New city administrator to be appointed

The City Council is scheduled to approve the appointment of a new city administrator at a special meeting on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., before its pre-meeting conference at 7 p.m.

(LinkedIn)

Mayor Samson Steinman has put forth the appointment of Cherron Rountree as the next city administrator (AR-234), through at least 2014 (the remainder of Steinman’s term). She would be the first permanent city administrator in nearly a year, since Peter Pelissier left in December amid threatened litigation against former Mayor Rick Proctor, who resigned two months ago. Steinman, the Democratic municipal chairman, was appointed in late September to fill the remaining 14 months of Proctor’s term.

UPDATE, 11/9/2013:  The City Council approved the appointment Wednesday night by an 8-0-1 vote, with one abstention. Third Ward Councilman Bob Bresenhan said he abstained because he did not have time to properly vet the candidate.

Rountree, whose appointment had been rumored for a couple of weeks, has been deputy director of the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal for almost two years, where she earned $89,840 in 2012, according to the Asbury Park Press Data Universe. She also serves as a commissioner on the Union County Improvement Authority, an unpaid position. No word on what her salary will be a city administrator. The resolution to be approved tomorrow night includes a residency waiver.

Rountree has worked in various capacities within county government since 2007, according to her LinkedIn profile, including director, division of intergovernmental policy and planning; director, intergovernmental relations; and economic development specialist. Prior to that, she was director of economic development/UEZ coordinator in Roselle and served as executive director of the Union County Democratic Committee. She was in attendance at the September council meeting when Steinman was appointed interim mayor, along with other Democratic leaders, including Assembly members Linda Stender of Fanwood and Jerry Green of Plainfield, the county chairman.

The City Council approved a settlement of $163,333 with Pelissier, who stepped down as city administrator in mid-December, roughly his annual salary as city administrator. He remains redevelopment director at the Redevelopment Agency.