The Township Council agreed to hire Tina Kraus as the new business administrator at its meeting Feb. 27..
The retired Hopatcong police captain was Mayor Howard Burrell’s choice for the job. She was promoted to be Hopatcong’s first female captain in 2012; she retired in 2017.
The council unanimously approved hiring Kraus at an annual salary of $100,000. She is not eligible for overtime.
Her contract started March 1 and runs through the end of Burrell’s term on Dec. 31.
“(Kraus) does not do this as simply a 10-month position, although the person knows they serve at the pleasure of the mayor and during the term of the mayor,” Burrell said. “This individual sees this as a second career and will be performing in a way – in terms of attitude and behavior – to ensure that a future mayor and council will view her as an asset to this municipality.”
According to the contract, she is expected to be at the Vernon Municipal Building for 28 hours a week, which includes attendance at the council’s twice-monthly meetings. Her office hours are flexible, but she is required to be accessible five days a week.
“This is not a part-time job,” the mayor said. “The person has really got to be available five days.”
She is eligible to use up to 20 vacation days a year but is not expected to use any of them during her first four months. She also is eligible for 15 sick days. Unused sick or vacation days will not be carried over into the next year, and she will not be paid out for any unused vacation or sick time.
She will not receive payments into any employee pension plan or township-sponsored employee health-care plan, a savings of about $25,000 to the township.
At the end of the meeting, Kraus thanked Burrell, Police Chief xxxxxxxxxx Young and Chief Financial Officer Donelle Bright.
Young and Bright have been serving as acting co-business administrators since the departure of Charles Voelker.
Kraus said she looks forward to working with the council and administration.
“I also want to let the community know that I plan on getting involved with their functions. I want to instill their trust in me. I am dedicated, well-organized and reliable, and I will have an open line of communication with everyone. I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life with this position.”
Kraus does not live in Vernon. The township’s code says the business administrator does not need to be a township resident at the time of approval and can continue living outside the township with the council’s approval.
“The business administrator serves for the term of the mayor, and in our form of government, my term ends at the end of December,” Burrell said. “Between now and then, if in fact, it is necessary for us to maintain employment of this high-quality person, I most certainly will seek an exception from the council if that’s necessary.”