Freeholder Laury has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Before being elected as a Salem County Freeholder in 2009, he began his public community service by serving on the planning board, serving 10 years on the school board (5 years as president), and serving 7 years on the borough council (2 years as president) .

Freeholder Laury’s commitment to community service is highlighted by his dedication to the Boys Scouts of America. He currently is serving on the Southern New Jersey District Board and personally holds the rank of Eagle Scout. He is committed to his faith and his church, The Elmer Methodist Church, where is the finance chairman and active in the drama ministry.   He has been an active Rotary member for over 30 years and is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Freeholder Laury is currently the chairman of Public Works in Salem County and also serves on the Public Safety Committee and the Transportation, Agriculture, and Cultural Affairs committee. He serves as the freeholder liaison to the Waterways Advisory Board and the Tourism board.

Freeholder Laury is married 36 years to his wife Kathy Laury. They have two children Brittany (married to Stan Orzechowski) and TJ. They have two grandchildren: Mason and Carter.    Contact Freeholder Laury

Dale A. Cross
Chairperson – Public Safety


Mr. Cross is a resident of Pennsville Township serving his third term as Freeholder. He is Chair of the Public Safety Committee. In addition, he serves on the Administrative, Rail and Energy committees. Other duties include: serving as a Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator and liaison for the Salem County Improvement Authority. Dale and his wife Kathy have one son Kyle. A graduate from Glassboro State College (now Rowan) in 1986 with a BA in Finance, he is employed with PSEG Nuclear and a proud member of IBEW Local 94.
He currently volunteers time to Island Charities. He is a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Old Oak #6 and a VFW, Sgt. William T. Whitaker Post 1952, Men’s Auxiliary member. Dale and his wife are parishioners at the St. Gabriel the Archangel Church where he currently serves as a Lector.

Contact Deputy Director Cross

Douglass H. Painter
Chairperson – Education & Employment

Mr.PainterMr. Painter is a resident of Pilesgrove Township and will be serving his first term as Salem County Freeholder.  Mr. Painter is a member of the Community Services Committee , the Public Works Committee and is the chairperson of the  Education/Employment Committee.  He has been active in the community in various ways serving on the board for Habitat for Humanity of Salem County, the Salem County Agriculture Development  Board and a member of the Rotary Club of Woodstown. Prior to joining the Board of Chosen Freeholders for ten years Doug served on the Woodstown- Pilesgrove Board of Education.  In addition, he is the Corresponding Secretary for the Pilesgrove-Woodstown Recreation Association and past president of the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Business Association.  He is currently the Vice President of Astro Outdoor Advertising and Sign Company with offices in Glassboro and Woodstown, NJ.  Doug is the son of Jerry and Joann Painter. Doug and his wife Tricia of 21 years have three children, Lauren, Nicholas and Matthew.   Contact Freeholder Painter

Beth E. Timberman
Chairperson – Community Services

Ms.TimbermanMs. Timberman is a Democrat District 1 Committeewoman in Woodstown, serving her 12th year as Freeholder. She works for Pittsgrove Township as a School Nurse bringing more than thirty years of experience to the post. She obtained her BS in Nursing from Trenton State College with a School Nurse Certificate from Rowan University and was a member of the Class of 2008 of the County Leadership Institute at NYU. Ms. Timberman is past president of the South Jersey Freeholders Association, past president of the New Jersey Association of Counties, past charter member of the Salem Health & Wellness Foundation Board, lifetime member of NAACP, and a member of AAUW-Salem County Branch. She is also liaison to the Commission on Women, Bookmobile, Salem County Women Services, and a member of Elmer Methodist Church, where she plays piano for Church Choir. She has a daughter Natalie.  Contact Freeholder Timberman

Robert J.Vanderslice
Chairperson – Health & Human Services


Mr. Vanderslice is a resident of Pennsville serving his first term as Freeholder. Born and raised in Salem County, Mr. Vanderslice graduated from Pennsville Memorial High School and attended Goldey-Beacom Business College. He graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. Mr. Vanderslice is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsville National Bank and Vice President of Penn Bancshares, Inc. He served a three year term on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Locally, Mr. Vanderslice chaired the Salem County Chamber of Commerce board of directors in 2005. He served on the boards of the Salem Community College Foundation and the Memorial Hospital of Salem County. In addition, he was past chairman of the Salem County Technical & Vocational School Advisory Board. He is active in the Sharptown United Methodist Church where he serves as lay leader and teaches an adult Sunday School Class. He also is a member in the Rotary Club of Penns Grove.Mr. Vanderslice was honored with the Old Colony District Good Scout Award in 2004 and was Salem County Citizen of the Year in 2009.   Contact Freeholder Vanderslice

Lee R. Ware
Chairperson – Transportation, Agriculture & Cultural Affairs


Mr. Ware is a resident of Elsinboro Township, serving his 14th year as Freeholder with six years as Director.

