By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
Just like “The Godfather” Michael Corleone said in the last movie of the trilogy, Longport engineer Richard Carter can again say, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
The Board of Commissioners accepted Carter’s retirement as of Dec. 31, but he may be around on a limited basis for the foreseeable future to complete certain projects.
Mayor Nicholas Russo and Commissioners Dan Lawler and Jim Leeds Wednesday, Dec. 16 presented Carter with a proclamation and the Key to the Borough, an honor reserved for very special people, Russo said.
“This key signifies the importance of Richard Carter’s commitment to the borough since 1986,” Russo said. “When you sum up what the municipal engineer does, and he is focused 100% on the health, welfare and safety of the community where he is employed, I think this is going to signify what the people of Longport think about the importance and commitment Dick Carter has made since 1986, which is a long time,” Russo said.
Carter was appointed as staff engineer in 1986 and has served with honor and distinction, according to the proclamation.
In 2018, he was honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers for his work on the Longport revetment project.
“Of all the municipalities I have worked as engineer, this has given me the greatest pleasure in performing projects for the town, working with the town and for the commissioners,” Carter said thanking them for the opportunity.
It is the second time Carter tried to retire. His first retirement announcement came two years ago, but work needed to be done, so Carter stayed on to develop and supervise some of the public projects he had started. Once serving a dual role as engineer and part-time administrator, over the last year since the borough hired Administrator A. Scott Porter, he has taken a step back from overseeing daily operations.
“Thank you for your level of cooperation, institutional knowledge, and helping me work my first year here,” Porter said.
Although his retirement will be official on Dec. 31, Carter once again agreed to continue working on a limited basis to finish up six projects he started, including installation of a new well, building a well house at the Public Works yard, the sidewalk infill project currently under construction, and completion of a beach access and maintenance plan.
“It would be much more difficult and expensive to bring in an engineer to take over the projects he is in the middle of,” borough Solicitor Michael Affanato said.
A resolution will be considered at the commissioners’ next meeting to keep Carter on to complete the six projects with a maximum ceiling amount, he said.
The commission has yet to decide if it will seek a full-time or in-house engineer or move to project based engineering.
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