State Trying to Recruit Business Administrator, Department Heads for the City of Trenton

The state is casting a wide net in search of candidates to fill several positions in Trenton, a city whose administration has seen an ever changing cast of characters ever since Tony Mack took office as mayor.

Last week the Division of Local Government Services of the State Department of Community Affairs sent an e-mail out to municipal clerks and officials seeking candidates to fill the jobs of business administrator (Mack has gone through seven of them), and the directorships of the following departments: law, public works, inspections, police, and finance.

“The New Jersey Division of Local Government Services has entered into a unique agreement with the City of Trenton whereby the division will recruit qualified applicants to serve as the city’s business administrator and various department heads,” the letter reads.  “The agreement is part of a joint effort to identify a high quality team of individuals who can help bring quality
management and structural integrity back to the city on behalf of its residents.”

While the city has ordinances prescribing salary and residency requirements, the letter fro the state says that “salary and exceptions to residency requirements are negotiable.”

As a condition of accepting $22 million in transitional state aid, the Mack administration had to agree that the state would recruit candidates for the top posts in his administration.

The state has asked that anyone interested in one of the positions apply by sending a resume to: Thomas H. Neff, Director, DLGS, Attention: Tina Vignali, 101 S. Broad Street, P.O. Box 803, Trenton, NJ 08625-0803 or via email to

Descriptions of the positions follow.

Business Administrator: As chief administrative officer for city, candidate will be responsible for overseeing departmental operations.  Municipal budget of approximately $187 million.  Supervises and assists in preparation of budget and administering budgetary control.  Advises on policy matters, personnel issues and administrative problems. Liaison between administration and governing body.  Experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements. Prepare reports.  Must have excellent organizational skills; outstanding written and verbal communication skills; understand New Jersey municipal finance and New Jersey Civil Service Rules.  Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university required, MPA or other relevant advanced degree preferred.  Minimum of 5 years NJ municipal management in similarly sized municipality which shall have involved setting
organizational goals, setting policy, developing operating guidelines.

Director, Law Department: Provide legal services and advice for Mayor, City Council, and municipal departments. Must have knowledge of appropriate federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances related to municipal operations.  5 years New Jersey municipal law experience required. Member of NJ Bar in good standing.

Director, Department of Public Works: Directs a department of approximately 288 individuals.  Programs include road, sewer, water line construction, repair and maintenance; sanitation operations; traffic signal installation, maintenance, and repair; landscape and tree maintenance; water/sewer treatment; prepares annual capital improvement budget; Directs studies of public works functions; supervises use of equipment; maintains records/files; prepares reports and correspondence.  Department budget of approximately $12.2 million, plus water and sewer utilities with a combined budget of approximately $50.4 million.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.  6 years of experience in development, administration and implementation of public works or similar programs, 4 years of which shall have included management responsibilities.  Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university required, MPA or other relevant advanced degree preferred.   Certified Public Works Manager preferred.

Director, Department of Inspections: Knowledgeable in prevailing construction code, regulations, laws, Housing and Zoning ordinances.  5 years of supervisory experience enforcing municipal codes and ordinances. Construction Code official license preferred.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Police Director: Prior to his/her appointment, the police director shall have at least 5 years of experience in a responsible/supervisory capacity in public administration and policing. The preferred candidate, while not required, will also possess the following:  bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in public or business administration, criminal justice or related field.  Completion of FBI National Academy, West Point Leadership or similar program a plus.

Director, Department of Finance: The successful candidate must have a minimum of 5 years of experience in municipal finance and a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, budgeting, economics, or business administration from an accredited university.  CPA preferred. Must possess a valid certification as a Chief Municipal Finance Officer issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, grant application and processing experience, supervisory skills, experience in managing municipal budgets in excess of $150 million and knowledge of statutory requirements. The Director of Finance shall be experienced in all financial operations of the city including reviewing expenditures for compliance and developing budget and financial policies, verifying accuracy of processed fiscal actions, estimating revenues and expenditures, monitoring internal financial controls and developing budgeting systems. Municipal budget of approximately $187 million with City receiving significant Transitional Aid.   Knowledge of Edmunds system, payroll and developing budgeting systems.  Prepares annual debt statement and other statements and reports as necessary.