Effective January 1, 2021, the term Board of Chosen Freeholders will no longer be used due to legislation signed earlier in 2020 by the Governor (S855) formally changing the title of Freeholder to Commissioner. The new title will be Ocean County Board of Commissioners and, Freeholder, effective January 1, 2021, will be referred to as Commissioner.
Commissioner Virginia E. "Ginny" Haines
Chairwoman: Parks and Recreation and Natural Lands
Term Expires: Dec. 31, 2022
Commissioner Virginia E. “Ginny” Haines is in her second three year term on the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, now known as the Ocean County Board of Commissioners, and served as the 2019 Board Director.
A lifelong resident of Ocean County, she brings years of public service and leadership experience to the Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Haines, of Toms River, was first appointed to the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Jan. 27, 2016 to fill the seat left vacant by Freeholder James F. Lacey.
Commissioner Haines serves as Chairwoman to the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee.
She serves as liaison to a host of county departments and agencies including Ocean County College and the Advisory Commission on the Status of Women that make the quality of life in Ocean County second to none.
As Chairwoman to the Department of Parks and Recreation, Commissioner Haines works closely with department staff in making certain the County’s 27 different park sites including two golf courses continue to provide premiere active and passive recreation areas for all County residents.
Ocean County park facilities range from sports field complexes, to off-leash dog parks, and general recreational areas for all residents. The County also provides an extensive recreation program through its Parks and Recreation Department, offering programs for residents of all ages.
The Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund, approved by voters in 1997, has resulted in almost 35,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands and farmlands being acquired and approved for preservation in the County with many more applications under review. In 2018, Ocean County preserved its largest tract yet purchasing what is known locally as the Forked River Mountains in Lacey Township – about 8,000 acres of open space. In 2019, a 3,000 acre donation was added to the site.
As liaison to Ocean County College, Commissioner Haines is a staunch supporter of quality and affordable education. She closely works with the college on various projects and is a champion of the Ocean County College Foundation providing scholarships to new students interested in advancing their educations.
Commissioner Haines also serves as liaison to the Department of Information Technology, which provides technical support to all County government agencies.
She serves as the Board’s representative to the Southern New Jersey Freeholders Association, an alternate to the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and liaison to the LACADA.
Prior to joining the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, now the Board of Commissioners, she served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery from July 1994 to February 2002. Commissioner Haines also served as state 10th Legislative District Assemblywoman from 1992 to 1994. She served as the New Jersey General Assembly Assistant Majority Whip. She also served on the Toms River (formerly Dover Township) Township Committee in 2002. She was Clerk of the New Jersey Assembly and also served as a Legislative Aide for state Senator Robert Singer.
Commissioner Haines has served in various capacities on the Ocean County College Foundation Board. She has closely worked with the Jersey Shore Council of Boy Scouts, the Monmouth/Ocean Foodbank, the Ocean County Heart Association, the United Way, the Local Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse of Ocean County.
Commissioner Haines is an active member of the Rotary Club of Toms River, the Toms River Student Loan Fund Board and the Advisory Council for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
She also has served as a speaker and mentor for the Christine Todd Whitman Excellence in Public Service Series.
Among her many awards, Commissioner Haines has been recognized with the Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Loyal Buffalo Award from the Jersey Shore Council of Boy Scouts, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ocean County Girls Scouts. She was named a Paul Harris Fellow, a Melvin Jones Fellow, New Jersey Law Enforcement Association Recognition, Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Citizen of the Year by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Commissioner Haines also is an inductee of the Lakewood High School Hall of Fame. She also is a member of the Joshua Huddy Chapter of the DAR.
Commissioner Haines is the National Republican Committeewoman – New Jersey since 2004 and is co-chair of the Republican National Committee Northeast Region since 2013. She also served as a delegate in 2008, 2012 and 2016 for the Republican National Convention and has represented the state on numerous committees.