The South Orange Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Stephen J. Gallo as Village Administrator at its July 9, 2018 meeting.
Gallo was chosen above 34 other applicants for the job. Currently serving as Business Administrator of Keyport, NJ, Gallo will start in South Orange during the second week of August.
South Orange Village President Sheena Collum announced the appointment, calling herself the “happiest, most chipper Village President ever” due to the announcement. Noting that the Village had been without an administrator since Barry Lewis left for the same role in Livingston earlier this year, Collum noted that Gallo “loves public service,” has “20-plus years” in municipal administration and that he had overseen a water utility during his time in Bayonne — “of critical importance to South Orange,” said Collum as South Orange is now operating its own water authority.
Collum said that Gallo was on the cover of the July edition of NJBIZ magazine (“Six years after shock of Sandy, Keyport undergoing renaissance”).
She touted his skills and experience with long-term capital planning, municipal budgeting and redevelopment.
Collum said that the Township had saved taxpayers $25,000 by not using a search firm in the hiring process; Trustee Deborah Davis Ford had run the search committee. In addition, Gallo had interviewed with all of department heads. Collum announced that Assistant Village Administrator Adam Loehner would soon to be named director of human resources.
After being approved, Gallo took to the microphone to thank the Trustees “for their confidence.” He expressed his appreciation for South Orange by saying, “When you are looking from the outside in… you recognize how extraordinary and special [South Orange[ is.” He said that he looked forward to “trying to make a great place even greater.”
Poking a little fun at himself, Gallo made reference to his size when he said he “prides himself on accessiblity” and invited members of the community to “Stop by and say hello” and perhaps dine with him in South Orange Village Center.
Collum added that the committee had looked in particular for “someone who really likes connecting with the public … not your typical bureaucrat … someone who likes to get things done and likes the outreach aspect of the job.”
Judging by the warm rapport between Gallo and the Trustees at his appointment, they met their goal.