Bernard Hvozdovic Jr., Esq., has been selected to serve as the new municipal administrator in Princeton, leaving South Brunswick after 10 years.
The official appointment was scheduled to take place at the next Princeton Council meeting on April 12.
Hvozdovic has served as South Brunswick township manager since 2011 and will be starting as Princeton administrator around May 3.
Prior to becoming the manager in South Brunswick, he practiced as an attorney, advocating on behalf of municipalities and municipal employees, according to information provided by the Princeton Council on April 2.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected for this position,” Hvozdovic said in the statement. “Princeton has been my second home for over 40 years, as I have lived just over the border in South Brunswick. This will be an exciting and challenging time for Princeton as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. The residents and the business community have struggled over the last year. I am passionate about municipal government and very much look forward to working with Mayor Freda and Council. Together, we can address the adaptive challenges ahead as we look to shape the future of Princeton post-pandemic.”
Hvozdovic succeeds former Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield, who retired April 1 after six years of service. Prior to Dashield, Bob Bruschi was the first administrator of the consolidated Municipality of Princeton. Bruschi has been filling in as the interim administrator over the last several weeks and will continue to do so for two weeks into the new Administrator’s term to ensure continuity of municipal services and direction for staff.
“On behalf of the Administrator Search Committee, we are very excited to welcome Bernie Hvozdovic to Princeton as our new Municipal Administrator next month,” Committee Chair and Councilmember Eve Niedergang said in the statement. “We had a large number of very qualified candidates and Bernie clearly stood out.”
As municipal administrator, Hvozdovic is responsible for carrying out the policies of the mayor and council including planning, directing, managing and overseeing day-to-day operations of the local government’s 200-plus employees.
“Bernie’s passion for public service and commitment to Princeton were evident early on in the search as was his vast experience in dealing with the key issues that Princeton will face in the months and years ahead,” Mayor Mark Freda said in the statement. “We are excited to begin our work together.”
Hvozdovic graduated with a degree in Economics from Wake Forest University, a Juris Doctor degree from Delaware Law School, and later earned a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Harvard Kennedy School.
He is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a civil trial attorney and is admitted to practice in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, US District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
Hvozdovic currently serves on the Kingston Village Advisory Commission, providing pro-bono legal services to vulnerable populations.
The search for a new municipal administrator in Princeton was launched in January by Jersey Professional Management (JPM), a Cranford-based municipal staff recruiting firm.
Extensive efforts were made to recruit a wide range of qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds, according to the statement. JPM received 69 applicants for the position, 21 of whom were selected to complete a detailed written questionnaire.
Princeton’s Administrator Search Committee of Niedergang, Freda and Council President Leticia Fraga then selected eight candidates to be interviewed via Zoom. From that pool, two were brought in for face-to-face interviews with the full council prior to the final decision to hire Hvozdovic, according to the statement.
South Brunswick had not named its new township manager as of press time.