Newly Hired Township Administrator Resigns Unexpectedly

At Monday night’s (12/12/05) Township Committee meeting, the Committee accepted the resignation of William Sheridan, the new Township Administrator.  Mr. Sheridan, who normally attends the meetings, was not present.  In his letter of resignation, Mr. Sheridan offered to continue in the position through January 8, 2006 but the Committee accepted his resignation immediately and according to people working at town hall, he has not been in his office.

In the spring of 2005, while the Township Committee formulated an ordinance creating the position of township administrator, they hired a consultant, Peter Raynor, to help locate an appropriate candidate for the job.  As this process developed, the committee moved forward with the expense of creating the office space.  For approximately $4500, an office was carved out of the downstairs meeting room and then, after an interview process that included two other candidates, Mr. Sheridan was offered the job.  He started work on July 18th.  As administrator, he was responsible for the oversight of most township personnel.  Another component of the job was to include grant writing.  While the township received no grants during Mr. Sheridan’s tenure, that is not unusual since grants are generally a lengthy processes.  He did apply for one grant from the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission for work to be done on Seabrook Rd.  Mr. Sheridan was also tasked with work on the Teamsters contract negotiations (with members of the Road Department) and pursuing proposals for codification of the township’s land use ordinance, among other things.  Both of these jobs have been left incomplete.

In creating this new position, the consensus of the Township Committee was that the position could pay for itself through anticipated additional grant money.  The new position became a topic of the recent general election when Susan Lockwood and Kristin McCarthy, who won both seats on the committee, disagreed with the committee’s actions and made the issue one of their running arguments.   Their position is that grant-writing is work that had been previously performed by volunteers, and that the $30,000 annual salary for 20 hrs per week is money that the township can ill afford.  The two had also pledged to eliminate the position if elected but at Monday’s Committee meeting, Committee Member, Rich Madden, indicated that the position would not be re-filled.  Resident, Renee Kiriluk-Hill asked why he had resigned and whether the committee had performed any evaluations of Mr. Sheridan’s work.  The news of his resignation was so recent that committee members had not had a chance to discuss these questions.

While it is clear that Mr. Sheridan knew about the campaign promises, it is not known why he resigned.  The Post has telephoned Mr. Sheridan for his comments and position, but those calls have not been returned.