LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioners Sept. 5 hired a former Longport police chief as a part-time administrator.
The board appointed A. Scott Porter to the administrative position and introduced an ordinance amending the post from full-time to a part-time and outlining duties and responsibilities. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. The board also amended its salary ordinance to accommodate a part-time administrator salary range.
Porter spent 25 years in the Longport Police Department, 10 of them as chief. According to his resume, Porter supervised 25 full- and part-time employees and an annual budget of $1.6 million.
Since he retired in 2011, Porter spent several years managing a cleaning business and three Wet Willie’s daiquiri bars in Atlantic City. He also provided executive and crowd management services for a Philadelphia based security group. Porter started his law enforcement career in 1981 as a patrol officer on the Stockton Police Department
Most recently, Porter represented the borough in contract negotiations with the Longport PBA last December.
He was unanimously appointed to a one-year term at an hourly rate of $45 and will work no more than 32 hours a week. He will supervise and coordinate all departments under the direction of the mayor and commissioners, and when directed, represent the borough in county, state and federal matters.
In anticipation of filling the position, the commission included a $40,000 line item in its 2019 municipal budget to cover the administrator’s salary.
Because there are only three commissioners in the commission form of government, two commissioners cannot discuss issues outside of a public meeting, which creates problems with communication, Solicitor Pacifico “Pat” Agnellini said previously.
Hiring an administrator would streamline operations and communication between meetings.
“A municipal administrator creates that bridge, can identify issues, obtain information, present it to the department head, get feedback from the department head, and then if it needs a decision from the governing body, bring it to the full governing body. That function is lacking right now,” Agnellini said.
Mayor Nicholas Russo said the administrator would offer protection for the municipality “in this litigious society.”
Commissioner Dan Lawler said commissioners are “decision makers” and that hiring an administrator would allow municipal operations to become “more efficient.”
Two candidates were interviewed for the post, Commissioner Jim Leeds said.
Porter will supervise employees, assist with purchasing and budgets, pursue projects and grants, and serve as a liaison to the Longport Board of Education and the Longport Public Library.
He will start working on Oct. 1.