Correct-HAND Person: For the previous 17 months, Stafford Township Administrator Matt von der Hayden (left) and Mayor Greg Myhre have produced various refined enhancements in town authorities. (Picture by David Biggy)
When Greg Myhre stepped into his purpose as Stafford Township’s mayor, he also experienced to fill the position of township administrator while the town council searched for a new administrator to substitute Jim Moran, who retired in December 2018.
“I was thrown into the fireplace, for certain, but it was wonderful for me,” explained Myhre. “Fortunately, we have a whole lot of wonderful division heads in city and fantastic personnel across the board, so I figured out a ton in the several months I was in that purpose. However, it did not just take too extensive right before I recognized we essential the assistance of a total-time administrator.”
A several months afterwards, on April 1, 2019, Matt von der Hayden still left his deputy administrator place in Egg Harbor Township to be part of the new mayor and council in main Stafford. For the past 17 months he and Myhre have formulated a strong partnership.
“Working with the mayor has gone actually very well,” explained von der Hayden, whose formidable science history – he has a degree in chemistry and biology – and prior encounter as capital preparing supervisor in Ocean City, alongside with his advancement in city business with Egg Harbor Township, have been feasible property to the council. “We speak on a regular foundation, almost each day. We do a whole lot of things that enjoy off each and every other, and that assists us when dealing with the a variety of departments inside the township.”
Immediately on arrival to their positions, Myhre and von der Hayden sought to improve interaction between the township’s departments, as properly as communicating data to the general public. When the mayor-administrator tandem had develop into at ease with all the gamers on the Stafford Township team, they began operating alongside one another to make the communication superior.
“In a city of 28,000, with a funds our dimensions, about $49 million, and upwards of 200 employees, there is a whole lot likely on working day to day,” Myhre said. “Matt’s taken care of every little thing very well, so far, and whilst there is a lot to say for institutional understanding, there’s as a great deal to say about bringing in outside viewpoints and outside encounter. That is what Matt introduced us – a new standpoint. And correct absent, he set that standpoint to perform.”
In addition to assisting Myhre in having significant data to the community by means of the town’s site and social media existence, von der Hayden’s knowledge in Ocean City served him develop into common with the procedures within each individual office, and how to cultivate good performing relationships amongst them, as well as push refined improvements among the team.
“One issue that is actually helped listed here is we have manufactured it critical to have better inner communication,” he mentioned. “But I also preferred to make guaranteed we did general performance evaluations, not as a means of declaring, ‘Hey, you are not carrying out a bad work. You are undertaking a fantastic task, but these are points you perhaps boost on.’ That component of it was extra about speaking to our staff that we want to attempt to make ourselves much better as we serve the public.”
So far, so excellent, specially specified the a lot more than a dozen retirements inside of city hall through the earlier calendar year – the town has not shed a conquer as others have stepped into individuals roles.
“Along with functionality evaluations, it was important to prepare folks to action up and go to the subsequent level, to get them going in a route where by they’d get improved at the issues that will support them superior serve the general public,” von der Hayden said. “Some work opportunities require selected certifications and distinct skills to adequately conduct these functions within the township. But the dilemma is whether or not you’ve adequately skilled the team so they are ready for when the individual retiring is not right here anymore. We’re continuing to work on that, so the personnel are organized to go into the next 5 to 10 a long time.”
Over and above streamlining the coaching and communication, Myhre and von der Hayden thought it was greatest to prepare the township for the more time haul of 10 years. For that facet, the pair worked diligently in acquiring additional interactions with county, point out and regional businesses to placement city officials to tap into offered assets which could benefit Stafford. They also made a 10-yr funds strategy, centered on advice by von der Hayden.
“One definitely good thing to remaining the mayor-administrator proper away was that I could discover spots the place a little something may possibly have offered the overall look of saving us funds, but when you looked further into it, you discovered out you are not actually saving everything,” Myhre stated. “So a single of the objectives proper away was to boost matters in that regard. We wished to make guaranteed we were not wasting dollars on matters that weren’t required.”
Von der Hayden mentioned the capital program was vital for extended-time period scheduling.
“Typically, a city looks at 5 or six a long time out, but to get a far better concept of where by the township was going, I desired to glimpse a tiny farther,” he said. “One factor the governing human body required was to get a much better bond score. But to do that, you have to know the place you are likely for the for a longer time term. Without the need of that very long-time period strategy, the governing physique seriously cannot program properly for matters.”
Of study course, organizing for one particular direction sometimes can get its twists and turns. Final year’s flooding issues in July, and then COVID-19, proved the requirement for a city administration to be flexible in its development ahead.
“There’s a large amount of juggling that goes on within the administrative offices,” Myhre mentioned. “You can program all you want, but you have to be well prepared to make one thing else a priority centered on present-day situation. From time to time you have to move a little something to the entrance of the line on the priority listing. You usually have to keep knowledgeable of what the opportunity issues are and plan to deal with them accordingly. And if you’re not spending notice, factors can develop into challenges more quickly than you want to know.”
All round, now that he had approximately a calendar year and a 50 percent to oversee the town procedure in more depth, von der Hayden is confident Stafford Township is in primary place to excel.
“The workers listed here is excellent,” he said. “We have best-notch men and women doing work in all our departments, and we know we can trust them and count on them. These are individuals who consider terrific pride in how the town capabilities and really enjoy the township and its persons. And the way the group comes collectively listed here is extraordinary. It is astounding to see how the individuals here enable every single other. To me, it appears to be that’s for the reason that they all want what’s finest for Stafford.”