VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of Administrator Thomas Russo at the Thursday, Sept. 15 meeting and presented him with a plaque congratulating him on his retirement, effective Sept. 30.

Russo has been municipal administrator since June 15, 2012.

“You have been a valued part of this team governing the city of Ventnor and a true asset to all. Thank you for your dedicated service, ongoing guidance, valued expertise and never ending compassion,” Mayor Beth Holtzman said as she presented him with a plaque.

Russo has an extensive background in public service, but started his career as a history teacher at Atlantic City High School. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Finance for Atlantic City, and later served as comptroller, business administrator, director of Planning and Development and director of Neighborhood Services. He also served on Atlantic City’s Local Development Board and Planning Board.

Russo was elected to the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1992 and served as second district freeholder from 1992-2008.

His is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served from 1954-56.

Russo, who lives in Atlantic City just two blocks from Ventnor, came to work in Ventnor just before Hurricane Sandy flooded the community.

“The first two years on the job was sidetracked from the regular part of the administrator’s job dealing with Sandy and correcting all that happened,” Russo said. “Most of the work was fixing the building (City Hall) and other areas damaged throughout the city.”

Russo said the city has fared well in the hurricane’s aftermath, but there is much more work to be done installing pump stations and fixing bulkheads.

Russo said he has no idea what his future holds, but it could include a new part-time job.

Nevertheless, he wanted to thank the professionals he worked with at City Hall, and with the Fire and Police departments.

“There are fine people here in Ventnor, and all very good at their jobs,” he said.

Commissioners also authorized a professional services contract with Jersey Professional Management for local resident Maria Mento to replace Russo and serve as temporary acting deputy city administrator on a part-time basis. Mento will receive $120 an hour, and work 24 hours a week.