The post has been held by Tom Gilmour.
“ When this Mayor and Council came to serve, we had promised this city that we will do everything we can to bring about positive change in city government. One area of focus coming into office was open communication with all of Asbury Park as well as helping to spread the benefits of development to all of our residents
“In order to fulfill our promises, we review the current structure at City Hall and ask if there is a better way to align the structure with current needs. As a part of this review, we all agreed that the addition of the Communications Director position is vital so that we can provide open, transparent communication with the whole community – businesses, non-profits, seniors, housing authority, schools and the BOE, churches, community and youth centers.
“This will be accomplished through better use of technology such as ongoing improvements to the Website, an increased social media component and other communications vehicles as well as time-honored methods like emails blasts but also getting out into neighborhoods to talking to residents, participating in active constituent groups and so on. Additionally, this person will work to coordinate workforce development services. And, this role also includes duties to serve as a Business Liaison to ensure we are doing all we can to meet the needs of our vibrant business community.
“As the duties outlined in this new position had some obvious overlap with duties that had fallen under the Director of Commerce position, we considered how to realign the duties in commerce to fit the needs of the community. We were unable to justify the need for both positions and made the decision to eliminate the Commerce Department that had been established subsequent to changes the State mandated in the UEZ program.
“Ultimately, this is about re-focusing our communication, business and workforce development efforts to include the whole community which is much greater than restricting efforts on the business stakeholders exclusively.
“This Mayor and Council will continue to focus our efforts to ensure that the functions provided by city government align with the needs of the entire community. In doing so, we have also made every effort to communicate potential changes to employees who may be affected by our realignment efforts.
“It is unfortunate that this is being portrayed by some that we are somehow focused on eliminating specific employees. It is obviously inappropriate to discuss individual personnel issues in this forum, but we want to reassure all concerned that we are making every effort to achieve our goals within the constraints of a limited budget. Also, we are doing this transparently and we invite input and feedback from the community with all of these decisions.