Princeton Council approves contract for new administrator –

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Bernard Hvozdovic Jr.

The Princeton Council unanimously voted Monday night to approve the hiring of the new municipal administrator, Bernard Hvozdovic Jr.

Hvozdovic, the current administrator for South Brunswick Township, will receive $220,000 per year beginning in January of 2022. This year his annual salary will be $210,000, pro-rated to reflect his May start date. Hvozdovic will start his new job on or about May 3.

The details of the contract were left off the council agenda on Monday night and were not revealed during the meeting. Council members said members of the public who wanted them could request a copy of the letter. The resolution the council voted on referred to an attached letter outlining the contact details, but, in fact, no letter was attached. Officials said the omission was inadvertent. Planet Princeton filed a public records request after the meeting and promptly received a copy of the letter. Public contracts are considered immediate access records under the state’s Open Public Records Act.

According to the letter, benefits Hvozdovic will receive include:

-A municipal vehicle for his use 24 hours per day.

-$500 per month for vehicle-related expenses

-$4,800 for the remainder of 2021 in lieu of medical benefits because he has health insurance via another family member.

-Family dental insurance

-Life insurance, which is included in the state pension plan.

-Pension coverage per the state’s defined contribution plan. The state’s Defined Contribution Retirement Program was established on July of 2007, under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 43:15C-1 et seq. and provides eligible members with a tax-sheltered, defined contribution retirement benefit, along with life insurance and long-term disability coverage.

In 2022, the administrator will receive 20 vacation days, 3 personal days, and 13 sick days. He will receive six days off and up to $3,000 for expenses for attending the annual League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City and the ICMA conference in 2021, and will receive nine days off and up to $5,000 for expenses for attending the two conferences in 2022.

Hvozdovic, a Kingston resident and graduate of South Brunswick High School, has served as the manager for South Brunswick since 2011. Previously, he worked as a lawyer, running his own law firm. Hvozdovic earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Wake Forest University and his law degree from the Delaware Law School. He later earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He still serves as a lawyer in his spare time, providing pro-bono legal services to children and young adults with special needs and adults with dementia and Alzheimer’s. He has also coached youth sports and mentored the South Brunswick High School Moot Court Team. replaces Marc Dashield, who announced in October that he would retire this spring. Former Princeton Administrator Bob Bruschi is serving as the interim administrator for Princeton.

Under state law, in the borough form of government, the mayor is the head of municipal government. The mayor’s role is to see that state laws and borough ordinances are faithfully executed. The mayor also presides over the council, and only votes to break ties. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by two-thirds of the council. The mayor appoints subordinate officers with council approval, and after 30 days or upon council disapproval, the council can fill posts. 

The council is the legislative body of the municipality in the borough form of government. The council confirms the mayor’s appointments and gains appointment power upon failure to confirm the mayor’s appointee or after an office is vacant for 30 days. The council may delegate, by ordinance, all or a portion of its executive responsibility to the administrator. The council may also adopt an administrative code.

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