NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The City Council’s unanimous vote Wednesday to create a Department of Human and Community Services will set in motion a reorganization of several of the city’s programs and services.
Keith Jones II, who has quickly risen through the ranks in his six years in city government, will likely be charged with leading the new department.
Jones was handpicked to fill the newly created role of chief of staff in Mayor Jim Cahill’s office last year.
A statement released by the city indicated that Cahill intends to select Jones to lead the Department of Human and Community Services.
It’s unclear what Jones’ reassignment will mean to the position of chief of staff.
Also left unanswered was what Jones’ salary will be in his new position.
When the question was raised at Wednesday’s meeting, Business Administrator Michael Drulis said, “The position for the department head is not approved until the department is created, so the discussion of salary and succession, we’re not at that point yet.”
The city can’t wait too long to announce Jones as the department head
Ordinance 102004 state that it “shall become effective twenty (20) days following final adoption and publication required by law.”
What is certain is that Jones would bring a lot experience and dedication to helping the city’s most vulnerable populations to his new role.
He has been an integral part in everything from the city’s Code Red and Code Blue programs to its Make It Count meter donation initiative to its efforts to get a complete Census count this year.
Recognizing that members of the city’s homeless population would be more vulnerable than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic where personal hygiene is especially important, he organized the Dignity Center in May to provide them with access to Memorial Stadium’s shower facilities.
When asked if the reorganization plan will cost taxpayers more, Drulis said that there are “no plans to spend any additional money to bring them closer together in the organization structure.”