Wall departs borough

Observer Photo Terrence Wall has left North Arlington for new job in Cranford.
Observer Photo
Terrence Wall has left North Arlington for new job in Cranford.


By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent


Friday, Nov. 13, turned out to be an unlucky day for the local government of North Arlington. That’s the day it lost its top-ranking municipal employee.

Terence Wall, who served as the borough clerk, municipal administrator and qualified purchasing agent, has left North Arlington to become the township administrator in Cranford.

At its Nov. 12 meeting, the borough governing body signed off on “releasing” Wall, who, in his administrator job, serves at the pleasure of the mayor and council. Wall was tenured in the clerk slot last year.

Mayor Peter Massa, reached last week in Atlantic City where he was attending the annual N.J. League of Municipalities convention, said that Wall “had been looking for a new job for several months and last week, he told me he got an offer from Cranford.”

Massa said that Wall has agreed to be available as a “non-paid consultant” through the end of the year.

Newspaper advertisements soliciting a new borough administrator were slated to be placed in this past Sunday’s newspapers and on the League of Municipalities website, the mayor said.

The borough will be placing separate advertisements for borough clerk and qualified purchasing agent, he said.

Wall said he was one of 28 applicants for the administrator’s position in Cranford. “I am very much honored to work for the township,” he said. Wall replaces Joseph Hartnett, who was serving as interim administrator.

Wall, who was earning about $136,000 a year with North Arlington, said he has been hired, effective Nov. 16, at an annual salary of $144,000, plus a health benefits package.

Working in the Union County community will provide him with “an opportunity to be closer to where my family lives [in Holmdel],” Wall said.

Looking back on his time in the borough, Wall said he was “very appreciative of the nearly six wonderful years I spent in North Arlington. I enjoyed working with the people and residents there.”

As part of his borough legacy, Wall highlighted the securing of millions of dollars in government grants, improvements to municipal parks and playgrounds, fostering better relations with the Board of Education, laying the groundwork for a Porete Ave. redevelopment plan, and opening up communication with the public.

“I also worked hard to bridge the gaps between folks who were not necessarily like-minded to help deliver services for the taxpayers,” Wall said. “I strove to keep the administration of local government on a solid footing on a barebones budget.”

His nostalgia for North Arlington notwithstanding, Wall was known to harbor ill feelings toward the way he felt he’d been treated by a few current and former borough officials. Those complaints – along with inferences as to how that behavior may have impacted the borough – he enumerated on paper – and the borough passed them on to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. At the same time, the borough hired an outside attorney to assess Wall’s claims. To date, nothing has come of these matters.

Reminded of this chapter in his association with the borough, Wall said: “No road in municipal government is perfectly paved. … I think it’s the people [in the community] who are the ultimate bosses. And I’d like to think I served them well. Onward and upward.”

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