CRANFORD – Township Administrator Joseph M. Hartnett is resigning from his position, according to a report by the Cranford Patch.
In his letter printed by the Patch, Hartnett cited philosophical differences over how Cranford should be managed as the reason for his decision and suggested that township residents should consider a change in their form of government.
Cranford is governed by a committee, with five elected commissioners serving three-year terms. The commissioners choose a mayor and deputy mayor on an annual basis, and the township is managed on a day-to-day basis by the township administrator and department heads.
In most other forms of local government in New Jersey, voters directly elect a mayor and members of a council, which serves as the municipality’s legislative body.
Hartnett, who served 20 years as Rahway’s municipal administrator, took over the interim administrator position in January. He retired as Montclair’s township manager in 2010.
“I will do everything possible to provide for a smooth transition and have offered to stay on to do that. I intend to leave the Township in much better shape than I found it and headed in the right direction,” said Hartnett. “I thank the Mayor and Township Committee for the opportunity to serve Cranford. Finally, I encourage the citizens of Cranford to pursue changing the form of government to one better suited to effectively and efficiently managing an organization of this size in this day and age.”
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