Freeholder Theodore O. Best Jr. was first elected to the Board on November 8, 2011, at the time becoming the youngest Freeholder ever in Passaic County and the State of New Jersey. Now in his second term, Freeholder Best has served two terms as Deputy Director and on every standing Freeholder committee in the county. Born and raised in Paterson, Freeholder Best got involved in public service at a very young age advocating for funding for recreation and after school programs as President of Eastside H.S.’s Student Government. Freeholder Best’s civic engagement followed him to Rutgers University where he served as Convener of the Dean’s Diversity Advocacy Board, Chairperson of the President’s Student Advisory Board, and headed the RU Voting Campaign, Minority Student Recurrent Week, Homecoming and Annual Student Leadership Summit. Building on his background in public policy, Freeholder Best moved to Washington, D.C. and served as a staffer for Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. where he worked on legislation that led to the creation of the nation’s newest national park at the Paterson Great Falls.
Freeholder Best returned to Paterson in 2008, purchased a home on the same street where he grew up and ran for the Paterson Board of Education to “help make a difference in the lives of our young people.” He became the youngest Commissioner and then President ever elected to the Board. As an advocate for young people, Freeholder Best has worked as Program Director of The Great Falls Youth Development Center and Advisor for The Paterson Youth Council. After serving for a full term on the Board of Ed., Freeholder Best returned to Paterson Public Schools as District-wide Anti-Bullying Coordinator; where he is currently employed.
A true community servant, Freeholder Best has been an active board member of the Great Falls National Historic Park Federal Advisory Commission, NJ Association of Counties, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Passaic County Board of Social Services, Passaic County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Advisory Committee, Passaic County History and Tourism Board, Passaic County Youth Services Commission, Passaic County Planning Board and many others positions within the City of Paterson.
Freeholder Best resides in Paterson and is happily married to wife Kyona, a teacher at Passaic County Technical Institute, and is a father of two children.