Spotswood council appoints new business administrator


SPOTSWOOD–The Borough Council approved a resolution appointing Ryan Michelson as the municipality’s new full-time business administrator.

Michelson will be taking over the position from Dawn McDonald, who was mentioned in three different lawsuits filed by Chief of Police Michael Zarro, Spotswood Police Captain Philip Corbisiero and former Emergency Medical Services Director David Nichols in 2019, all of which cited alleged acts of harassment and misconduct by McDonald.

Attorney Gina Mendola, who represents Zarro, Corbisiero and Nichols, said the lawsuit between the Borough of Spotswood and Zarro and Corbisiero has not been resolved.

Mendola said that both parties are exchanging discovery materials; however,
the lawsuit between the borough and Nichols has been resolved, but she can’t disclose the settlement agreement because of the confidentiality provision.
Mayor Jackie Palmer said the business administrator, by Spotswood borough ordinance, serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The prior business administrator’s services were no longer needed when a new mayor was elected, she said.
Palmer said McDonald’s last day with the borough coincided with the previous mayor, effective Dec. 31, 2020.

The council approved the resolution authorizing the appointment of Michelson on April 5 during the council meeting via video conference.

“This administration has a different vision for our borough and pursued an extensive search for the best-qualified candidate for business administrator. Specifically, we were looking for someone whose professional background and personality would fit with the current administration and our vision for the future,” Palmer said. “We had over 25 applicants with a wide range of experience and utilized a municipal recruiting firm to assist with our search.”

Michelson’s annual salary is $105,000, subject to the terms of the agreement, according to the council.

“Michelson comes to Spotswood with a wide range of experience in government and non-profit organizations. He has a Master’s degree in public administration,” Palmer said. “With over 10 years of experience and contributions in public administration, fundraising, public relations, marketing, finance and general administration, we are confident that Michelson will be a tremendous asset to our Borough. We look forward to welcoming him on April 26.”

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Contact Vashti Harris at [email protected].