2013-02-14 / Front Page

Holmdel appoints new administrator

Former Franklin Twp. manager begins work Feb. 19; will draw $120K salary
BY KEITH HEUMILLER
Staff Writer

HOLMDEL — Holmdel’s governing body has selected Donna Vieiro, the assistant township manager of Franklin Township in Somerset County, to become the township’s new municipal administrator.

Vieiro, appointed by the Holmdel Township Committee during the Feb. 5 agenda meeting, will officially begin work on Feb. 19, said Mayor Patrick Impreveduto last week.

“She was one of about 40 who applied for the position and one of two finalists. She really stood out,” Impreveduto said in a Feb. 7 interview.

“She’s the complete package. She has experience in revenue generation, preserving open space, everything we were looking for. We were fortunate to get someone like her.”

Vieiro will take over for acting Township Administrator and Township Clerk Maureen Doloughty, who has held the position on an interim basis since former Administrator Andy Katz left office on medical leave in November. Katz officially resigned later that month.

Impreveduto said Vieiro was selected following a second round of interviews held at the end of January. In addition to her professional experience with economics, redevelopment, bargaining and other issues central to the township’s operation, Vieiro is aware of the big projects currently facing Holmdel, he said.

“We discussed a lot of things during the interview process. Lucent was one, increasing revenue was one. We discussed management style, things of that nature. She is definitely prepared.”

Development plans for the 472-acre Alcatel Lucent property on Crawfords Corner Road have been of particular interest to township officials and residents for years. Township professionals and committee members are currently engaged in discussions with Somerset Development, the Lakewood-based company that agreed to purchase the property in October, to hammer out guidelines and requirements for the property’s redevelopment.

Somerset plans to build 185 age-restricted townhomes at the site and repurpose the 2- million-square-foot former Bell Labs building as a town center, with space devoted to commercial, professional, athletic and other uses.

Residents, Holmdel officials and proposed developers of the property have often been at odds in recent years as the township and its citizens attempted to find the best possible use for the potentially lucrative site. Vieiro, as township administrator, will be heavily involved in those discussions going forward.

In addition to serving as Franklin’s assistant township manager for multiple years, Vieiro also served as acting township manager in between professional appointments.

According to Township Attorney Duane Davison, Vieiro will be paid $120,000 per year, $5,000 more than Katz was making. Unlike Katz, she will not have access to a township car, Davison said, because that benefit is no longer available.

Katz was first appointed in September 2011.

According to the township website, Holmdel’s administrator is responsible for “the coordination of activities of the township, implementing the decisions of the Township Committee and the efficient and proper delivery of services to the community. In addition, the administrator handles the negotiations of contracts for the township, purchasing and personnel.”

The heads of various municipal departments also report to the township administrator.

Vieiro’s contract is slated to run through Dec. 31, 2014, though Davison said she, like many other municipal administrators, will serve “at the pleasure of the committee,” meaning her employment can be terminated at any time so long as the governing body votes to do so with a two-thirds majority.

For a five-member committee like Holmdel’s, a two-thirds majority would require four votes.

Impreveduto, however, said that should not be an issue.

“We are very happy with our choice. She’s personable, she’s talented and I think she is going to be around for the long run.”

One of Vieiro’s first orders of business will be overseeing the public hearing of a $1.9 million bond ordinance proposed on Feb. 5 that would allocate funds for various public improvements throughout the township.

That hearing will take place during the Township Committee’s next agenda meeting on Feb. 19.

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