Schmid Made Town Manager: 29-Year-old Youngest for Teaneck

Sunday Sun, March 27, 1959

Werner H. Schmid of 96 Ayers Ct., a 29-year-old husband and father, has reason today to celebrate and meditate.

He has become Teaneck's youngest Township Manager.

His salary has jumped overnight to $9,500, an increase of $3,230.

And he faces the challenge of administering affairs for Bergen County's larest municipality.

However, for a few minutes during Tuesday night's Council meeting, Mr. Schmid's future was in doubt. councilman Milton G. Votee had mislaid the formal resolution naming him to his new post.

Vainly searching through his notes, Mr. Votee admitted the appointment was the most important business of the night, declared in apologetic tones that he had asked for the privilege of announcing it.

Township Attornery Leland F. Ferry stepped forward with a copy of the resolution, and Mr. Votee, settling back, read Mr. Schmid into the post vacated Jan. 31 by James T. Welsh. The former manager left Teaneck to take a $15,000 a year job as Deputy Director of Ohio's Highway Department.

The appointment received the unanimous approval of Councilmen and a strong round of applause from some 25 residents attending the meeting.

Councilman Thomas J. Costa told the audience that 140 applications were carefully considered before the council made its choice. "We know the type of man Mr. Schmid is," he said. "The others are good, but we don't know them like we do Werner."

Mr . Votee said he had long been convinced that Mr. Schmid was the best man for the job. "He will prove to be the best Township manager Teaneck has ever had," said the veteran Councilman. "He has been more of a student of municipal government than even our first manager, Paul A. Volcker."

Councilman S. Bradford Menkes noted that the appointment "was not hastily conceived," and said he feels that "Township employees will enjoy working with Mr. Schmid as much as we will."

In a prepared statement, Mayor Matthew Feldman pointed out that the 140 applications for the post were a "flattering" indication that many men in the city management profession feel Teaneck would be a good place to work.

"After much study and discussion," the Mayor said, "we came to the conclusion that none of the candidates had better qualifications than Mr. Schmid, although I hasten to add that many of them had excellent professional backgrounds. Mr. Schmid, however, offers the unique advantage of several years of experience in our town as assistant to the former Township Manager.

"This means he will be able to step into his new post smoothly and without the necessity of a period of indoctrination. He is familiar with the Township's problems and has demonstrated good administrative ability."

Outlining Mr. Schmid's activities since he became administrative assistant to Mr. Welsh in December of 1955, the Mayor noted that the young official "assisted in the preparetion of the budget and the annual report, performed administrative research, prepared ordinances and assisted in personnel management.

"He was responsible for the supervision of the maintenance of public buildings and grounds, directed the street lighting program, acted as a purchasing agent and investigated residents' complaints."

"As for his scholastic background," the Major added, "he was graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, economics and history in 1951. He attended Rutgers on a four-year State scholarship and achieved scholastic distinction as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and other honerary societies. He was seventh from the top in a graduating class of 561."

The Mayor noted also that Mr. Schmid holds a master's degree awarded in 1952 by the Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University. In 1956, Mr. Schmid completed an eight-week course in "Principles of Local Planning" at the extension division of Rutgers, and in 1957 he was graduated from a correspondence course in "Techniques of Municipal Administration" by the International City Managers' Association.

From August, 1952, to November, 1955, as a lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force, Mr. Schmid served as an administrative supply and personnel officer.

Responding to the applause which greeted his appointment, the new Manager acknowledged the responsibilities for his job and thanked Councilman for their confidence. "I will do my upmost to serve the Township," he said.

Councilman extended formal thanks to Township Clerk Miss Clara Christensen, who has acted as Township Manager since Mr. Welsh's departure Jan. 31.