Township has new administrator, rec director

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:33

    Council unanimously approves mayor's choices for positions WEST MILFORD - The township council approved Mayor Bettina Bieri’s only choice for administrator as well as her only choice for Community Services and Recreation director Wednesday night. Nancy C. Gage was unanimously approved by the council as township administrator. She is currently the administrator for the Borough of Florham Park and will take over in West Milford after giving notice to her employer. Her salary will be $125,000. Gage, a lawyer, was the only candidate recommended by Bieri nearly a month ago after interviewing a dozen people for the job. Former administrator Kevin Boyle left the position late in December. Bieri, who gets to make the appointment with the advice and consent of the council, introduced Gage to the council members on Jan. 7 at the executive session following their reorganization and workshop meeting. There was a resolution to hire the administrator, whose name was not made public until Wednesday night since she is currently employed by another municipality, two weeks ago at the Jan. 18 meeting. While Councilwomen CarlLa Horton and Ada Erik were willing to approve Bieri’s nominee, the other members of the council refused, saying that, while the candidate was qualified for the position, they wanted more candidates from which to choose. Bieri maintained that after interviewing the dozen candidates, Gage was by far the only one she would recommend. In the township’s form of government, the council can only approve a candidate recommended by the mayor. Still, the council did not give its consent. That changed Wednesday when the council had an unusual executive session before the meeting. When they convened just after 8 p.m., they approved both Gage and Bieri’s recommendation for Community Services and Recreation director, Jayme Mulhern. What changed Councilman Mike Ramaglia said the issue was the process, not the candidate. He said the meeting back on Jan. 7 was more of a meet and greet and the council wasn’t prepared to interview Gage. That wasn’t the case last night. “We were prepared with good questions last night,” said Ramaglia. And Gage impressed him. “The admiistrator hit it out of the park,” he added. Ramaglia said the mayor did her due diligence and provided excellent candidates for both positions. Rec director named The council also approved a new director of Community Services and Recreation. Mulhern was also approved unanimously by the council to take over the position held by Keith Knudsen. Knudsen left just over two weeks ago for the same position in another town. Mulhern previously served as an administrator in Andover and recreation director in Little Falls. She is scheduled to begin in West Milford on Feb. 13 at a salary of $75,000. Bieri was pleased with the appointments. “These two amazing women will be great assets to our township,” said Bieri after introducing them. There is still one department head position open in the township. West Milford is looking for a health director since the departure of William Wallace last month.