Village resumes search for business administrator

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange has had to begin anew its search for a village administrator after Steve Gallo, who was supposed to assume the position in September, has had to step aside. The village had chosen Gallo to replace Barry Lewis Jr., who had been administrator in South Orange for six years before leaving the post in February to assume the same role in Livingston.

“It is with great disappointment that I share Mr. Steve Gallo, who was scheduled to take the reigns as our next Village Administrator this month, will no longer be able to join us,” village President Sheena Collum wrote in an Aug. 22 letter to the community. “As you likely know, I was very excited about Mr. Gallo given his extensive experience in municipal management, capital projects, overseeing water and sewer utilities, redevelopment, shared services, and master planning. Most importantly, Mr. Gallo shared an enthusiasm for the type of inclusive and progressive community we are that values the public input and team spirit we’re cultivated to make our unique village even better. It certainly was a great fit and that sentiment was shared by my colleagues on the Board of Trustees and municipal department heads who joined in this recruitment process.”

Nevertheless, Gallo has had to decline the position due to personal reasons.

“Mr. Gallo received news, relating to his family and personal life, that would understandably prevent him from taking on this new opportunity,” Collum wrote. “We have wished him and his family our best and fortunately for us, we now have a new friend who will always be welcome in our community.”

Until a new administrator can be found, Deputy Administrator Adam Loehner will continue to oversee administration duties for the village.

“I will keep you apprised of our next steps,” Collum wrote. “In the interim, know that I and the Board are committed to pushing forward with our various initiatives and continuing to work with staff to ensure the highest level of customer service and response to our community’s needs. Thank you for your patience during our time of reorganization and transition.”