Notable Events in County Government

No idea how wikipedia entries get created but the entry on Union County includes a section noting some dubious happenings since 2009:

In 2023, Union County agreed to honor the site in North Jersey of what local activists described as the public execution by burning at the stake of three enslaved New Jerseyans in 1741.[50]

In 2023, the county worked to revise its logo, which has had what has been described as the only county seal in the nation that depicts a woman being shot, the murder of Elizabethtown’s Hannah Caldwell by British soldiers during the American Revolutionary War.[51][52] In 2023, Union County moved to revise its county seal, asking residents to participate in an online poll to choose between two alternatives, both of which eliminate the depiction of the murder.[53]

In 2022, controversy erupted over the county’s deletion of negative social media comments made about the opening of Tëmike Park, an LGBTQ-inclusive playground, in Cedar Brook Park.[54][55][56]

In 2022, a state court found the county illegally circumvented the public bidding process in awarding contracts for the construction of a proposed Union County government building in Elizabeth.[57][58]

In 2022, county manager Ed Oatman and county director of finance Bibi Taylor sued an ex-county official and his wife for defamation.[59]

In 2015, the county was forced to pay legal fees after losing a trademark claim it brought against a frequent county government critic who used the County of Union seal on her blog.[60]

In 2011, an investigation found mismanagement of county funds in association with MusicFest, a free annual concert.[61]

In 2009, following a First Amendment challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union, the county commissioners agreed to issue a public apology for cutting off speech by a resident who was addressing the board about possible nepotism on the county payroll.[62]


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