WESTFIELD, NJ — The longtime director of the special improvement district for Downtown Cranford will head up the government entity managing Westfield’s business district for the next six months.
Kathleen Miller Prunty will serve as the interim director for the six-month term beginning Sept. 3, Downtown Westfield Corporation announced Thursday.
“Westfield is a wonderful community, and like so many other towns, it is brimming with potential and opportunities that can generate enthusiasm for businesses and residents,” said Miller Prunty in the news release.
The board of Downtown Westfield Corporation approved the appointment following a closed session meeting held Monday, the release from Downtown Westfield Corporation said. Miller Prunty will earn a salary of $7,500 per month under the terms of her contract.
Miller Prunty said she looks forward with working with the DWC board and Mayor Shelley Brindle to “develop a progressive, forward-thinking plan for the downtown business district.”
Miller Prunty, of Cranford, served as the director of business and economic development and special improvement District in Cranford from 1997 to 2018, said Patricia Hanigan, chairwoman of the board of Downtown Westfield Corporation in the release.
“She is a seasoned professional who oversaw the widely recognized transformation of Cranford’s thriving downtown,” Hanigan said. “Her vast experience will be a tremendous asset.”
Miller Prunty oversaw downtown economic revitalization and transit-oriented development projects generating close to $90 million of private investment, Hanigan said. She was named the Union County Economic Development Director of the Year in 2014, the release said.
Saul Drittel, a commercial real estate broker and a founder of the Downtown Westfield Corporation, noted a need for leadership at the DWC, following the departure of longtime executive director Sherry Cronin.
“They need somebody,” Drittel told TAPinto Westfield. “We’ll see what happens. There’s a lot of talk going around.”
Miller Prunty previously served as president of the regional business association, Downtown New Jersey, and remains on its board. A Democrat, she is also running for Township Committee in Cranford.
Gabe Bailer, the director of Cranford's Downtown Management Corp, said Miller Prunty’s 2018 retirement happened without controversy.
“I’m thankful for all the great work that Kathleen did for Downtown Cranford,” Bailer said. “Her leadership, forward thinking and perseverance enabled me to inherit a great situation for our thriving downtown.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh