Ship Bottom Stepping Up Search for New Administrator
By the end of the year, Ship Bottom hopes to have a new borough administrator in the fold. The opening was created when Brian Geoghegan resigned last May to take over as administrator for Highlands borough in Monmouth County.
A 44-year-old retired police sergeant from Jackson Township, Geoghegan took over the Ship Bottom post in September 2014. He replaced T. Richard Bethea, who had retired after 27 years of service.
Mayor William Huelsenbeck said the borough “managed to survive” through the summer months without an administrator.
“But for the long term, it is best that we have one,” said Huelsenbeck. “In the meantime, various employees in borough hall have taken on other responsibilities and the council members have also pitched in.”
Huelsenbeck noted that Bethea actually held three titles. Besides administrator, he was also chief financial officer and tax collector. The borough split up the responsibilities, promoting Assistant CFO Kathleen Flanagan to chief financial officer and assistant tax collector Linda Ash to tax collector.
“We have been discussing whether we’ll go in-house or bring someone from the outside in,” said the mayor. “Fortunately, we have people in borough hall who are very capable of handling day-to-day operations.”
Huelsenbeck said the borough has had 35 applicants for administrator.
“Some of them are currently working as administrators, and we have others who are retired,” he said. “We have a wide variety of experience represented.”
Huelsenbeck said the borough must also decide if its wants to hire an administrator on a part-time basis as it did with Geoghegan, whom he said earned $58,000 annually.
“I think Brian did a good job here,” he said. “I’m not surprised that he left, since his new job was a full-time position. He was very helpful in recouping money lost due to Sandy and getting grants. He left us in pretty good shape.” —E.E.