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Adam Cruz Hired as Dover’s Town Administrator

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DOVER — Adam E. Cruz was hired on June 26 as Dover’s new town administrator. He will earn $220,000 annually, reportedly $20,000 more than his salary in Trenton and $20,000 less than Dover’s former town administrator, BettyLou DeCroce.

Trenton’s Mayor Reed Gusciora announced that Cruz had given a 30-day notice and that the city had initiated the search process for his replacement.

During Adam’s tenure, Trenton has achieved numerous milestones. Under his leadership, they have balanced the budget and maintained zero municipal tax increases over the last three years. Cruz invested significantly in public safety, Trenton Water Works, and the Department of Recreation. Additionally, Gusciora highlighted that Cruz has enhanced the city’s parks and repaved a record number of streets, significantly improving Trenton’s infrastructure. While Adam’s departure is undoubtedly a loss for Trenton, he leaves behind an administrative foundation that has put the city in a stronger, more resilient position.

Adam E. Cruz

Mayor James Dodd, now in the first six months of his term, has made several key hires, which is typical for a new administration. However, political appointments often come with challenges.

The former administrator, BettyLou DeCroce, a former Republican assemblywoman in LD-26, threatens to sue Dover for $15 Million, alleging her dismissal was improper.

DeCroce was hired as interim town administrator in October 2022 during Mayor Carolyn Blackman’s administration and was made permanent in January 2023. She succeeded the previous administrator, former state Senator John Bennett. DeCroce was terminated on March 28.

Council members (then Aldermen) stated that Blackman wanted to terminate DeCroce at the tail end of her term.

Dodd criticized the Blackman administration for its incompetence but kept DeCroce as administrator upon taking office in January. However, issues soon arose.

A tort claim filed on DeCroce’s behalf links the conflict to her hesitation to place the police chief on administrative leave following the chief’s conduct at a February council meeting.

The claim details interactions between DeCroce and Dodd, who wanted the chief on leave. It culminated on March 28 when DeCroce was informed of her termination.

The claim also mentions that the mayor and council made “defamatory statements” about DeCroce’s “experience, job performance, and character.”

Dodd has strongly refuted the allegations.

“The tort claims notice from the former administrator is entirely baseless and contains false allegations against the town and me. The tort claims notice is nothing less than an attempted money grab by a public official who presided over herself obtaining an unearned $60,000 raise to bring her salary over $240,000 per year, making her one of the highest-paid administrators of any town this size throughout the State of New Jersey for a part-time position, which is how she and the prior administration classified her title in the state pension system.” (Click here to read the entire article).

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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