Asbury Park remains without a city manager, a police chief and a full-time chief financial officer and some residents say officials need to step up to the plate and get these positions filled.
Although the city has been without a permanent city clerk since February Cindy Dye, currently the municipal clerk for North Hanover, is expected to appointed city clerk at press time.
At the recent City Council workshop a resident urged city officials to fill the important positiions quickly.
“The city is like a ship without a captain. These are two critical positions that need to be filled urgently,” resident Daniel Weiss said.“You need to focus on putting the best people in place and I beg you to make this a priority.”.
Weiss also said the council needs to create a budget advisory committee, which was a campaign promise of the current council
Tony Nuccio, city’s director of community relations and social services, has been acting city manager since former City Manager Jack Kelly was not reappointed to his post at the beginning of this year. The council announced on Monday that Fire Chief Kevin Keddy will be Nuccio’s new assistant until the city manager position is officially filled.
“We are evaluating our options (regarding the city manager job). I welcome Kevin and he is one of our most knowledgeable and best employees, especially under pressure,” Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said.
Regarding the CFO position, Mayor John Moor said that there is a tremendous shortage of qualified CFOs in the state right now . He said the city will continue with Acting-CFO Richard Gartz, who is part-time, for now.
“I do not disagree that we need a full-time CFO but there is nobody out there,” Moor said.
Moor said he met recently with state Department of Community Affairs officials, who also confirmed there is a lack of qualified municipal CFOs in the state and recommended the city stay with Gartz for now.
“They are impressed with the job Gartz is doing,” he said.
Since Asbury Park receives transitional state aid into its budget every year, the state oversees the hiring and firing of most municipal employees.
Moor said that the council will create a budget advisory committee but not until later in the year because it would be hard to create the committee during the current budget process.
Anthony Salerno is currently the city’s acting police chief and Melody Hartsgrove has been acting city clerk since the recent retirement of City Clerk Stephen M. Kay.