Former state senator named SERA director

By jennifer dome
Staff Writer

Former state senator
named SERA director
By jennifer dome
Staff Writer

SAYREVILLE — Members of the Sayreville Economic Redevelopment Agency (SERA) have decided that they have too much work on their hands as they move forward with plans to redevelop land near River Road and on the National Lead Industries property.

Therefore, the SERA commissioners voted to hire an executive director at their Feb. 27 meeting.

Randy Corman, who is both a former Republican borough councilman and state senator, was appointed to the position at an annual salary of $89,500.

"I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t been officially told," Corman said Tuesday about the decision to hire him as executive director.

Corman said he was a member of both the council and the Planning Board when the decision was made to rezone the area where NL Industries is located as a redevelopment zone.

"The idea at the time was to consider something like a Metro Park," Corman said about proposed ideas for the NL Industries property.

He said borough officials had hoped the company would work with the borough toward that end. However, it has become increasingly frustrating to see the land remain unused for so long.

"Now I have the opportunity to make it a reality," Corman said about the redevelopment.

Corman said that during the five years he was employed as head of the in-house legal department at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, he dealt with many condemnation proceedings. He was also involved in frequent negotiations between the authority and developers.

Corman’s salary will be funded by SERA, whose budget is separate from the borough’s municipal budget, according to SERA Chairwoman Christine Spezzi. The agency has funds for the expenditure due to a $19 million bond granted by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, she said.

Spezzi said the agency received more than 100 applicants for the position and, after three final candidate interviews last week, Corman was chosen because he met the criteria established by the state Department of Community Affairs.

Mayor Kennedy O’Brien, a SERA commissioner, said that as SERA has worked to gain ownership of the NL Industries site, other potential redevelopment projects have been brought to the table. He said the new executive director will help SERA bring money into the borough’s coffers.

"There’s an awful lot of opportunity for the borough of Sayreville to increase the revenue side of the ledger," O’Brien said.