Robert Corrales to be hands-on in new position as Evesham Township manager

Corrales was hired in late July to be the new Evesham Township Manager following the retirement of Michael Barth.

Robert Corrales was brand new to Evesham Township when he began his new position as township manager on July 29, but he’s wasted no time becoming a part of the community.

“My involvement, it’s not just going to be in these walls,” Corrales said about his job. “When I met some of the residents during National Night Out, some were a little bit shocked to see me out there. But I said I’m here to get to know the township, to get to know you. This is what I’m supposed to do.”

The friendly and charismatic Evesham Township manager has only been on the job a little more than two weeks, but he’s already attended numerous township events and started his tenure off with a visit to many of the municipality’s departments on his first day. That’s the type of manager Corrales plans to be, someone who is transparent, honest and a visible face throughout town.

“I just really want to let the residents know that they have a township manager who is going to care for them and their needs,” he said. “We’ll make it work and elevate Evesham to the next level.”

A resident of neighboring Mt. Laurel, Corrales brings a wealth of experience working in government to Evesham. He’s held a slew of positions at the state level, working with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and as press secretary for the governor’s office during Jon Corzine’s tenure in office. Prior to coming to Evesham, Corrales was a senior advisor to state Senate President Steve Sweeney working out of the Senate Majority Office in Trenton.

However, Corrales enjoys working at the local level of government the most. That love was born out of his time working in Camden City. Corrales began working in Camden in 2010 during Dana Redd’s first year as mayor. During his first few years working in the city, Camden had a lot going on, with one of the biggest issues being the police department changing from city- to county-run. With so much discussion on police, taxes and the school district taking place at the time, Corrales saw his position as one where he had to build relationships with all stakeholders involved.

“I had an opportunity to kind of create something and make it my own as far as how we can build communications,” Corrales said of being Camden’s communications director. “Not just for the media, which is important, but also for the residents.”

“We built those inroads with the community,” Corrales later added. “While there was some skepticism with what was going to work, we involved them and we gave them the most accurate and up-to-date information that we could.”

Corrales’ first position dealt with much more than communications. He worked very closely with Redd, learning the ins and outs of everything going on in Camden. He began to take on more and more responsibilities leading up to 2014, when Corrales was promoted to business administrator. In that position, Corrales handled much of the day-to-day operations of the city and said that experience prepared him for his current role as Evesham Township manager.

Corrales’ tenure in Camden ended after Redd left office in January 2018. Corrales returned to working at the state level, and while he said his position in the Senate President’s office was fulfilling, he yearned to go back to local government.

“I was missing something,” Corrales said. “I saw there was an opportunity (in Evesham) and put my hat into the ring.”

Corrales was hired during a special Evesham Township Council meeting on July 23, and all of the council members in attendance said complimentary things about Corrales, with Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper describing him as a “high-quality candidate.”

“I was very grateful,” Corrales said about being hired. “It says a lot about how committed they are also. At the end of the day, we’re here to do the work for the people. We’re here to provide services. We’re here to do what we can to make the lives of the residents better.”

Corrales said his colleagues at the municipal building have been extremely welcoming in his first two weeks on the job. He said this atmosphere is something he loves about working for the township and showcases what makes Evesham Township a great place for residents.

“It’s a reflection of what the community is,” Corrales said. “It’s very tight-knit, family-oriented and very much involved. For a town this big, to see the involvement of the community and the sense of pride, it’s really great to see.”