HomeMoorestown NewsNeff bids farewell to Moorestown

Neff bids farewell to Moorestown

Once again, Moorestown Township is on the search for a new township manager. Thomas Neff announced his departure from the position at the end of December. Come January, Neff will return to Trenton to work on the state budget. 

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“It’ll be in a place that’s closer to home [….] and in a place where I have 25 years of friendships,” he said.

Neff came to Moorestown in August 2018 following years of experience in state governance. At the time, he said Moorestown felt like the kind of place where he could continue his government service and try to make a difference. 

Prior to arrival, he served as the director for the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services from 2010 to 2014 where he regulated and approved all of the state’s local budgets. His experience working on the state budget led him to a position as Deputy State Treasurer where he assisted the state treasurer from 2014 to 2017 with the development and execution of the $33 billion state budget. From there, he served as state fiscal monitor for the city of Newark where he oversaw the city’s financial operations prior to coming to Moorestown. 

Regarding his departure, Neff said he’s leaving on a good note, and there’s not much more to his departure than he got a job offer he couldn’t refuse.

Looking back, he said the spirit of volunteerism was what he liked most about Moorestown. He said there was never a shortage of people willing to give back.

“I know every town has volunteers but not like this,” Neff said.

It may sound small to some, but his proudest accomplishment during his tenure was the recent hiring of two code enforcement officers. These officers will help enforce quality of life code and ensure people are taking care of their properties. They’ll also educate people on why certain quality of life ordinances exist.

The position wasn’t without its challenges. Neff said the most difficult aspect was the overwhelming time commitment. Township meetings often went late into the night multiple nights a week, which didn’t make for the best work/life balance. 

Chief Financial Officer Tom Merchel, who served as township manager prior to Neff, will temporarily assume the role of manager on Jan. 1 pending the township’s ongoing search. Neff said they advertised for the position on the League of Municipalities website and the due date for applicants is Jan. 10. 

What’s on his successor’s plate? Neff said it’ll be up to the new person to see that the township’s water projects are on track and completed by spring. They’ll also have to get Percheron Park over the finish line.

Deputy Mayor Nicole Gillespie said she’s grateful to have worked with a township manager as supportive and committed as Neff. 

“We’ve accomplished a lot this year and have worked our way through some significant challenges and a lot of that is due to Tom’s leadership,” Gillespie said. “I have enjoyed working with Tom and will miss him, but I completely understand why he is taking this new position and I wish him all the best.”

Mayor Lisa Petriello echoed the sentiment. She said the demands of the position could be “grueling at times,” but Neff was always positive and responsive. 

“He always had Moorestown’s best interests at heart and has contributed to making Moorestown a more vibrant community, laying the foundation for future growth and prosperity,” Petriello said. 



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