A City of Hoboken spokesperson has confirmed to hMAG that Robert Smith, the inaugural Superintendent of the city’s new Water Utility, has stepped down—less than six weeks after taking the job.
After unanimous approval of the agreement last March, the City of Hoboken officially entered into its new contract with SUEZ Water as of July 1, which left Hoboken with a new public water utility to be managed by the City—supposedly generating $33 million over the next 15 years specifically for water infrastructure upgrades.
Superintendent Smith came to Hoboken with over 27 years of managerial experience in the water and wastewater field, most recently serving as the Director of Water and Sewer Utilities for the Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey.
Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken welcome Robert Smith as new Superintendent of City’s water system. Mr. Smith will oversee Hoboken’s water system with new SUEZ contract w/ $33M invested over 15 years. By 2034, 18% of Hob’s water mains will be replaced https://t.co/pceD7SkKWB pic.twitter.com/klQGWygeH3
— City of Hoboken (@CityofHoboken) October 1, 2019
In the wake of chronic and crippling water main breaks, resulting from and increased demand on aging infrastructure, Hoboken and SUEZ avoided a protracted legal battle by agreeing to the new terms of service.
There is currently no official word on why Smith has left the position, nor any information on the process to replace him.
The Superintendent’s salary will be fully funded through the water utility, at no taxpayer expense—according the the City of Hoboken. He or she will be the only full-time employee of the water utility.