Ist City Manager in Jersey to Quit
The New York Times, July 26, 1948, p. 19
Paul A. Volcker, who became New Jersey's first city manager in 1925 when Cape May pioneered the way by adopting the manager plan of government and who has been township manager here since Teaneck adopted the plan in 1930, has announced his intention to retire in two years.
However, true to his principles opposing "political appointments," Mr. Volcker has hired a deputy whom he hopes to groom as his successor.
"Government is a science," Mr. Volcker ways, "and I am happy that the officials and the people of this community agree that the man who is to manage it should be thoroughly trained in the science of government. Under the manager plan it is possible to do things like this."
Mr. Volcker's deputy is James T. Welch, who was the mayor of Steubenville, Ohio, and who in the war was military governor in the Marshall Islands. He has been hired at a salary of $5,000. Mr. Volcker receives $9,500 as manager and an additional $1,000 for serving as township engineer.
When Mr. Volcker took over the administration in Teaneck after five years as manager of Cape May, the township had a population of 16,000 and a bonded indebtedness of $5,000,000. Today the population is 33,000, and the bonded indebtedness has been cut to $1,800,000.
"We were suffering in those days from the devastating results of the real estate boom that had gone bust, with the consequent overdevelopment of streets and sewers," he explains.
In 1930 there were no park lands; today there are ninety five acres of developed parks; the per capita debt was $301, today it is $56.85.
"We have had our growing pains, and our battles," Mr. Volcker recalls, "but the township has never lost faith in the manager form of government."
Despite Teaneck's success with manager government, not many municipalities in New Jersey have embraced it, although many have voted on the question.
"There are seven manager municipalities in the state now: Clifton, Hackensack, Keansburg, Teaneck, Medford Lakes, Teterboro and Fairlawn, which just adopted it," Mr. Volcker points out.
One of Mr. Volcker's most bitter battles for the clear-cut rights of the city manager occurred in 1938 when the Township council challenged his right to appoint a police captain. He took his claim to the New Jersey State Supreme Court and was upheld.
Before becoming city manager to Cape May, Mr. Volcker was city engineer in Lebanon, Pa., and later State Highway Department. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Upon retirement on pension when he becomes 60 years old, Mr. Volcker intends either to teach engineering or becomes consulting engineer."
It is a friendly joke locally to point out that Mr. Volcker, Mrs. Volcker, and their three children are all well over six feet in height and reside on Longfellow Avenue.