Under the state charter, the County Executive is the chief executive officer of the county government, appointing the department heads and overseeing the activities of all departments and divisions. The County Executive form of government in Hudson began in 1976. Five of the 21 counties in New Jersey have County Executives, with others in Essex, Bergen, Mercer and Atlantic. The term of office is four years, with the current term expiring December 31, 2015.
Thomas A. DeGise
Hudson County Executive
Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise took office after winning a special election in November 2002 following a scandal that led to the resignation of his predecessor.
On his first day in office, County Executive DeGise submitted legislation to the Board of Chosen Freeholders to finally create an Ethics Oversight Board for Hudson County government.
In January 2003, the County Executive made parks, historic preservation and open space the centerpiece of his first State of the County Address, calling for Hudson to finally join New Jersey's other twenty counties in adopting an Open Space Trust.
The Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund has already helped increase the amount of open space in Hudson County’s 12 municipalities by approximately25 percent.
County Executive DeGise has made workforce development a priority, highlighted by his creation of the innovative Hudson County Summer Youth Employment Partnership (SYEP).This program brings government and business together to provide jobs and job training to hundreds of at-risk youth.
That focus on investing in Hudson’s people can be seen in the strong support for the expansion of Hudson County Community College. The school has constructed a new, $40 million North Hudson Campus directly over a light rail stop in Union City and opened a state-of-the-art Culinary Arts and Conference Center Building to house the nationally accredited program under the DeGise Administration.
Within the Northern New Jersey region, County Executive DeGise serves as the Vice Chairman of the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).
He has been honored by a host of community and civic organizations for his dedication to the environment, anti-homelessness efforts and for supporting the independence of individuals with disabilities.
Mr. DeGise was recently re-elected to a full, four-year term in November 2011, which will expire on December 31, 2015.
Prior to serving as County Executive, Mr. DeGise was Jersey City's longest serving Municipal Council President, holding that office from 1993 to 2001.
He entered public life as a community leader during the 1980's, founding the New #28 School Neighborhood Association and eventually chairing the Heights Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (HCNA), a group dedicated to improving quality of life in city's Heights Section.
The County Executive served for more than two decades as a Jersey City public schools teacher and administrator. He earned his bachelors degree in Political Science from St. Peters College in 1973.
He has two grown daughters, Linda and Amy. Mr. DeGise and his wife, Caren, live in the Jersey City Heights neighborhood where he grew up.