TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a bill to eliminate the title “freeholder” for New Jersey public officials.

The bill also requires counties to update websites and letterheads and to accommodate the change.

RELATED STORY: Gov. Murphy: New Jersey Will Phase Out ‘Freeholder’ Title In Local Government

The title dates back to a time when only white landholders could hold public office.

“It will officially end the title of freeholder in the state of New Jersey. Effective January 1, 2021, the title will be county commissioner. Incredibly proud of that,” Murphy said.

Murphy says the change comes during a national reckoning to re-examine vestiges of government that have roots in structural racism.

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Comments (2)
  1. CD says:

    This is absolutely incorrect. The term “Freeholder” was created to emphasize that a person had a free and clear piece of land.

    The unusual achievement of so many small landowners in New Jersey was in stark contrast to the situation in England where large hereditary aristocrats owned most of the land.

    It had nothing to do with racism and everything to do with American opportunity and independence.

    That tradition has been wiped out by a Governor who not only misinterprets history, but seeks to erase it.

  2. Ric says:

    Instead of eliminating the title, Phail Murphy should have eliminated the positions. Too many layers of Government in New Jersey are what is driving outrageous tax rates and drives up spending by Socialist Democrats like Phail Murphy.

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