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Mason Will Take On Township Administrator Job Full-Time

Cranford Police Chief Eric Mason will retire from the Police Department.

Officials announced Tuesday night that Chief Eric Mason will retire from his position as the  in order to assume the full-time job of Township Administrator — a position he's held in an "acting" capacity since September of 2011.

Mayor David Robinson made the annoucement near the end of the public Township Committee meeting on Feb. 28.

Mason's retirement will go into effect on May 31. The 34-year veteran of the Cranford Police Department took over the duties as township administrator when former administrator Marlena Schmid was placed on involuntary administrative leave in early September of 2011.

"We've spent  afair amount of time deliberating this appointment," Robinson said, adding that the decision to appoint Mason was unanimous among members of the governing body.

In looking to fill the position, the mayor said officials also contacted the League of Municipalities to discuss "best practices" and obtain guidance. One piece of advice from the League indicated that "the best candidate is the person the governing body feels most comfortable with," Robinson said.

"Chief Mason has earned that right to be considered township administrator," Robinson said.

This is not the first time a police chief has stepped into the role of township administrator. In 1999, former Police Chief Harry Wilde served in the position following the resignation of John Laezza. Wilde served as the administrator until Schmid was hired.

Mason joined the Cranford police force in 1977. He was named chief in July of 2003. In 2010, he was named president of the .

Mason took over the duties of township administrator as residents struggled to begin rebuilding in the wake of . Flooding from the storm resulted in the evacuation of town hall and several municipal departments, some of which remain housed in trailers behind the . As the acting administrator, Mason has worked with FEMA as well as state and county governments to help secure funding for the flood-ravaged township.

"I appreciate the support and the trust that the Township Committee has put in me to carry out their policies," Mason said following the meeting.

He said he will miss working as a member of the police department.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure as the chief of police," Mason added.

The exact salary that Mason will earn as township administrator was not readily available, but a approved by the Township Committee on Nov. 14, 2011 sets the salary for a township administrator between $106,390 and $148,948. Once he retires, Mason will be eligible to collect his pension from his service on the police department, as well as his salary as township administrator. Robinson said that as part of Mason's retirement package, his medical benefits will also be paid for by the township.

Beginning tomorrow, the Township Committee will begin the "rigorous process" of finding a new police chief to take over for Mason when he retires at the end of May. Anyone in the police department with the rank of lieutenant or captain is eligible to apply for the job. Letters will be sent to those officers in the next few days informing them that the position is available, and inquiring as to whether or not they wish to apply.

"The goal," Robinson said, "is to have a new chief in place by June 1."

