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Tinton Falls mayor appoints new borough administrator

TINTON FALLS – A new borough administrator has been appointed in Tinton Falls.

On Feb. 1, Borough Council members passed a resolution consenting to Mayor Vito Perillo’s appointment of Charles Terefenko as the director of the Department of Administration and as the director of public safety.

Under the borough’s form of government, the borough administrator runs the borough on a day-to-day basis, reports to the mayor and may also act on the mayor’s behalf. The administrator is also responsible for hiring and removal of employees, and for negotiating all labor contracts, according to Tinton Falls’ website.

The most recent full-time borough administrator was Michael Skudera, whose service in the borough ended in early January 2020. Since that time, Chief Financial Officer Thomas P. Fallon had served as the acting administrator.

According to the council’s resolution, the appointments of a director of the Department of Administration and a director of public safety are authorized to be made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the Borough Council.

The borough administrator serves as the director of the Department of Administration under borough statute, according to the resolution, and Perillo appointed Terefenko to simultaneously serve as the director of public safety.

Prior to consenting to Terefenko’s appointment, council members introduced an ordinance that will, if adopted, establish the salaries for the borough’s department heads, statutory employees, and the mayor and council in 2022.

Under the proposed ordinance, Terefenko will receive an annual salary of $155,000 as the director of the Department of Administration and an annual salary of $5,000 as the director of public safety.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 15. The governing body may adopt the ordinance that evening.

According to his LinkedIn account, Terefenko has been the chief of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness since 2020.

He previously served as the director of the Office of Homeland Security at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Terefenko is also an adjunct professor at Monmouth University, West Long Branch.

Terefenko holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and police science from Seton Hall University, South Orange; a Master of Public Administration from Kean University, Union; and a Doctor of Educational Leadership from Monmouth University, according to his LinkedIn account.

Council members Risa Clay, Michael Nesci, John Manginelli and Dr. Lawrence Dobrin voted “yes” on a motion to consent to the appointment of Terefenko as the director of the Department of Administration and as the director of public safety.

Council President Tracy Buckley voted “no” on the motion and emphasized that her vote was directed toward the hiring process and not toward Terefenko and his credentials.

“I would have liked to have seen the full council included during the interview process. I will work collaboratively and enthusiastically with Mr. Terefenko to ensure his success in his role, as the success of the borough administrator is the success of the borough,” Buckley said.

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