Henry (Hank) Stryker wears many hats in Freehold — he is the borough’s building sub-code official, fire sub-code official, zoning officer and director of code enforcement. In February, he will hang up all of these hats and retire.
A resolution confirming Stryker’s retirement, effective Feb. 1, 2016, was passed at a recent Borough Council meeting.
Stryker, who is a lifelong resident of Freehold Borough, started his employment in 1986 with a part-time position in the Bureau of Fire Prevention. In 1991, he became the building sub-code official, zoning officer and director of code enforcement. Shortly after that he added the title of fire sub-code official to the list.
“My career has been very rewarding. It’s nice to be able to work in your hometown,” he said.
Stryker has been a volunteer with the Freehold Fire Department since 1973. He has served as Monmouth County’s fire marshal for six years. Prior to that he was the deputy county fire marshal for 26 years. “He (Stryker) is a very knowledgeable and dedicated member of the borough staff, and we will miss his experience and expertise when he retires,” Mayor Nolan Higgins said.
Stryker said he was able to oversee some significant projects during his tenure.
“Turning the (former) rug mill into senior and family apartments, the 83 South Street (Freehold Commons office building) project, the Brookside assisted living facility and the redevelopment of Mechanic Street” were projects that Stryker said were important to the borough’s progress.
Stryker said the period from the late 1990s through the early 2000s was “challenging” for the community due to an influx of immigrants who were not in the United States legally, but settled in the borough.
“We had to make sure housing was safe and kept up,” Stryker said of that period.
Business Administrator Joseph Bellina said Stryker is the “consummate professional and has institutional knowledge.”
Stryker said although there will always be issues in the community, it is currently in a prosperous state.