VENTNOR – According to Mayor Beth Holtzman, Ventnor’s loss is Atlantic City’s gain. Chief Financial Officer Toro Aboderin informed the mayor on Friday, Dec. 28 that a change was in store. She was appointed Wednesday as the chief financial officer in neighboring Atlantic City.
Aboderin, who has served as Ventnor’s CFO for the last 10 years, was unanimously appointed to a four-year term by Atlantic City Council. She will also carry on the duties of the larger city’s director of revenue of finance, a position that may be abolished, Council President Marty Small said at Wednesday’s reorganization meeting.
“I was very impressed by her background and she came highly recommended by (Assistant Division Director) Cynthia Lindsay (of the NJ Department of Community Affairs),” Small said. “She was identified as someone who would be a good fit for the city.”
Small said a city committee interviewed Aboderin and he met with her on Christmas eve.
“I expressed to her that there’s no place like Atlantic City,” he said.
Aboderin will not only be transitioning from a three-member commission form of government to a nine-member city council government, but she will be also be overseeing a budget many times larger than Ventnor’s $35 million budget, he said.
Small said that due to the state oversight of Atlantic City, the state made the offer to Aboderin and the governing body ratified it.
Aboderin said she applied for the job after seeing it posted on the NJ League of Municipalities website, where her Ventnor position is now listed. Aboderin said as far as she knows, no one in Ventnor’s three-person Finance Department has the certification required to fill the position.
Holtzman said that NJ Professional Management, the agency which is providing the services of Acting Administrator Maria Mento, will recruit candidates for a temporary and/or permanent replacement.
“We wish Toro well in her new position,” Holtzman said. “Our loss is Atlantic City’s gain.”
Holtzman said NJPM could provide an interim CFO unless a suitable candidate is found for the permanent post.
“I have butterflies, but I am ready for the challenge,” Aboderin said in a telephone interview Thursday morning.
Aboderin’s last day in Ventnor will be Jan. 18 and she will step into her new office on the third floor at Atlantic City Hall on Jan. 21. She will report to Jason Holt, who was hired by the state to oversee Atlantic City’s finances. She replaces outgoing CFO Michael Stinson, whose term expired in December. His contract was not renewed.
“The position is multifaceted. Bigger town, bigger budget, but the rules are the same,” she said. “Initially, my biggest challenge will be developing a budget that carries out what the governing body wants to do while still leaving Atlantic City in the best shape possible for the taxpayers. And, that’s a tall order.”
Aboderin, who said she is a very private person, declined disclosing her new salary, but she earned $109,600 as CFO in Ventnor. She was the principal accountant for Atlantic County Public Works Department for eight years before taking the job in Ventnor.
She said she has mixed feelings about her decision to leave Ventnor. Aboderin expressed gratitude to the municipality and its taxpayers who fund the city’s operations.
“Ventnor has been very good to me. The experiences I had here have shaped me into who I am today,” she said. “I learned a lot here and really like the people I work with. But changes come.”
She lives in Mays Landing and is married with three grown children.