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Don Guardian to be appointed Toms River business administrator
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Don Guardian to be appointed Toms River business administrator

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Phil Murphy at League of Municipalities

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian speaks to the crowd at the Sheraton before Governor-elect Phil Murphy addresses local leaders at the League of Municipalities luncheon on Thursday. Thursday, November 16

ATLANTIC CITY — Outgoing Mayor Don Guardian is set to be named the new business administrator in Toms River, a position that comes with a $175,000-a-year salary.

The Toms River Township Council approved a resolution at its Tuesday meeting appointing Guardian, a Republican, to the position.

While serving as mayor, Guardian received a $103,000-a-year salary. According to the resolution, he will not be required to live in the Ocean County municipality.

“I believe my experience over the past four years has helped me tremendously in preparing for this important municipal government position,” Guardian, 64, said in a statement. “Although I will still be living in Atlantic City, I look forward to commuting each day to Toms River and bringing with me all the local government knowledge that I gained over the past four years as mayor and previous 20 years as director of the local business improvement district.”

Guardian’s appointment is contingent upon current Toms River Business Administrator Paul J. Shives’ resignation Jan. 12 and the approval of a contract for Guardian by the council.

“I knew that he was going to be available and there are not a lot of experienced, mature people out there for this job,” said Thomas Kelaher, the Republican mayor of Toms River. “Toms River is the eighth-largest municipality in the state. We can’t afford to have people doing on-the-job training in that position.”

During his term as mayor, which will end Sunday, Guardian has had to deal with a state takeover of the city’s finances and the closing of five casinos.

His new position sees him return to Ocean County, where he worked at the Joseph A. Citta Scout Reservation in Barnegat Township after college.

“It completes a circle that started for me personally 42 years ago,” Guardian said. “I have nothing but great memories of Toms River and Ocean County.”

In November, Guardian lost his mayoral re-election bid to Democratic Councilman Frank Gilliam, who will take office Jan. 1.

For the past couple of weeks, Guardian had been coy about his future once his term as mayor ends. Last month, he said he was contacted by the National Republican Congressional Committee and was considering a run for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018. Incumbent Rep. Frank LoBiondo announced on Election Day he will not seek re-election.

“Over the past few weeks, I have looked into some great opportunities concerning what I would do next after my term as mayor of Atlantic City was completed,” Guardian said. “During that process, I discovered how much I really love serving residents in municipal government. To me, there really is no other form of government that can so greatly improve a resident’s life than through municipal government.”

Contact: 609-272-7046 nhuba@pressofac.com

Twitter @acpresshuba

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