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Town appoints next municipal administrator

Marc Dashield has been appointed the town’s next municipal administrator by a unanimous vote by Mayor Liz Lempert and the town council.

Dashield is currently the township manager of Montclair Township where he has served since 2009. As township manager, Dashield oversees the township Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employment programs.

Dashield explained that the similarities between Montclair and the town made him an ideal fit for the position.

“Montclair is very similar to Princeton, both in terms of the demographics and the presence of a university in town, and I think my experience in Montclair was what made me throw my hat in the ring,” he explained. “I definitely think my experience prepared me for the position in Princeton.”

He will succeed current municipal administrator Bob Bruschi, who will retire in December after 15 years of service.Bruschi did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Dashield said that he had always wanted to be a town administrator ever since he was a child because it gave him a chance to serve in the government and help the members of his community.

“I wanted to be involved in the government, but I didn’t necessarily want to be a politician,” he explained. “This position is a great way for me to do that.”

Dashield beat out a field of 15 candidates in an application process that started in July. In early September, town officials narrowed the field down to three semifinalists, who were then asked to perform several tasks associated with being the municipal administrator.

“They had us come in for a full day and experience day in the life of a municipal administrator, from making presentations, to doing Q&As, to writing memos,” Dashield explained.

His primary task will be to run the daily operations of the town and help the council make policy decisions, Dashield said. He added that he will be in constant contact with the University as partners and collaborators.

“I know that currently, we already work together on some things, like sharing services and equipment, and I think we’ll continue to engage in that same partnership,” he explained. “We’re both important members of the community, so I think it’ll be good for us to continue to work together.”

Dashield added that he had not really had the opportunity to sit down with Bruschi but explained that they were planning to sit down and discuss the issues facing the community in the near future. Dashield will start on Oct. 27, appromixately two months before Bruschi retires, in order to have a smoother transition.

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Dashield explained that he would be the municipal administrator for a one-year trial period, ending on Dec. 31, 2015.

“After that, it’s really up to the council — as long as things are working well and the council still wants me in that position, then I’ll stay on,” he said.

“What I like about the community here is that it prides itself on stability,” he said. “When they bring someone in, they really make that person feel like he or she is a part of the town, and I can’t wait to get started.”