ROSELLE, NJ — Rick Smiley brings more than 30 years of experience in local government to Roselle as its new business administrator.
Smiley has hit the ground running, learning the ins and outs of the municipal structure in Roselle, with goals of making borough operations more efficient and focused on constituent service.
“Together with the mayor and council, we are working to create a better Roselle for our residents, both short- and long-term,” Smiley said. “I appreciate this opportunity to join this wonderful community and look forward to helping to move Roselle forward together.”
Smiley is joining the borough from Cornerstone Behavioral Health Hospital of Union County, where he served as the hospital administrator. Prior to that, he spent most of his career working as a leader in municipal and county government.
In Plainfield, the place he has called home for the last three decades, Smiley began his public service as a seasonal youth employment counselor and moved up the ranks to city administrator. In between, Smiley served as Plainfield’s assistant director of Public Works and Urban Development and director of Community Relations and Social Services.
“With my background of social service and community engagement, I feel right at home in Roselle,” said Smiley. “Municipal government is my natural habitat. I can work well with this strong administration for the betterment of the community.”
At the county level, Smiley worked for Union County’s One-Stop Career Center and was executive director of the Workforce Investment Board in Passaic County.
Smiley’s public service experience expands beyond government. He served nine years as a Plainfield Board of Education member, working to support the district’s operations that focused on academic achievement, equity and inclusion. He also served as chairperson of the Plainfield Charter Study Commission, where he studied the various forms of local government in New Jersey.
“My experience with government at both the municipal and county level has given me the knowledge to ensure that Roselle’s budgets remain responsible while holding the proper people accountable during the process,” Smiley said. “And as a fellow Union County resident, I understand firsthand the concerns of residents in regard to property taxes. We are working together to create a more affordable Roselle, with superior municipal services.”
Smiley has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Montclair State University and a master’s degree in public affairs and politics from Rutgers University.
“This administration was searching for someone with the right personality and professional experience to support our borough’s bright future. We are happy to have found those exact skills with Mr. Smiley,” said Mayor Donald Shaw. “He has already proven himself to be an important asset to our community, as we work together to tackle community initiatives.”