Stafford Council Introduces New Administrator, Runs Down Township Activities, Proclaims National Volunteer Week

Mar 27, 2019
New Stafford Township Administrator Matthew von der Hayden

At the Stafford Township Council meeting of March 19, Mayor Greg Myhre addressed questions he has received about the hiring process for new Township Administrator Matthew von der Hayden, who was seated in the audience as a spectator.

Myhre explained: Consultant Paul Shives wrote an ad and posted it on the League of Municipalities website. Of 25 total applicants, Shives handed Myhre a list of qualified candidates, having communicated directly with none of them. Myhre narrowed the list down to eight, whom he interviewed by phone, then down to four. The final four were brought in for in-person interviews (the first of such interviews in the existing town hall building, Myhre noted – “Administrators tend to last a long time here,” he said). The interviews were conducted by Myhre and Councilmen Paul Krier and Thomas Steadman. Von der Hayden was the unanimous choice. The rest of council was then briefed, and everyone supported the decision.

Von der Hayden’s annual salary will be $137,000, according to his employment agreement, finalized this week. He is entitled to 15 sick days, six personal days and 10 vacation days per year. His start date is April 1.

On March 7, Myhre attended the annual meeting of the Ocean County Roads Department to discuss projects related to Stafford Township, he announced during his report and general comment portion of the March 19 council meeting.

“This was the first time a Stafford elected official or administrator has attended this meeting in 10 years,” Myhre emphasized, prompting murmurs and some sucking of teeth throughout the audience.

Discussion at the Roads Department meeting included the Morris Boulevard bridge, due to be raised a foot; and the crosswalk on Nautilus Drive near the Ocean Acres Elementary school, which may need to be made more visible so drivers slow down; as well as many ways to save money, improve safety and complete projects faster, he said.

With regard to recent volunteer fire company activity, Myhre reported 37 calls in February, totaling 72 year-to-date. Three were structure fires and two were drills (one on radio procedure and one on blood-borne pathogen awareness). Two firefighters recently sustained injuries in the line of duty, Myhre said – one required stitches for a laceration on his forehead, and the other had a concussion.

From the police, Myhre reported 2,486 calls for service: 146 were medical assists; 93 were motor vehicle accidents; 1,207 were traffic stops, resulting in 310 summonses; police made eight On-POINT referrals, 43 adult arrests (three DWIs) and one juvenile arrest; and issued 27 local and out-of-town warrants.

On behalf of the Department of Public Works, Councilman Michael Pfancook announced hot patching had been started on potholes, soon to be followed by paving; the work at the Mill Creek Pavilion is going well; street sweeping will start next month; and the crosswalks at Mill Creek Road and Charles Boulevard are freshened up and looking good.

Councilman Robert Henken announced the annual Spring Festival will take place on April 14 from noon to 3 p.m. and will offer, as always, an egg hunt, train rides, visits with the Easter Bunny, Freckles the clown, and food from Fancy Nancy.

The governing body has proclaimed April 2 Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service, and April 7 through 13 National Volunteer Week. Both are sponsored by the Ocean County Board of Social Services. The theme of this year’s volunteer week, Myhre explained, is “Engage at Every Age,” with the goal of inspiring and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. The proclamation recognizes the important role of individuals, families, nonprofits and government entities in overcoming the country’s critical challenges.

— Victoria Ford

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