Hazlet Township Committee names new municipal administrator

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HAZLET – A new township administrator has been appointed in Hazlet and is expected to join the municipal staff on Sept. 1.

During a meeting on Aug. 2, the members of the Township Committee appointed Robert Bengivenga Jr. as township administrator. Bengivenga’s appointment will become effective on Sept. 1 and he will receive an annual prorated salary of $163,000, according to a resolution.

According to municipal officials, Bengivenga will oversee the general management of Hazlet, its business functions and its activities in his role as township administrator.

Bengivenga will succeed Dennis Pino, who has served as the township administrator since 2013 and is also Hazlet’s chief financial officer.

According to township officials, Bengivenga is currently the business administrator in Phillipsburg, Warren County. He will leave that position when he begins working in Hazlet.

Hazlet officials credited Bengivenga with helping to develop Phillipsburg’s $19 million budget, overseeing all municipal departments, negotiating union contracts, supervising purchasing, advising a redevelopment committee and being involved in flood hazard mitigation as the business administrator.

Phillipsburg is just over 3.3 square miles in size and is home to about 15,300 residents.

Hazlet is just over 5.6 square miles in size and is home to about 20,330 residents. Hazlet’s 2022 municipal budget totals $24.51 million.

Away from work, Bengivenga is a member of the Borough Council in South Plainfield, Middlesex County. As a councilman, he chairs the governing body’s administration, finance and public information committees. He was initially elected as a councilman in 2005 at the age of 23.

Hazlet officials said that as a councilman, Bengivenga has gained hands-on experience working with the community and with budgets, personnel, purchasing, public works, capital improvement projects and labor contracts, as well as experience in developing a $30 million municipal budget, a $6.8 million sewer utility budget and a $300,000 pool utility budget.

Bengivenga holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Scranton, Pa. He has taken courses in municipal administration and management through the Rutgers University Center for Executive Leadership in Government and is a qualified purchasing agent.

Committeeman Pete Terranova said, “Hazlet appreciates Dennis Pino’s hard work and commitment to making Hazlet a great place to live for all these years. He has paved the way for the new administrator. Rob Bengivenga’s experience and knowledge will help take Hazlet to another level. It’s a great time to be a resident of this town.”

Committeeman Skip McKay said, “The Township Committee was happy to approve a wonderfully talented business administrator to lead us through very challenging times ahead as we deal with inflation, supply chain issues and storm water issues.”