County Commissioner Meeting Dates
- January 4, 2023 – 6:00 pm
- January 18 – 6:00 pm
- February 1 – 6:00 pm
- February 15 – 6:00 pm
- March 1 – 6:00 pm
- March 15 – 6:00 pm
- April 5 – 6:00 pm
- April 19 – 6:00 pm
- May 3 – 6:00 pm
- May 17 – 4:00 pm
- June 21 – 4:00 pm
- July 19 – 4:00 pm
- August 16 – 4:00 pm
- September 6 – 4:00 pm
- September 20 – 6:00 pm
- October 4 – 6:00 pm
- October 18 – 6:00 pm
- November 1 – 6:00 pm
- November 15 – 6:00 pm
- December 6 – 6:00 pm
- December 20 – 6:00 pm
- December 27 – 11:00 am (Closeout Meeting at 110 5th Street, Salem NJ)
- January 3, 2024 – 6:00 pm (Annual Reorg. Meeting for 2024)
County Commissioner Director, Benjamin H. Laury
Chairperson – Administrative Committee
Assignments: South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, New Jersey Association of Counties
County Commissioner 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.
County Commissioner Laury has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Before being elected as a Salem County County Commissioner 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).
County Commissioner 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 and recently received the Boy Scout Silver Beaver award. He is committed to his faith and his church and is actively involved in the Elmer Methodist Church. He has been an active Rotary member for over 30 years and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
County Commissioner Laury has been married to his wife Kathy Laury for 42 years. They are blessed with two children Brittany (married to Stan Orzechowski) and TJ (married to Sarah) . They have seven grandchildren: Mason, Carter, twins Colton and Ryder, and triplets Theo, Zoe and Maggie.
County Commissioner Deputy Director Mickey Ostrum
Chair for Public Safety Committee
Liaison to: Administrative Committee and Public Safety Committee
Assignments: Board of Social Services, Planning Board, Pollution Control, South Jersey Economic Development District (Alternate)
County Commissioner Gordon J. “Mickey” Ostrum, Jr. moved to Salem County with his parents at age four and has lived here ever since. After completing his education Grades K through 12 in the Woodstown Pilesgrove School System he went on to earn a BS in Biology from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. County Commissioner Ostrum then entered Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, receiving his MD Degree in 1976.
After completing his studies at Jefferson Mickey began his Post Doctoral training as a Resident in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Wilmington Medical Center, now Christiana Care Health System. Finishing in1980, he became Board Certified in 1982, maintaining that endorsement annually. County Commissioner Ostrum entered private practice in New Castle County DE and Woodstown on completion of his training and continues to practice actively.
At Christiana Care County Commissioner Ostrum has had extensive leadership experience serving as Chair of the Obstetrical Operations Committee, Interim Chair and Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Member of the Medical Executive Committee, President of the Medical Dental Staff, and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. He remains of the Board of Trustees and is active in Peer Review activities
Mickey is also active in the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists serving as Chair of the Delaware Section. With that position goes a seat on the District III Advisory Council and advocacy activities at the annual Congressional Leadership Conference in Washington.
When away from professional responsibilities County Commissioner Ostrum participates in grain and cattle farming with his son Jake. Mickey laughingly calls himself the Chief Medical Officer of Cowtown Rodeo having been involved with the rodeo since childhood. He subs for his son as Music Director at the rodeo several times a season. Mickey and his wife Kelly reside in Pilesgrove with their family.
Economic Development/ Public Works
Liaison to: Agricultural / Tourism Committee
Assignments: Economic Development Advisory Council, Shared Services Working Group, Workforce Investment Board, Veterans’ Advisory Board, Youth Services Commission, South Jersey Economic Development District
Ed graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Business Management and Marketing, after attending Gloucester County College and Gateway Regional High School. Professionally, Ed has been involved in real estate for 34 years including sales, brokerage, landlord, tax liens and private investment.
As a Salem County resident, Ed has been actively attending meetings for the Economic Development Council, Salem County Improvement Authority, Tourism Advisory Council, Youth Services Commission, Agriculture Development Board, Municipal Councils, and Planning Boards.
Ed proudly served in the US Air Force as a ground/satellite navigation electronics technician.
Before moving to Pittsgrove, Ed served his hometown of Wenonah as Borough Council President and 2nd Lieutenant in the Fire Department, in addition to other committees.
County Commissioner Ed Ramsay is serving his first term on the Salem County Board of County Commissioners.
Chair for the Information Technology/Planning/Agriculture/Tourism Committee
Commissioner Cordy Taylor has lived in Pedricktown (Oldmans Twp) for the last 30+ years. He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in economics and has worked in banking and technology ever since. Currently he is a Vice President, Sr Manager for US Compliance at TD Bank, N.A.
Throughout his career, Commissioner Taylor has always made time for public service. This community service has included: soccer coach, school board member, municipal government member and various volunteer activities such as Habitat for Humanity, South Jersey Wheelman Bike Club and Pedricktown Day. Most recently he has served as Chairman of the Salem County Improvement Authority and as a member of the County Planning Board and Economic Development Council.
Commissioner Taylor is married to Melinda Taylor and together they have raised two children, and too many cats, dogs, and horses to count. He is an Advanced Open Water Diver, a private pilot, and has spent countless hours bike riding throughout Salem County’s rural and scenic roads.
Chair for the Health and Human Services Committee
Assignments: Surrogate Court, Veterans Services, Superintendent of Schools
County Commissioner Daniel Timmerman is a resident of Woodstown Burrough. Commissioner Timmerman has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Carolina. Following graduate school, he was hired and became a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers working at the Mine Safety and Health Academy in Beckley, West Virginia preparing safety and health risk assessments for environmental remediation technologies.
While in West Virginia, Commissioner Timmerman applied and later attended medical school. While in medical school, he was awarded a fellowship to the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City working with attending staff to develop an automated computer program to identify patients at high risk for breast cancer. After graduating from medical school, he completed a surgical residency in Philadelphia and is now a board-certified general surgeon practicing in Salem County with privileges at Salem Medical Center an affiliate of Inspira, and Inspira Medical Center Elmer.
In 2016, Dr. Timmerman set his efforts on law school. He entered the Delaware Law School in 2017 and graduated in 2021. In 2021, Commissioner Timmerman was presented with the Reed Hamilton Memorial Award for excellence in the area of health care law given by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Commissioner Timmerman is a father of four children and coaches his daughter, who plays for the 10U Woodstown Girls Lacrosse Team.
Fifth Street Complex: 110 Fifth Street, Suite 400, Salem, NJ 08079 | Phone: 856-935-7510
Clerk of the Board: 856-935-7510 x8204
History of the Board
New Jersey originated the name ‘Chosen County Commissioner’
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 “County Commissioners.”
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 “County Commissioner.” He sat with the lord and knights of his shire (county) in the Parliament of that day.
The name “County Commissioner” 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 “County Commissioner” prominently mentioned. In the first archives of East Jersey, signed and dated, we discover the origin of the name “Chosen County Commissioner.” 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 County Commissioners” 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 County Commissioners. 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.
We will ensure public trust through honesty, fairness, consistency, follow-through and our continued commitment to the County’s culture and diversity.
We will prudently manage County financial resources.
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.
We will deliver innovative actions designed to grow a vibrant local and regional economy while preserving our natural resources.