RAHWAY—Citing increased demands on his private security business, Freeholder Chester Holmes announced he would not seek re-election to a fifth term on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Holmes, a popular Rahway resident who will have served more than 49 years in the public sector as a former police officer, former Rahway Councilman, former Council Chairman, and Union County Freeholder, said that while he plans to leave the board at the end of his fourth term on Dec. 31st, he plans to continue to doing what he has done his entire life, being an advocate for Union County.
“I may be leaving elected office, but I will continue to serve my community in any way I can,” Holmes said, with a smile. “I have been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people in public life over the years. It has been a pleasure serving all our residents throughout this time. I would like to thank all for their support. I tried my best to provide you with the type of dignified, responsible leadership that you deserve. Public service is a privilege, and one I’ve never taken for granted.”
Holmes said it had been especially rewarding to serve the public through his tenure on the freeholder board. He spoke about having served as a chairman on the Homeland Security Committee, which has applied for and received millions of dollars in federal funds, which were used to purchase security equipment, vehicles, and special training for municipal and county first responders, and law enforcement personnel.
Throughout his term on the board, Holmes also served as an advocate for rebuilding the county infrastructure, including hundreds of bridges, culverts and well over 100 miles or roadway that has been repaved in recent years. Early in his term, he was a proponent of five-year, $10 million road improvement plan.
In other areas, Holmes also cited his support for the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation program, which has worked to preserve well over 300 acres of open space throughout the county, preserve historic locations, renovate existing and create new playing fields, and provide funding for recreational activities for thousands of children throughout the county.
In 2006, Holmes was also honored by the New Jersey Association of Counties with the president’s award for his extraordinary leadership, devotion to community service and volunteerism. A devout Baptist, Holmes also attends services at Friendship Baptist Church in Rahway, and served as a chairperson of the trustee board.