SOUTH RIVER – With a Borough Council vote split along party lines, Mayor John Krenzel voted “yes” to break a tie and appoint Arthur Londensky as South River’s part-time borough administrator.
The action was taken during the council’s July 8 meeting.
On a motion to appoint Londensky to the position, Republican council President Raymond Eppinger and GOP councilmen Peter Guindi and James Gurchensky voted “yes.”
Democratic council members John Alai, Julie Meira and Sandra Adelino voted “no.”
Borough Clerk Bill Bray said when a tie vote occurs, the mayor will vote to settle the draw.
Krenzel voted “yes” to appoint Londensky and said, “I welcome you. Yes, we got resumes, but we already know what’s out there (and) we have Mr. Londensky. For the past six months he has held this town together and has set the course and the ship has stayed.
“He has the management skills, he has the education; it may not be formal education, but let’s face it, he has worked for the town for how many years? He knows who’s who, how things are done and he knows how to improve. This is somebody who is qualified and who has shown he is going to do a good job because he has been doing a good job,” the mayor said.
In January, Londensky was appointed as the borough’s interim part-time administrator. The July 8 vote was an appointment for two-and-a-half years.
Commenting on her vote, Meira said, “My reason is because we had 14 applications for the (position) and we did not interview one person. I’m not trying to discredit Mr. Londensky, he’s been here, he has been being his job, and nobody is saying otherwise, but we are not giving the residents a chance to see what’s out there. That’s what our job was supposed to be and we didn’t do it.”
Adelino said she voted no on the appointment because of Londensky’s lack of education, training and municipal management experience.
“Mr. Londensky is an amazing person; he volunteers, he gives back, but I just feel we needed a full-time administrator. It’s a lot of duties, it’s a lot of work and for 25 hours, it’s a lot of work for him to do,” Adelino said. “Welcome, we wish you the best of luck and my vote was strictly based on the lack of education and experience.”
Alai welcomed and congratulated Londensky for being appointed as the part-time administrator and went on to say, “We all know what kind of person you are and what you do around town. We’ve seen you wear many hats in South River, [but] like my colleagues, I thought you weren’t qualified for the position. Being a nice guy is not a good reason to hire somebody.
“I think you can handle it based on your experience being around town, but why do we put qualifications on an application for people to apply if we are not going to pay attention, that’s the only reason. I know Mr. Londensky has the ability to do almost anything and hopefully the town will flourish under your rule,” he said.
Guindi said that for the past six months, he has seen something in part that he has not seen in any other business administrator.
“You are right, he did not fit the qualifications … but he has shown us actually what a business administrator should do and yes, he is restricted to a certain amount of hours, but that is something Mr. Londensky has always done,” Guindi said. ” … I am sure Mr. Londensky is going to grow into this town and I’m sure he is going to show this town a different type of borough administrator.”
Gurchensky said Londensky has been involved in many issues and said he believes Londensky is qualified for the administrator’s position.
“We basically had a six-month test run, we took Mr. Londensky for a test drive and I think he did pretty well. I am quite pleased you are here, I am quite pleased with the process,” Eppinger said. “… In discussion with the mayor and myself, the bottom line was that it would take somebody six months to a year to come up to speed on what the heck went on here in the past couple of years.
“Now we have … the budget passed [and] … we are starting to get things done around town. We have someone on board who is a lifelong resident, a great guy, and like I said at the last meeting, I vote yes 100% for the man I ran against for mayor in 2009. He is a good man and I don’t care what his political affiliation [or] party is,” Eppinger said.
For more information, visit www.southrivernj.org/agendas/council/.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.