NEWARK – Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada was elected Second Vice Chairman of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) at the Jan. 13 Board of Trustees meeting. The NJTPA oversees regional transportation planning and annually authorizes more than $1 billion in federal surface transportation funding for 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey.
“A well-functioning transportation network is essential to our quality of life here in northern New Jersey,” said Estrada, who joined the NJTPA Board of Trustees in 2012 and also serves as Vice Chairman of the NJTPA’s Freight Initiatives Committee. “I look forward to working in my new capacity to improve mobility and infrastructure for residents in Union County and throughout the region.”
At the meeting, the NJTPA Board selected four other members of its Executive Committee. In addition to Estrada, the elected members of the Executive Committee are: Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, Chairman; Ocean County Freeholder James F. Lacey, First Vice Chairman; and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., Secretary. In keeping with the NJTPA bylaws, DeGise appointed Somerset County Freeholder Peter S. Palmer to the position of Third Vice Chairman.
The Executive Committee provides guidance and leadership to the full Board on a wide range of planning, policy and administrative issues. It meets as needed to review financial, personnel and policy matters. Board membership is an uncompensated position.
Estrada was first elected as a freeholder in 1999 and has more than 30 years of business and public service experience. He is currently a Board of Trustees member at Meadowlink, a Transportation Management Association. Freeholder Estrada previously served on the Elizabeth Board of Education, the Elizabeth Housing Authority, and is a former vice president of the National Association of Hispanic County Officials.
Estrada emigrated from Cuba to the United States over 50 years ago and has made Elizabeth his home ever since. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and Spanish from Kean College (now Kean University) in Union.
The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs. It establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.
The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren), and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Executive Director of NJ Transit, the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor.
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