The West New York Board of Commissioners approved appointing a Livingston agency to temporarily serve as the town’s chief financial officer for a 60-day time period as the town searches for a full-time replacement.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The Livingston-based Spire Group, PC, a CPA and consulting firm based out of Livingston in Essex County, received a retroactive 60-day contract at yesterday’s West New York Board of Commissioner meeting.
Effective August 4 through October 3, the firm may not exceed 25 hours of work per week or bill over $39,000 for their two months of work, according to a copy of the passed resolution.
The billing breakdown for ranking members of the firm is as follows:
Partner: $195 per hour
Manager: $165 per hour
Senior: $125 per hour
Staff: $100 per hour
Spire Group Principal Judith Tutela is a CPA that also holds a municipal finance officer certificate.
The agency replaces Margaret Cherone, who received a four-year contract in August 2012. The agreement expired on July 31 of this year and her last annual salary for the town was about $125,000, based on payroll records.
â€œI had a good four-year term. It was very challenging and rewarding at the same time. We accomplished quite a few things in those four years,” Cherone said over the phone yesterday, noting that the town’s bond rating from Moody’s went from being non-existent to an A1 rating in 2013.
According to Moody’s, this rating is the third highest ranking category an entity can receive. There are 15 possible classifications that Moody’s can choose from.
Last summer, Cherone was expected to become the finance director in Paterson, a post she held under Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ first administration, but controversy arose after the Paterson Council questioned $28,000 she received in retroactive pay (per Paterson Press).
As Hudson County View first reported, she did not end up taking the new job as a result of some city officials opposing her hire.
The Spire Group’s appointment in West New York must also be approved by the state Department of Community Affairs, something the agency is currently reviewing, according to spokeswoman Tammori Petty.