Middle Township drops rec director

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Keith Fonseca, who began as Middle Township’s new recreation director in April, was fired on Friday. Officials did not say why he was removed from the position.

"Mr. Fonseca was chosen after a comprehensive search process that solicited input from many groups and residents,” Mayor Dan Lockwood said in a prepared statement.  "We regret that certain developing circumstances left us with no choice but to move in a new direction. We wish Keith the best moving forward and thank him for his service to Middle Township."

In an interview with The Gazette after he was hired, Fonseca said he had big plans for the township recreation department, including having affordable family entertainment and marketing the department better.

Fonseca was hired at $61,000 a year. He previously worked at Montclair State University in North Jersey. At the college, he was assistant director of programs and facilities for campus recreation. He supervised professional staff coordinators and 100 student employees, managing a budget of $15 million a year, according to a news release from the township.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports studies in 1997 and a master’s degree in recreation and sports management from Indiana State University in 1999.

For the time being, the day-to-day operations of the Middle Township Recreation Department will be overseen by recreation leaders Tammy Devitt and Robert Matthews.

"Despite this bump in the road, we remain committed to our vision for better, more integrated recreation department,” said Township Committeeman Tim Donohue.  "I want to thank all of our dedicated recreation employees for pulling together at this difficult time to ensure the smooth operation of our facilities."

Fonseca had replaced Chuck McDonnell, who left for another job in November.

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