woody February 29, 2012 at 01:54 PM
How exactly is the Police Chief qualified for this posistion? This is the kind of insider politics which continues on every level within Cranford. Whether it is for a position in the Fire Department, the Police Department, or within the township, the good old boys land the cushy, big-money jobs.
Elisa Rathbun March 01, 2012 at 02:13 AM
What a slap in the face to the former administator Schmid who stood behind the chief, and this council is destructive to the taxpayers who don't know when they had a great administrator, council members must be bored with their home lives and have nothing better to do so they volunteer their time and make these horrendous decisions. What a mess!!!!!
Marcella Wiles March 01, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Are you f**in kidding me? A graduate of the local police academy versus the former administrator, Marlena Schmid who was BRILLIANT? Last time I checked a city administrator required formal education. Schmid had graduated with honors from not one but two of the finest universities in this country. That's the person I want running Cranford. Its obvious that the current council members could benefit from some higher education. Wow! That's all I can say..who's driving?
Beth Klesh March 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Wait...What? Mason does not even have a 4 year degree in Business Administration?
Ann Marie Mahon March 01, 2012 at 10:11 PM
And how much will the double dipping cost the taxpayers of Cranford. Full salary as administrator, full pension as retired police chief, free medical benefits etc etc etc. How much is enough?
Linda March 01, 2012 at 10:57 PM
THESE SALARIES ARE OUTRAGEOUS! THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN THAT ARE STRUGGLING AND POLITICIANS ARE GETTING THIS KIND OF PAY?? I AM REALLY PISSED! THIS TOWN SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elisa March 02, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I find if funnier John Q. that you dont have the balls to post your last name but you look up others on white pages I question your connection to the Chief and the former Mayor buy the way don't always rely on white pages for it's authenticity you know what they say if it smells like a rat it probably is a RAT!!! LOL!!! LOL!!! Mr. Cranfordian.
Monk March 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM
There is nothing wrong with using a nom de plume. One legitimate purpose is to protect the author from retribution for his or her writings. When a respectful comment is met with potty-mouth ridicule, one has to wonder whether the commentor was on to something.
Gina Carlino March 02, 2012 at 01:20 PM
WOW, what hatred in this town in reading all the comments above....for a man who has served Cranford for over 30 years. Right or wrong show some respect!
Don Nowicki March 02, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I have had the pleasure of working with Chief Mason both from a community aspect and from a professional standpoint. He is an intelligent, capable, considerate and kind person who has always had the best interests of Cranford. The residents of Crandord are very fortunate to have Eric as the next Business Administrator. He will do Cranford and it's residents proud. Don Nowicki, former President - United Counties Trust Co.
Justme March 02, 2012 at 11:33 PM
He should be the one showing respect-most of the residents that he "served for over 30 years" are white, pay taxes and provide him with a pay check!
Nervouswhiteman March 03, 2012 at 10:45 AM
From the H.N.I.C. Mason: "So far, so good....didn't have to kill any white people." (Laughter) GOOD LUCK CRANFORD.....Maybe the monkey will help our town !!!
Nervouswhiteman March 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM
@ Gina. Here's your hated from a man who has served Cranford for over 30 years and I quote mason recorded conversation... Christopher (Approximately one minute into the call):"How are things going?" Mason: "So far, so good....didn't have to kill any white people." (Laughter) from the H.N.I.C. (masons other racist quote) Wake up Gina..... Or are you really Chris mason covering up your family racist trail?
Kristen March 04, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I posted this on the other story where Nervouswhite man made a similar comment: Nervous white man - or should I say Racist white man - you called another human being a "monkey", a term historically used by racists to describe African-Americans. People in our community appreciate civil discourse, not derogatory or inflammatory language. For someone who has an issue with questionable language a person used in a private conversation with his family member, it appears you have no problem spouting racist language in a public forum.
Patricia March 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM
are you kidding me?? How did this happen? Who got to vote on this matter? Who allowed this to happen?
Cali Green March 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Wow! Still shocked he has a job. I guess he restrained himself from killing any white people. Apparently, your not held responsible for things you say in your town, but to be fair, thats pretty normal in government positions. I would have lost my job that day and had to leave town.
John Calzane March 05, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Hey Don Nowicki - I guess we know where Mason did his banking? Your support of Mason is laughable - don't fall off the stool the next time you are at the Hotel.
John Calzane March 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM
What happens when the town has to enter litigation, gets sued, or Mason has to provide a deposition for any legal matters that may occur? A NJ Appellate Court panel of judges have ruled him as 'non-credible'. This is what is known as Brady and Giglio material- http://law.justia.com/cases/new-jersey/appellate-division-unpublished/2009/a3391-07-opn.html On the other hand, the court did not find Chief Eric Mason's testimony credible: Essentially, Chief Eric Mason testified that he did not believe that the storm events contributed to Lt. Wilde's suicide. He conceded that he had previously stated that, in part, Lt. Wilde had worked almost without rest, and that stress had contributed to the suicide. The court notes that these statements were made to the press immediately following the suicide. The thrust of Chief Eric Mason's testimony is that Lt. Wilde did not appear to be under any special stress. The court does not find this testimony credible . . . because of the clear insincerity demonstrated by Chief Mason when he broke down as he tried to explain his prior inconsistent statements.
Jesse March 05, 2012 at 11:05 PM
This is truly unfortunate. About eight years ago, Chief Racist's son, called him to ask how his day was going. Chief Racist replied "not bad, I didn't have to kill any white people today". These are the thoughts of the police chief who works in a town where a predominantly white population paid him his comfortable salary. Now he gets his comfy job after retiring from the police force. His remarks are sick - and I am ashamed that a clearly unintelligent racist has any position in Cranford's government. Congratulations on your retirement, Chief Racist. Hopefully you never do have to kill any white people.
Nervouswhiteman March 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I'm not at all happy with the Township Committee's decision to hire a "H.N.I.C." (the former police chief) for this job or any other job in our town. I would have preferred someone that is discussing KILLING WHITE PEOPLE and further more with more experience as a township administrator or any position in our town.We don't need this racist " H.N.I.C." sucking up our hard earned tax money.
Nervouswhiteman March 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM
How can we (tax paying Cranford residents) allow this to happen ? He refers to himself as a "nigger" and this H.N.I.C. will be our township administrator. WAKE UP TAX PAYERS
Nervouswhiteman March 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Mayor David Robinson, just wait for your election...lol This will bite you in your azz....We won't forget..
Nervouswhiteman March 17, 2012 at 06:21 PM
For those of you who are not familiar with Cranford New Jersey, or Chief Mason - you can read this court decision from 2009 where he was found to have provided "non-credible testimony" and "inconsistent statements": Google search "Wilde v. Cranford" OR law.justia.com/cases/new-jerse­y/appellate-division-unpublish­ed/2009/a3391-07-opn.html

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