HILLSIDE, NJ — Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss has resigned from his job as a supervisor in the Hillside Department of Public Works only two weeks after being appointed by Hillside Mayor Angela Garretson.
Vauss was hired in early September and Garretson already appointed Danny Pinto to the position in the wake of Vauss’ resignation.
“Although improving operations is my [No.] 1 priority, I am disappointed in Tony’s resignation, but understand his decision,” Garretson wrote in an email to LocalSource on Friday, Sept. 22. “He worked with my DPW staff and fit in well, he was truly eager to help move my administration forward and help me achieve several goals I set forth to complete during my mayoral tenure.”
Garretson is running for a seat on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and is backed by the Union County Democratic Committee. Her term as mayor ends this year.
Pinto, the new hire, supervised the second phase of a road-paving program in Hillside, which began during the summer.
“Danny will move into the general supervisor position immediately,” Garretson said. “He was diligently supervising the massive road-paving project but is now reassigned to take on overseeing all department responsibilities.”
Garretson said Vauss and Pinto were already working together and that Pinto could “continue to seek out” support from Vauss, if needed.
Vauss’ position had a probationary period, as do all new hires, said Hillside Business Administrator Ray Hamlin when the Irvington mayor was first hired.
Vauss did not return a request for comment via phone and email. He previously told LocalSource that his salary had been discussed, but it was too soon to tell how much he would be making at the DPW.
Vauss earns $115,000 as mayor of Irvington.
Salary has been a point of contention for some who have previously worked at the Hillside DPW.
The town recently settled a lawsuit for $60,000 with former acting DPW Superintendent Tharien Arnold, who alleged he signed an annual contract for $100,000 for the position, but was only paid $15,000.
Former acting DPW Superintendent Sandra Caceres resigned in 2016 after she claimed she had been demoted to general supervisor and offered a lower salary.
Garretson has the authority to appoint DPW employees as per the Faulkner Act, the state law which governs township forms of government.
The appointment of Vauss to the Hillside DPW was not the first time a current mayor from another town has been hired to work in Hillside. Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren worked as Hillside’s Urban Enterprise Zone Coordinator until he resigned Sept. 5 this year.