The city council voted last night to advertise for a new city manager to replace Terence Reidy [above], as well as for a new chief municipal finance officer and purchasing agent.
The vote to advertise for the city manager was 3-2. Mayor Myra Campbell and Council members John Moor and Amy Quinn voted yes, while Council members John Loffredo and Sue Henderson voted no. The votes for a new finance officer and purchasing agent were unanimous.
In Asbury Park’s form of government, the city manager is the chief executive officer. The city council serves as the legislative body, with the power to hire and fire the city manager. New council members Campbell, Quinn and Moor, who ran together on the One Asbury slate, informed Reidy in June of their intent to replace him at some point after they took office on July 1. Reidy has served as city manager for the past ten years.
Acting finance officer Richard Gartz is also the Borough of Freehold’s chief municipal finance officer. He took over the position in November after the previous finance officer resigned in August.
The purchasing agent position has been vacant for at least a year, city clerk Steve Kay said.
“I’m very upset,” said Henderson about the decision to replace Reidy. “This is bad timing. [Reidy’s] going to leave us, and it’s going to be sooner than later. We’re going to be left with somebody leaving who knows everything about the city at a very critical time. We’ve got redevelopment that’s going to occur on the west side — we’ve got so many projects going on with redevelopment all over — and he’s the man that’s been running the city and now it’s going to stop.”
Instead of a seemingly abrupt change, Henderson said she would prefer to see the city hire a new assistant city manager since that position is now open. Reidy could then train that person to take over the city manager’s post within a year or two, she said.
“It makes more sense, there’s no transition here,” she said.
“We’re going to advertise for it, but I didn’t vote for it, so I don’t agree with it,” said Loffredo.
Reidy is “currently in talks with the city” on an exit strategy for his departure, he said.
Campbell stood by the decision to replace Reidy as one that her constituents on the campaign trail had asked of her ticket.
“In campaigning there were a lot of people that were not happy with the city manager,” she said, “so that is the result of campaigning and talking to different people.”
Council members Amy Quinn and John Moor declined comment.