Mr. Ware was a teacher in the Woodstown School system for 38 years. He has been recognized for his coaching achievements being named All South Jersey Coach of the Year twice, and was inducted into the Salem County Sports Hall of Fame, New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame, Rowan University Sports Hall of Fame, Bridgeton Sports Hall of Fame, and the South Jersey Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. He recently recorded his 600th Career Victory. He and his wife Patty have three children and five grandchildren.   Contact Freeholder Ware



Administration Building:  94 Market Street, Salem, NJ 08079  | Phone: 856-935-7510  | Fax 856-935-9102

Clerk of the Board: 856-935-7510 x8204

Board History

New Jersey originated the name ‘Chosen Freeholder’

New Jersey alone of all the United States has the distinction of retaining the title of “FREEHOLDER” to denote the elected members of the county governing bodies. This descriptive name, which commemorates the origin of home rule, is used by only 21 of the nation’s 3,047 counties. In other states, these county officials are known as commissioners, supervisors, probate judges, police jurors, councilors and a variety of other names.

An old English term, a “freeholder” originally denoted a person who owned an estate of land over which he had complete control. After the Norman Conquest of 1066 A.D., British kings found it necessary under pressure to call together an assemblage of higher clergy, earls and barons of the nobility and later Knights of the Realm, to sit as advisors and to grant taxes for defense of the kingdom. By the 13th century, through battles against abuses by royal power and the growing influence of Burghesses and Freeman, the British Parliament was enlarged to include these Freeman who owned their land free and clear, who were called “Freeholders.”

English history from this time onward is a story of the increasing power of the subject and his participation in the government. The Franklyn in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is described as being born a Freeman and “Freeholder.” He sat with the lord and knights of his shire (county) in the Parliament of that day.

The name “Freeholder” was well known by the 17th century, and the holder of the title had a definite place in society. Thus, when the first settlers came to the New World and settled what was to become “New Jersey” under the original proprietors, it is not to be wondered that we find the “Freeholder” prominently mentioned. In the first archives of East Jersey, signed and dated, we discover the origin of the name “Chosen Freeholder.” By crossing the sea, these stout-hearted men had already added a popular or democratic refinement to the traditional English name for a Freeman, although they still lived under the British Crown.

Uniquely, our original “Chosen Freeholders” were members of the state’s General Assembly, its first legislature, even before they became the elected representatives of the County Board’s of Chosen Freeholders. No other state in the federal union has so carefully preserved the ancient freedom of its representative government, in the historic title it still confers on its county governing officials.
By: Colonel John J. M. Dudley


To enhance Salem County residents’ quality of life by ensuring the safety, prosperity and wellness of our communities through responsive, innovation and fiscally responsible actions.


To provide the citizens of Salem County the highest quality of life by promoting: Public Safety; Fiscal Responsibility; Economic Development; Culture and Diversity; Health and Education; and Preservation of Natural Resources. We the freeholders will achieve these goals by embracing our core values.

Core Values

County Residents
We will ensure public trust through honesty, fairness, consistency, follow-through and our continued commitment to the County’s culture and diversity.

Fiscal Responsibility
We will prudently manage County financial resources.

Public Safety
We will adhere to a plan that ensures safe communities now and for future generations resulting in a higher quality of life for Salem County residents.

We will provide accessible healthcare and promote wellness for all county residents.

Economic Development
We will deliver innovative actions designed to grow a vibrant local and regional economy while preserving our natural resources.

Freeholder Meetings

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders does hereby establish the following schedule of regular meetings to be held by the said Board during the year 2015 in the Olde Salem Court House 104 Market Street, Salem, New Jersey, 08079, unless otherwise specified, to wit April 15 at Oldmans Township Municipal Building, 40 Freed Road, Pedricktown New Jersey; July 15 at Quinton Township Municipal Building, 885 Quinton Road, Quinton, New Jersey; September 2 at Elmer Borough Hall, 120 South Main Street, Elmer, New Jersey and October 21 at Pennsville Township Municipal Building, 90 North Broadway, Pennsville, New Jersey.

All meetings will begin with a Freeholder Workshop at 6:00 PM followed by regular meeting at 7:00 PM unless otherwise specified to wit: January 7, 5:45 PM, May 20, 4:00 PM, June 3, 17 4:00 PM, July 15 4:00 PM, August 5, 19 4:00 PM and December 30, will begin at 4:00 PM.


  • January 7, 21
  • February 4, 18
  • March 4, 18
  • April 1, 15  *Note – April 15 at Oldmans Township Municipal Building, 40 Freed Road, Pedricktown
  • May 6, 20
  • June 3, 17
  • July 15  *Note – July 15 at Quinton Township Municipal Building, 885 Quinton Road, Quinton
  • August 5, 19
  • September 16  
  • October 7, 21   *Note – October 21 at Pennsville Township Municipal Building, 90 North Broadway, Pennsville
  • November 4, 18
  • December 2, 16, 30  *Note – Dec. 30 meeting will begin at 4:00 PM

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