New Princeton administrator officially appointed

The Princeton Council has unanimously approved hiring South Brunswick Township Manager Bernard Hvozdovic Jr. to replace former Princeton Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield, who retired earlier this month.

The Princeton Council appointed Hvozdovic, who will assume his new duties May 3, at its April 12 meeting. He will be paid $210,000 for 2021. His salary will increase to $220,000 for 2022 under the terms of an agreement between the new administrator and the council.

The Princeton Council also approved a resolution that extends the term of Acting Administrator Robert Bruschi and also increases his work week from 25 hours per week to 35 hours. He was appointed to fill in as the town’s administrator after Dashield’s last day on the job.

Princeton Councilwoman Eve Niedergang, who chaired the council’s Administrator Search Committee, said she was “excited” to have a new municipal administrator begin work next month.

The agreement, dated March 29, calls for Hvozdovic to work weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and to attend various evening meetings and weekend activities. In lieu of having the use of a vehicle from the municipal fleet, he will receive a car allowance of $500 per month.

Hvozdovic, who lives in South Brunswick, will not be required to move to Princeton.

In his new post, Hvozdovic will be in charge of carrying out the policies of the mayor and council, including planning, directing, managing and overseeing the town’s 200-plus employees.

Hvozdovic has served as South Brunswick’s township manager since 2011. Before changing careers, he was an attorney whose practice focused on municipalities and municipal employees.

Hvozdovic earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a law degree from the Widener University Delaware Law School in Wilmington, Del.

Hvozdovic also earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School – also known as the John F. Kennedy School of Government – which is the public policy school of Harvard University in Boston.

Hvozdovic was chosen from among a field of 69 applicants for Princeton’s top administrative post. The town hired Jersey Professional Management to find a new administrator.

Of the 69 applicants, 21 were chosen to complete a detailed written questionnaire. Based on those results, Niedergang and Mayor Mark Freda and Councilwoman Leticia Fraga chose eight candidates to be interviewed via Zoom.

Two candidates were brought in for face-to-face interviews with the full Princeton Council. Hvozdovic was chosen to be the new administrator.

Meanwhile, Bruschi will stay on for two to three weeks after Hvozdovic begins work to aid in the transition. Bruschi’s last day of week will be no later than May 21.

Bruschi is the former Princeton Borough Municipal Administrator. He became the Municipality of Princeton’s first administrator after the former Princeton Borough and the former Princeton Township consolidated in 2013.