Rockin’ Send Off for Retiring Commissioner DeFillippo
Traditional Rocking Chair Presented at Holiday Gathering
Morris County Commissioner Kathryn DeFillippo was celebrated yesterday for her decades in public service during a holiday gathering at the Morris County Administration & Records Building, where her colleagues presented her with the traditional rocking chair for Commissioners retiring from public office.
Commissioner DeFillippo, who has served three terms on the Morris County Board of County Commissioners since 2014, when it was known as the Board of Chosen Freeholders, announced last year that she would be leaving public service at the end of this year. She has served twice as Director of the Board during her tenure.
“It was a tough decision a year ago when I announced I wasn't going to run, but it was the fair thing to do -- to let people know that I had decided it was time for me to retire … I have really enjoyed working and being a part of Morris County. Thank you,” said Commissioner DeFillippo, who attended the event with her husband, Roxbury Councilman and past Mayor Robert DeFillippo.
“I look forward now at … the younger generation and sharing with them how important it is to give back to your community, whether it's in an elected position or just coming to a meeting or doing something as simple as, you know, landscaping around the library, helping out. Do something with your community,” Commissioner DeFillippo added.
Commissioner DeFillippo served as Mayor of Roxbury Township back in 2009 and served on the Township Council from 2006 through December 2013. She also served as deputy mayor in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and was a member of the town’s Zoning Board and a past president of the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Kathy’s departure from the board at the end of this month is bitter-sweet for all of us. We share her happiness in spending more time with her family and being free to do many of the things she and Bob would like to do in life. However, this board will be hard pressed to replace what Kathy has brought to the board during her three terms since 2014 – I am talking about her intense compassion for the less fortunate in our community,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.
Commissioner DeFillippo, who is retired, served as the chief liaison to the Morris County Department of Human Services and area nonprofits after a private career as a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor that involved helping society’s most vulnerable citizens. She retired in 2016 from the board of the NJ Metro Chapter of the National MS Society after serving as a trustee for 10 years, and she was the director of a sheltered workshop for physically and mentally handicapped adults in New York.
She also worked in the insurance industry in the Washington, D.C., area, providing medical management and vocational rehabilitation services to injured workers.
“I would be remiss if I did not squeeze in the fact that Kathy was chair of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) for two years, from 2020 through 2021. She had been on the board since 2014 and was presented with a Leadership Award by the Newark Regional Business Partnership earlier this year for her service,” Director Selen said as DeFillippo was presented with the county’s traditional wooden rocking chair.
“As Kathy always said, the important work of the NJTPA is too often ignored. It oversees regional transportation planning, and it annually authorizes more than $1 billion in federal transportation funding for 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey. Kathy, we are very proud that you represented us, especially in a leadership role at the NJTPA,” Selen added.
Commissioner DeFillippo remains active with the MS Society as an advocate in government relations, and had been the driving force behind bringing the Walk MS to Roxbury in 2006, helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars to find a cure and to raise awareness for people afflicted with MS.