Township administrators said it was a long and arduous process to find a replacement for retiring chief financial officer Edward Coleman. But, after more than four months of searching, West Orange can finally welcome a new CFO — John Gross.
Gross currently serves as the village administrator and CFO for South Orange. After a unanimous approval by the township council Tuesday night, Gross will take a full-time position as the CFO in West Orange but will still continue some of his duties in South Orange.
"He'll be devoting his primary time to West Orange," said Councilman Joe Krakoviak. "I'm comfortable with that situation."
Gross will begin his four-year contract Oct. 1 with a $130,000 salary. According to the employment contract, Gross will serve as a consultant from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30 for $10,000. During this interim he will work with the current CFO and the township to familiarize himself with his new role.
The contract outlines that Gross will still provide services to South Orange as long as it does not exceed 10 hours a week and does not interfere with his job in West Orange.
Taking the podium, Gross said these were "very challenging times and very difficult times" but that he hoped to do some restructuring in government.
Jack Sayers, business administrator for the township, said Gross is "well qualified" and "well recommended" for the position but has "big shoes to fill."
Joanna Gagliardo was also unanimously approved by the township council as West Orange's new tax collector.
Continue to check Patch for more information on Tuesday night's township council meeting.