Atlantic City Mayor-elect Don Guardian nominated Liston for the city’s Business Administrator. Council is expected to vote on the nomination on Wednesday during its reorganization meeting, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
“We were a little surprised (Liston was leaving),” Purdy said. “He did a great job in Galloway and I have total respect for him. He’s leaving Galloway in much better shape than it was when he got here. Atlantic City has a good administrator that they picked.”
Liston came to Galloway Township in January of 2012 following the retirement of Steve Bonanni.
The former Mount Holly Police Chief and Township Manager was recommended to Galloway Township by the State Department of Community Affairs at a time when it was facing multiple lawsuits from former employees and questions concerning certain township practices, including compensation payment for administrators.
He brought a tough management style to Galloway, laying off township employees in an attempt to fill a $1.2 million budget deficit after two years of furloughing employees proved to have no impact.
He also oversaw the closure of the post office and worked to help the township jump-start its economic development. Galloway recently entered into negotiations with a developer for the vacant building that formerly housed the Lenox China property.
Liston now moves on to Atlantic City, which is under state supervision. It’s also a city without a Public Safety Director after the City Council voted to eliminate that position, according to The Press.
Moran is set to serve on a transitional basis, and has experience. He’s filled in for Liston on a few occasions, including when the township was blindsided by a derecho in June of 2012.
“He has experience with emergency management and with budgetary issues,” Purdy said. “The manager has always involved the chief in township matters, and he does live in the township.”
Moran will continue to serve as the Chief of Police, but may be removed from his position on the Planning Board, Purdy said.
Purdy said it was unclear how long it would take to fill the position on a permanent basis.
“Council as a whole has to make that decision,” Purdy said.
The decision will be made by a council in which nearly half the members were recently elected. Republicans Frank Gargione, Robert Maldonado and Tim Meadows were elected to council in November, replacing Democrat Jim McElwee and Republicans Tom Bassford and Whitney Ullman. Bassford and Ullman decided not to run for re-election.
Gargione, Maldonado and Meadows will be sworn in at Galloway’s reorganization meeting on Thursday night. Purdy, who won re-election in November, is up for re-appointment as mayor, and Tony Coppola is up for re-appointment as deputy mayor.
After that, the process of selecting a new manager can begin.
“Whether it takes two months or three months, there’s going to be a lot of discussion,” Purdy said. “ … The chief is involved with the township and he has the respect of council and the employees.”