Jeffery W. Foster resigned from the Wall Township Committee last week. He is applying to be the Director of Public Works for the Township and wants his application to be considered on it’s merits, not based upon his political position.
Foster was elected to the Township Committee in 2007 and served as mayor in 2012. He has been chairman of the Public Works Committee throughout his tenure.
If only a certain former Manalapan Township mayor had taken the same approach when he wanted to sell the development rights to his farm to the government.
Foster, 59, has been looking to get a municipal public works position for last the last few years. He applied to be the Director of Public Works in Belmar two years ago. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said Foster’s application was given serious consideration. “Jeff would make an excellent Public Works Director,” Doherty told MMM in a phone interview.
Foster has also applied to be an Assistant Public Works Director in Middletown. He sold his auto repair and towing business last summer. He started working as a maintence worker at the New Jersey Department of Transportation last September. “They let me use the heavy equipment,” Foster said, “I love this work. ”
Foster enrolled in the Rutgers University Certified Public Works Management Program last February. He is paying his own tuition for the program he expects to complete next May. He is pursuing his Bachelors degree at Thomas Edison University. He expects to earn his degree in July of 2016.
When the current Director of Public Works in Wall, Robert Hendrickson, announced his retirement effective September 1, Foster decided to apply for the job. He delivered his resignation from the Township Committee and his application on the same day. “I want my application to be considered like any other,” he said, “When Clint (current mayor Clinton Hoffman) first ran for Township Committee we promised people of Wall that we would only serve three terms. One year into my third term, I’m cutting it a little short, but there are a lot of good people coming up behind me.”
Foster has gone out of his way not to use political influence to get the job in his hometown. Ironically, his political service might be his biggest detriment to getting the job. Prominent Republicans on both the municipal county levels have expressed political concerns about the all Republican Township Committee awarding a well paying job to “one of there own.”
Doherty, a Democrats, thinks that is unfortunate. “It’s not that people oppose a politician getting a job,” Doherty said, “it’s politicians getting jobs that they are not qualified for and don’t perform in that is the problems. Rightfully so.”
Foster said the salary for the Wall job was not advertised. Hendrickson was paid $103,928 in 2013, according to Data Universe.
The Wall Republican Committee is meeting on Tuesday evening to select three candidates to submit to the governing body to replace Foster on the Township Committee. The selected candidate is expected to run in the November general elections to complete the unexpired term. The new committee person will join Deputy Mayor George Newberry and Committeewoman Anne Marie Conte, both of whom are running for reelection, on the ballot.
The Wall Democrats did not file candidates to run for the two Township Committee seats, but Gary Faraci was nominated via write-in vote in the primary on June 3. Faraci and his wife Linda are hosting a fundraiser for the Monmouth County Democrats featuring Senator Cory Booker on July 25.
Wall Democratic Chairman Eric Brophy could not be reached regarding whether or not the Wall Democrats would put up a candidate to run for Foster’s unexpired term. Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal said the decision is entirely up to the Wall Democrats and that he would support whatever they do.