By JOHN T. WARD
After just two and a half years, Red Bank is back in the market for a borough chief financial officer.
With the departure of Peter O’Reilly, who submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, the top two jobs at town hall are now vacant.
The council accepted O’Reilly’s resignation on a 4-2 vote following a 40-minute closed-door session Wednesday night.
Councilman Michael Ballard declined to approve the resignation, telling his colleagues, “we’re losing a good man, for the wrong reasons, and it’s another embarrassment for this council to lose more people of a great skill set.”
Ballard has previously pressed the council to hire an assistant CFO, reminding colleagues at their August 4 session that the position has been vacant “since day one” of O’Reilly’s tenure, which began in May, 2019.
“Peter and the finance office and the borough have suffered greatly without having that assistant CFO to take on some of the more mundane tasks that Peter is now forced to do,” Ballard said at the time. That was preventing O’Reilly from more fully utilizing his skills on behalf of the town, he said.
“Over the past two years multiple Borough officials have ignored Peter’s documented concerns about the Finance Department since he was hired,” Ballard told redbankgreen via email.
O’Reilly told redbankgreen that his last day on the job would be September 30, but otherwise did not comment.
Ballard was joined in his no vote by Councilman Ed Zipprich.
That spot remains open, and “there has been no recent movement on the administrator search / recruitment,” police Chief Darren McConnell, who has been serving as acting administrator in the interim, told redbankgreen earlier in the day.
O’Reilly began working at the borough after five years as Jersey City’s treasurer. He replaced Eugenia Poulos, who was fired after a closed-door, hastily-called council meeting on December 31, 2018, just hours before she would have been eligible for job tenure.
Between Poulos’s departure and O’Reilly’s hiring, the borough relied on Westfield CPA firm Suplee Clooney & Company to run the finance department on an interim basis.
On Wednesday, the council again hired the firm to provide financial management. Ballard and Zipprich abstained on the vote.