LIVINGSTON, NJ – Most recently known to Livingston residents as acting township manager, Russell Jones, Jr. is also an active volunteer and community member, a dedicated public servant and an unofficial township historian.
Jones, who is often seen with his camera in tow acting as Livingston’s unofficial historical photographer, has served in the town he grew up in for 45 years. On Monday at 7 p.m., the township invites the public to an ice cream social at Livingston Town Hall to help the mayor and council thank Jones for his willingness to step in as acting township manager during the past year, and for his dedicated service to the community.
“Through both his volunteer work and his employment, Russ Jones has been a part of keeping Livingston running for 45 years, and he seems to know just about everyone in town,” said Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein. “Who better to provide stability and continuity as our Acting Township Manager during our recent search for a new Township Manager than the man who has been such a consistent force in Livingston for so long?”
In the summer of 1970, three years after Jones graduated from Livingston High School, he got his first job with the township working for the Department of Health and Welfare’s Ragweed Program.
He continued as a seasonal employee during the summer of 1971, while studying during the rest of those years to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from High Point University in High Point, North Carolina. In September of 1972, after his third summer, Jones was hired full time as a Field Representative of the Department of Health and Welfare.
Soon after, he was reassigned to the Department of Planning and Building as the Assistant Building Inspector. In 1975, Jones took on the additional role of Planning Assistant.
While working in these positions, Jones was also attending graduate school, and received a Master of Business Administration degree in Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, in 1979.
Soon after receiving his MBA, Jones was appointed to the position of Assistant to the Township Manager. He remained in that position for eleven years, while also being appointed by the Livingston Township Council as the Township Recycling Coordinator in 1987—a position in which he continues to serve.
Recognizing the value of his experience, knowledge and dedication to Livingston, the council also appointed him to the additional position of Finance Director/CFO in October 1989.
In 1990, Jones was appointed as Deputy Township Manager and Director of Finance for the township. For the next 18 years, he continued in that capacity, holding dual titles—all the while participating in numerous volunteer committees and activities, and continuing to photograph and visually document the story of the town in which he grew up.
In January 2008, Jones was promoted to the full-time position of Deputy Township Manager.
“He has continued to pursue and fulfill his roles within the Township at an enviable pace, providing input, guidance, and encouragement,” said Klein. “We knew that Russ would provide a steady and reliable guiding hand as acting township manager when we began the search for a new township manager in November 2016. When he agreed to fill that role for us, we knew we could take the time we needed to find a new manager who was the right fit for our community.”
While serving in these various capacities over the years, Jones has held various licenses and certifications, participated on a variety of committees, and held numerous memberships in professional organizations. Currently, he holds a number of State of New Jersey Licenses and certifications, including: Certified Municipal Officer, Construction Code Official, Building Subcode Official, Building Inspector ICS, NJ Certified Recycling Professional, and Sustainable Resource Management Professional.
In Livingston, Jones currently serves on the following township committees: Green Team, Recycling & Reclamation Committee, Ad Hoc Deer Management Committee, Open Space Trust Committee, 9/11 Memorial Committee and Technology Committee.
He also serves on a number of non-township committees: Commissioner on the Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund (GSMJIF), Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund Safety Committee, Essex County Community Development Representatives Committee, Essex County Solid Waste Advisory Council – and holds memberships in the NJ Municipal Management Association, International City/County Management Association and Government Finance Officers Association of NJ.
“We hope everyone will join us for ice cream at 7:00 p.m. at the council meeting on Monday, July 10 to honor Russ and thank him for his 45 years of dedication and service to Livingston,” said Klein.
During the public meeting on Monday, which begins at 8 p.m., the members of the Livingston Township Council will consider a resolution for the appointment of Gregory Bonin as Livingston’s new Township Manager. To read more about Bonin and how he was chosen to represent the township, click HERE.