Toms River Appointments Questioned

(Photo by Sara Grillo)

TOMS RIVER – The Township Council appointed several positions, although a few were debated during the latest meeting.

Sharon Smith was appointed the chief financial officer. The current one, Christine Manolio, will retire in June.

Councilman Daniel Rodrick questioned the decision because he said he never received her resume to review her credentials.

“She may be highly qualified, but I haven’t seen the resume,” he said.

It’s a job that comes with a $160,000 salary, with benefits that could put it up to $200,000. Therefore, he said, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

Councilman Maurice Hill said that since Smith has a current employer, the hiring process is not as public. The vetting goes through a subcommittee of council members, and the rest of the council trusts that subcommittee’s recommendations.

When it came time to vote, Rodrick voted “respectfully, no.” The rest of the council voted “yes.”

In defending the salary, Councilman George Wittmann said Smith has been the deputy CFO at Cherry Hill, and teaches at Rutgers how to be a chief financial officer. She is a certified public accountant as well.

“If you want to get somebody with that caliber, you have to pay for it,” Wittman said.

Another contested appointment was that of Tariq Siddiqui, who was appointed to the MUA for a five-year term, which would expire Jan. 31, 2023.

The four Republicans on the council wanted Siddiqui. The Democrats nominated Neil Floor. Since there are only three Democrats on the council, Siddiqui was appointed.

Rodrick said that Siddiqui’s resume was only furnished to him that afternoon before the meeting.

Other appointments were made without any public disagreement, including:

  • Youth Advisory Council: Jason Crispin, Al Schwartz, Debbie Schwartz, Jack Reuther, Lynda Valeri, Cara Paolillo, and Police Chief Mitchell Little. These are three-year terms.
  • The Toms River Board of Health: Mary Daley (until Dec. 31, 2020), Marley Nicholas (until Dec. 31, 2020), Lisa Schlesinger (until Dec. 31, 2019), and Nancy Maguire (until Dec. 31, 2018).
  • Veterans Commission: Robert Larned, Raymond Latshaw, John Loiacono, and Tony Fontana. The terms ends Dec. 31, 2018.
  • Police chaplain, Susan Jones of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church. The terms ends Dec. 31, 2018.