WAYNE — Christopher Tietjen has come the distance to become the township’s new administrator.
After working in three different counties, he said he was now in the right place – and less than 3km from where his great-grandparents founded their important dairy farm. He is a descendant of the Van Peenen clan, whose former milk delivery business was a mainstay of the local economy for 83 years.
It is a “full service municipality”, he said. “It’s one of those communities that I wanted to be a part of.”
Tietjen, 31, was most recently the administrator of Hillsdale, a borough in Bergen County with a population of 10,143 – more than five times smaller than Wayne.
“It was time to take on a bigger role with more opportunities for professional growth,” said Tietjen, who grew up in Clifton and lives in Nutley with his wife, Erin, and 4-year-old son.
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Tietjen will oversee an annual budget of $85.1 million and a municipal workforce of some 400 employees.
Prior to assuming the Hillsdale post, Tietjen was the administrator of Peapack and Gladstone in the county of Somerset. He began his career as an Assistant to the Township Manager of Pequannock in September 2015. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Seton Hall University.
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Fifteen people applied for Wayne’s opening, Mayor Christopher Vergano said, and five were interviewed. Tietjen was the “best candidate for the long term”, he said, adding that he was impressed with his positive attitude.
Tietjen will receive a salary of $165,000; city council is expected to pass a resolution on Wednesday to formally approve his terms of employment.
He succeeds D. Talib Aquil, whom the mayor has decided not to renew. Former business administrator Neal Bellet replaced on an interim basis.
Philip DeVententis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.