JACKSON – It’s been almost two months since Terence M. Wall assumed the role of the township’s business administrator. In that time, he has immersed himself in the township’s issues and challenges.
Wall, a Holmdel resident, replaced Helene Schlegel who retired last year. Schlegel served in that role from December 2015 until the end of December 2018. Wall began his $145,000 position on Jan. 23. He previously served as borough business manager of Keansburg.
He also served as business administrator of North Arlington for about six years before leaving to serve as business administrator for Cranford in 2013.
Wall served as a member of the Holmdel Township Committee and currently serves as a member of his community’s Board of Education. “My wife and I have four children in the school system and I attended Holmdel schools as a child. So, volunteering on the Board of Education is a special role for me. The knowledge gained by volunteering provides insights into the management of personnel, contracts, finances and buildings and grounds for any public school that shares a similar structure.”
Since his hiring by Mayor Michael Reina and the Township Council he has worked to become more familiar with the staff, residents and the issues of the township.
Comparing his work with other municipalities to Jackson, Wall said that “every municipality, regardless of size, provides core services to the residents that they serve. For example, police and fire protection, public works, finance, construction and housing, recreation and more. So, while each municipality has its own goals and objectives that are specific to its needs, the core functions have similarities,” Wall said.
“The value of serving as a professional administrator with experience now in five municipalities is the diversity of issues presented and variety of problems solved. My hope and anticipation, is that this would bring value to meeting and exceeding the goals and objectives of Jackson Township,” he added.
Wall’s position involves overseeing the township’s various departments and being in constant communication with the heads of those departments.
“I typically meet at least once a month with each department where we get together with the Department Heads and their next in command when available. This provides open communication and transparency so we can share what programs and opportunities are in process, review key obligations such as the municipal budget, purchasing, capital projects and provide a forum for discussion on any topic that folks wish to discuss,” Wall said.
“My view is that we can do all things well. We need to be focused on excellent, polite service to the community and managing our time effectively. Key items of note are ensuring a fiscally responsible budget, providing efficient and competent service to the major improvements that have been approved by Jackson so they are a terrific success for the town and working in an open, positive and strategic way to fulfill the goals and objectives of the administration,” Wall said.
The position also involves developing the budget for the 56,000-resident community. Wall said that “a great deal of effort has been put forth by the administrative and finance team prior to the beginning of my tenure here and it’s greatly appreciated. Together, we are now fine tuning the budget to provide the lowest possible tax rate that is stable and ensures that Jackson taxpayers are provided measurable value.”
The new administrator said he appreciates the faith and confidence that Mayor Reina and the members of council have placed in his ability to perform the daily operations of the township. “Jackson is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. It’s an honor to serve the community,” Wall added.