After three decades of service to two municipalities and to Monmouth County, a longtime public official has announced her upcoming retirement from government.
Barbara McMorrow, who currently serves on the Township Committee in Freehold Township, has announced that she will not seek re-election this year and will conclude her public service career in December.
McMorrow previously served on the Borough Council in Freehold Borough and on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders.
“Being an elected official means so much more than just attending a couple of meetings a month,” said McMorrow, who is a retired educator. “It means attending subcommittee meetings throughout the month, attending events and activities throughout the week and at various times during the day, it includes meeting with the administrator or with employees in various departments, and it means always trying to help residents with their problems or concerns.
“With that said, it has always been a privilege to ‘faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of my position according to the best of my ability.’ I have always taken the oath of office to heart,” she continued.
“However, a few years ago, my husband and I downsized our home, and now I am also downsizing my commitment to public service by not seeking re-election to the Township Committee. It was not an easy decision to make as I am blessed to be serving with a wonderful governing body, with exceptional professionals and with extraordinary employees.”
Before moving to Freehold Township, McMorrow resided in Freehold Borough and held her first elected position from 1989-95 as a member of the Borough Council.
In 2006, McMorrow was elected to the board of freeholders. She served from 2007-09 and was named freeholder director during her final year on the county’s governing body.
As a resident of Freehold Township, McMorrow was appointed to the Township Committee in 2010 to fill an unexpired term. Later that year she was elected to a full three-year term. She has served as mayor in 2013, 2016 and 2019.
McMorrow is the only person to have served on the governing body of Freehold Borough and Freehold Township.
“I first became an elected official 30 years ago,” McMorrow said. “I was appointed to the Borough Council in Freehold Borough, stepping down six years later when I became principal of Howell High School.
“Three years after retiring (from a career in education), I was elected to the board of freeholders, deciding after one term not to seek re-election for a second term.
“For the past nine years, I have been privileged to serve on the Township Committee. It has been a remarkable journey that has reached its destination as I leave public office and finally return to private life.
“Many people have been concerned it is my health that has been the impetus to my decision,” she said. “It is not my health. It is just my time.”
McMorrow thanked her husband, Patrick, her fellow elected officials and residents for their support.
“It is never easy to say goodbye, especially when you have worked alongside the gentlemen it has been my pleasure with whom to serve,” she said. “As I finish my final year in public service, there are poignant moments when I realize that each event is my last, however, those moments are buffered by the knowledge that the memories accrued and the friendships made will last a lifetime.
“I could not have asked for a better ‘running mate’ than my husband, Patrick McMorrow, who has always been supportive and encouraging, and who actually enjoys attending meetings, events or activities with me. There really are no words to thank him for understanding when being an elected official came before being with friends or attending family functions.
“I thank the residents who have elected and re-elected me through the years for allowing me the opportunity to serve them,” McMorrow said. “I especially thank the members of the Township Committee, Anthony Ammiano, Tom Cook, Lester Preston and David Salkin, for electing me to serve as mayor this year. I can think of no better honor than to end my years of public service as the mayor of the Township of Freehold.”