Freeholder Gerry P. Little, of Surf City, was sworn in to a new three-year term on the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders during its 2019 Organization Meeting.
Freeholder Little has been a member of the Board since 2003 when he filled the unexpired term of the late Freeholder James J. Mancini. Freeholder Little served as the Director of the Board in 2018.
As liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Services Bureau, Director Little has successfully advocated for veterans’ programs. Ocean County is home to the largest veterans’ population in the state with tens of thousands of veterans calling the County home. Under Freeholder Little’s leadership the Veterans Services Bureau also provides outreach to residents of Southern Ocean County at the Southern Ocean County Service Center making programs and services easier to access.
Freeholder Little also serves as liaison to the Ocean County Road Department, which is tasked with maintaining more than 1,600 county lane miles and also 220 bridges and culverts. The Road Department also plays a role in keeping storm drains clean which affects the health of Barnegat Bay and the County’s overall environment.
In addition, Freeholder Little serves as liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health working tirelessly to assure programs and services like flu clinics and health screenings are available to the public.
Freeholder Little was a member of the Ocean County Planning Board and the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Council serving as chairman of both those Boards until being named a Freeholder. During Freeholder Little’s tenure on the Natural Lands Council, the Board of Freeholders preserved almost 6,000 acres of farmland and natural land. To date, about 35,000 acres of open space has been acquired and approved, including farmland for preservation. He was appointed to the Natural Lands Advisory Board in 1997 and to the Ocean County Planning Board in 1992.
Prior to joining the Freeholder Board, Freeholder Little served as a Commissioner on the Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners from 1988 to 1991 during which time he served as police commissioner. Freeholder Little, since 1995, was a Councilman in Surf City. Little stepped down from his seat on the Surf City Council following his appointment to the Freeholder Board. He served as Deputy Director of the Board of Freeholders, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Freeholder Little worked as Chief of Staff for the state’s 9th Legislative District from 1984 until his retirement in 2003.
Freeholder Little has been an active member of his community having associations with the Surf City Taxpayers Association, the Arbor Day Foundation, the Alliance for a Living Ocean, the USO, the New Jersey Lighthouse Association, the Art Schwerzel Good Scout Award, the Long Beach Island Historical Association, the Friends of the Island Library and the Coast Guard Rescue Boat Association.
His associations and charitable affiliations include Marine Corps Toys for Tots, Wounded Warriors Project, the George W. Bush President Center, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, RBC Ministries and the USO. Deputy Director Little also has supported youth groups including the Cub Scouts, Little League and Pop Warner.
He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in 1969.
Freeholder Little also has a background in education. He received his BA from Bloomsburg State University and has taken graduate courses at BSU and Penn State University. He is a member of the Holy Trinity Church in Brant Beach where he serves as an usher, scripture reader and a member of the Promise Keepers.
He and his wife, Mary Lee, have two adult children.