Freeholders select Block as county administrator

Carl W. Block, who has served Ocean County for 23 years, including 17 years as deputy county clerk and beginning in 2003 as county clerk, has been named Ocean County’s 10th administrator by the Board of Freeholders.

According to a press release, Block will resign from his elected position as county clerk to become the county administrator on July 1.

“Carl brings years of private and public management experience to the position of county administrator,” said Freeholder Director James F. Lacey. “Carl is not a stranger to Ocean County government. He has been the county clerk since 2003. He is a forward thinker and showed how progressive he can be in the advancements he implemented in that office. I am sure he will bring those same qualities to the role of county administrator.”

Block will replace outgoing administrator Alan W. Avery Jr., who was appointed to the position on July 1, 2005. Avery will retire on July 1 after working for the county for more than 33 years.

“It will be a privilege to serve all the residents of Ocean County in this position,” Block said. “I will miss my work as the county clerk, but this new position brings with it different challenges and the opportunity to implement the programs and services of this Board of Freeholders, all of which make the quality of life here in Ocean County second to none.”

As one of Ocean County’s constitutional officers, Block has been responsible for the administration of a broad range of services offered by the county clerk’s office, including the supervision of the filing and recording of all documents affecting real estate ownership/ transfer throughout Ocean County, assisting residents in obtaining passports for foreign travel, and the administration of all elections within the county.

“Carl took a very innovative approach in managing the clerk’s office,” Lacey said. “The office has been recognized as the most technologically advanced in the state, using online computer indexes, optical scanning and retrieval of documents.”

As the county administrator, Block will take on a host of new challenges, including shepherding such projects as the ongoing construction to expand the Ocean County jail in Toms River, continuing the construction of the 15.6-mile linear park known as the Barnegat Branch Trail, which will run from Barnegat to Toms River, and also the expansion of the Ocean County College campus in Toms River to accommodate the school’s new partnership with Kean University.

“I have known Carl for many years, and he has my full support as my replacement,” Avery said. “He knows county government and he knows how to work with people. I know the county will be in good hands with Carl in the administrator’s office.”

Block was appointed to a three-year term as county administrator. He served as Ocean County’s deputy clerk for 16 years before his election as the county clerk in 2003. He began his public service in 1982 as a member of the Stafford Township Council. He was mayor of Stafford Township from 1983 to 2009. Block has been an Ocean County resident for more than 40 years.

From 1970 to1976 Block served in the New Jersey Army National Guard, receiving an honorable discharge as staff sergeant.

“As a veteran, Block knows the needs of the more than 63,000 veterans who call Ocean County home,” Lacey said. “That is an important perspective to have in a county that has the largest population of veterans in the state.”

Block and his wife of 38 years, Catherine, have two daughters, Rana and Lauren.