Toms River's newly appointed Business Administrator, Scott Tirella, and his assistant, former Toms River police Lt. Loring Dunton, have resigned from their positions only a month into their jobs. The responsibility of the business administrator is to be the chief of staff, preparing the township's budget and overseeing all purchasing, as well as numerous departments, including the Department of Law, and IT.
Tirella assumed the role on January 1 with a salary of $165,000. Some, including Mayor Rodrick, suggest that Tirella's departure was not a resignation but rather a planned short-term appointment.
Jon Salonis, a political consultant and long-time ally of Mayor Rodrick, has stepped into the role of acting business administrator, pending an official appointment. Salonis' salary, yet to be determined, will be significantly less than his predecessor Lou Amoruso, who earned over $200,000 during his tenure under former Mayor Mo Hill Jr.
The resignation of Loring Dunton, Tirella's assistant, revealed discord within the administrative ranks, as he criticized the leadership in a Facebook post. He described his time in town hall as a scorched earth campaign unlike anything he has ever seen. Dunton emphasized that decisions regarding organizational structure should be carefully considered and not driven by political whims. He was alluding to the mayor and council majority's plan to eliminate two police captain positions to pay for the salaries of eight new Emergency Medical Technicians.
Mayor Rodrick stated that he had limited interaction with Dunton and questioned his business acumen. Despite the upheaval, Rodrick expressed confidence in the transition and suggested that the township is ready to move forward.