The Bloomfield town council voted Monday night to approve hiring of its newest township administrator, Ted Ehrenburg.
Ehrenburg, the current borough administrator of Bloomingdale in Passaic County, is coming in at a salary range of $150,000 to $180,000, said Mayor Raymond McCarthy. He is expected to start in about two weeks.
The resolution to hire Ehrenburg was approved with a 3-2 vote at Monday night's council meeting. Councilmen Elias Chalet, Carlos Bernard and Michael Venezia voted yes, while the mayor and Councilman Nick Joanow voted against. Councilwoman Peggy O'Boyle Dunigan and Bernard Hamilton were absent.
McCarthy claimed Ehrenburg had met with Bloomfield Democratic Party Chairman Pete Strumolo long before interviewing for the administrator position. For that reason, McCarthy said he did not support the hire, calling it an "abdication of our authority as council people."
"I think that's wrong, I think that's something that just is unconscionable, first of all," said McCarthy of the alleged meeting. "I will not support but … I will not veto the resolution."
The mayor said he also voted against the hire because he believed two other candidates were more qualified than Ehrenburg, the former police chief of Washington Township.
"He (Ehrenburg) was good, but he wasn't the best," said McCarthy.
Ehrenburg did not immediately return messages left Tuesday morning.
Township officials began interviewing candidates for the position in October, according to McCarthy. The pool of 60 candidates was whittled down to 30, 10 and finally six.
Bloomfield's Director of Personnel Linda Malone had been serving as acting administrator after former township administrator Yoshi Manale resigned in July. Manale, who previously told Patch it was the council's "prerogative to replace" him, had served as administrator since January 2011.