ATL- HIGHLANDS – As many borough employees as possible, the chief of police, two former mayors, representative of the police associations and a host of local residents turned out for the 4 p.m. special meeting Thursday when the Mayor and Council unanimously appointed Robert Ferragina to be borough administrator at the resignation of long-time and well-respected administrator Adam Hubeny.
Ferragina will assume his new position Oct. 18 at the annual salary of $120,000.
The Long Branch native, who still lives in that city, is vice director of Community and Economic Development in Long Branch and said he applied for this position because of the opportunities it offers.
Hubeny reported that the Mayor and Council received 59 applications for the position, and the ten seemingly most qualified for the position were interviewed by a committee of the elected body, narrowing the possibilities to four candidates, all of whom were then interviewed by the full governing body.
Mayor Loretta Gluckstein said Ferragina’s experience, background and response during the interviews left little doubt in any council member’s mind he was the best choice to follow Hubeny. She noted he had prepared himself prior to his appointment by listening to recordings of many past council and planning board meetings. The vote was unanimous for his appointment and salary with all members of the governing body present.
Gluckstein also noted the applause and welcoming demeanor of the borough employees and committee members present at the meeting, and Hubeny pointed out the borough has employees who have been dedicated in their positions for as many as 43 years, with many serving more than 30 years for the borough in variou9s departments, along with some new employees as well.
In accepting applause, congratulations and best wishes, Ferragina thanked everyone for their support an said he is looking forward to his position. He conceded he has difficult and large shoes to fill and asked employees and residents to give him time to become acclimated to his position here. He said it is difficult leaving his current position in Long Branch, but added “even that became easier when I got to know the people here.” To the employees, he said he is looking forward to working with each of them.