Former Hoboken and Bridgeton Business Administrator Arch Liston was named the Interim Acting Manager at an Emergency Meeting called by the township at the municipal complex Tuesday night, Jan. 31.
Liston, 56, of Southampton, takes over for retiring Township Manager Steve Bonanni effective immediately, and becomes the third manager in as many years.
Liston will make $50 an hour and will be in place a minimum of three days a week.
He will be expected to clock in once he arrives at the manager’s office, via email to Mayor Don Purdy and the manager’s office, a new policy the township put in place. The mayor will sign his timesheet on a bi-weekly basis.
Liston has a Master’s Degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Law and Justice from Trenton State College.
He began his career as a police officer in Mount Holly in 1975 and worked his way up to the position of Chief of Police. He retired from that position, and returned to Mount Holly as the Township Manager, a position he held from July, 1999-September, 2006.
He then served as Business Administrator in Bridgeton from 2006-2010, before going on to the same position in Hoboken in May, 2010.
“He had an apartment in Hoboken and his wife and children stayed in South Jersey,” Purdy said. “It was a strain on his personal life.”
As a result, he resigned from his post in Hoboken, but wasn’t ready to retire.
When Bonanni announced his retirement on township officials said they were looking for someone from outside the area who demonstrated “excellent integrity, ethics and an understanding of the rules and regulations of township government.”
Purdy came across Liston at the state level. Members of council conducted an interview session with Liston during an executive session Tuesday night, before passing a resolution to name him Interim Acting Township Manager. Five members of council were present, with only Councilman Tom Bassford and Councilwoman Whitney Ullman not in attendance.
The township will continue to conduct a search for a permanent manager, and is accepting applications through Feb. 17. Liston is eligible to interview for, be offered and accept a permanent job.
“This is a town I could retire in,” Liston said.
Liston faced challenges in Bridgeton and Hoboken, and is aware of recent events in Galloway Township, including issues with compensatory time, turnover at the positions of Township Clerk and Chief Financial Officer and various other issues that have plagued the township over the last year.
He isn’t worried about any of those issues during his tenure.
“I have certain experience, and I can cure some of the problems in the township,” Liston said. “Over the weekend, I took a tour of the township and saw some of the economic development potential. There’s a lot of economic development potential here.”
Liston takes over following Bonanni, who served as Acting Township Manager since the previous manager was removed from his on Jan. 25, 2011.
Liston said his goal is to establish customer-friendly services and a fair tax rate.
“I want people to have faith in our government,” Liston said.
Liston has experience in a college town, as Hoboken had a strong working relationship with the Stevens Institute of Technology. He would like to see a strong relationship between Galloway Township and the
He called pursuing grants “competitive.”
“We can apply for them and see what we can do,” Liston said in response to a question from resident Anna Jezycki.
He also said he’s participated in negotiations with unions both as a police officer in Mount Holly and as a township manager and business administrator.
“I dealt with five unions in Mount Holly, seven in Bridgeton and seven in Hoboken,” Liston said.
As Township Manager, Liston signs the checks for Galloway, but the township needed to be sure someone else could sign checks in an emergency, particularly with Liston only working three days a week, Purdy said. Council passed a resolution giving Purdy the authority to sign checks Tuesday night.
Purdy said previous mayors have been able to sign checks in an emergency situation, and this resolution allowed Purdy to do the same.
Tuesday night’s meeting was originally a special meeting called to discuss the position of township manager and the operations of the clerk’s office. Township Clerk Kimberley Hodsdon is leaving her position with the township to reprise her role as Director of Human Resources in Wildwood. Her last day in Galloway is Feb. 10.
However, due to an “inadvertent error,” notice for the special meeting was not published until Monday, Jan. 30. An Emergency Meeting was called to discuss the position of Township Manager, which becomes vacant at midnight and would’ve left the township without an executive in charge of its day-to-day operations.
Only the position of township manager was discussed Tuesday night. A special meeting could be called to discuss the clerk’s office, but discussion of that issue can also take place at the next regularly scheduled council meeting, on Feb. 14.