Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes accepts the Oath of Office from his brother, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hon. John J. Hughes, while his wife Pamela and son Sullivan look on.Full size photo

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes accepts the Oath of Office from his brother, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hon. John J. Hughes, while his wife Pamela and son Sullivan look on.

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TRENTON, N.J. - After being ceremonially sworn in for his third term Jan. 4, 2012, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes told the gathering at the War Memorial that despite the obstacle of slow economic recovery, Mercer County’s future is bright.

Hughes, a Democrat, was returned to office by the voters Nov. 8 along with Mercer County Freeholders Lucylle R.S. Walter, John A. Cimino and Samuel T. Frisby Sr. Walter and Cimino were sworn in for three-year terms during Wednesday’s ceremony, while Frisby, who was appointed to the board a year ago, was sworn in to fill a term that expires at the end of 2012.

“Together, we’ve navigated through one of the most challenging economic periods of several generations and we are beginning to see a light at the end,” Hughes said.

The County Executive pointed to recent successes such as a reduction in the size of government; a more regionalized approach to county services; and the grand opening of Capital Health System’s new hospital in Hopewell Township as well as corporate and restaurant projects, which bring the promise of new jobs.

Other reasons for Hughes’ optimism include the new county courthouse, which has provided construction work to more than 350 men and women and is on schedule to open in mid-2012, and a 9-megawatt solar field at Mercer County Community College for which the county is ready to break ground. The solar project will create 270 construction jobs and realize an energy savings of close to $1 million a year, he said.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to save Mercer County money and a tremendous opportunity to provide jobs,” Hughes said of the solar project. “Mercer County’s on the move.”

Hughes, who begins a third four-year term, was administered the oath of office by his brother, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hon. John J. Hughes. Walter was sworn in by Mercer County Surrogate Diane Gerofsky; Cimino by his father, former New Jersey state Assemblyman Anthony “Skip” Cimino; and Frisby by his mother, Jeannine LaRue, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Jon Corzine.

Like Hughes, the freeholders said they are ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Walter, whom the freeholders unanimously elected to succeed Pat Colavita Jr. as board chair, quoted President John F. Kennedy from his Inaugural Address: “’All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.’

“It’s time for us to begin,” Walter said, “because if we never begin, nothing is ever accomplished.”