William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (April 26, 2021)--Gloucester City Mayor Dan Spencer this evening made a surprise announcement that he was resigning from office effective June 1, 2021. The announcement was made on his personal Facebook page. He gave no precise reason why he was quitting although he did say, "It is with a heavy heart that I must do what is best for me and my family at this time."
Spencer worked for 30 years for the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. He retired in 2004. Although he had said many times he was looking forward to getting away from politics he jumped back into that political realm in 2009 running unopposed for a seat on City Council. A lifetime Democrat he first served on council in the 1980s.
In November 2018 Spencer ran unopposed for his present position and was sworn into office in January 2019 for a four-year term which expired in 2023. He replaced Mayor William James who did not seek reelection. James died suddenly on January 21, 2020, at the age of 62.
During his first year as mayor, he continued to work a few days a week as parish secretary for St. Mary's Church. In February 2020 he stepped down from that position to lighten his workload and spend more time as mayor.
In an interview pertaining to his resignation as parish secretary, he was asked if there was any truth that he was stepping down as city mayor. Laughing he said, "No, I am resigning from my full-time job as a parish secretary. It is just too much juggling that job with the mayor's position. I am going to do some part-time work and focus more time on being mayor. The new parish community center (next to the rectory) will be opening in April and I felt that this was a good time to make a move. I spoke with Monsignor Hodge (pastor) about it and he understood my reasons. I will still be helping the parish in some way once a week."
That rumor had popped up again in recent weeks.
Recently Spencer appointed Brian Morrell, the 42-year-old Gloucester City Police Chief, to also serve as City Administrator at a salary of $195,000. Some residents wondered how the police chief can do both jobs and suggested that we might not need the position of police chief at all.
Also during Spencer's first term in office, the City of Gloucester received the unwanted distinction of being one of the top 30 communities with the highest taxes in the entire state of New Jersey. His redevelopment plans for the city never really materialized, and certainly having to deal with the pandemic didn't help matters.
Spencer ran on a platform of open government something that was missing in the James administration for 12 years. Many thought that meant the return of broadcasting council meetings again on the local cable channel but that never happened. Press releases from the mayor's office became less frequent over the months. And, many of those who voted for Spencer will be wanting to know why they are not being told what the real reasons are for his sudden departure as the leader of their city.
To my family, friends, neighbors, and citizens of Gloucester City,
I would like to inform you of my resignation as the Mayor of Gloucester City effective at midnight on June 1, 2021.
I would like to thank you for the many years of encouragement and support you have all given me during my many years of public service as a City Councilman and Mayor on behalf of my beloved community of Gloucester City. It is with a heavy heart that I must do what is best for me and my family at this time. I appreciate you respecting my decision and I hope you will continue to support whoever replaces me, and also support our City Council, Department Heads, and city employees. I will continue to work hard for you everyday until my last day. My last Council meeting will be on Thursday, May 27th and my last public event will be on Memorial Day at the services. I want to thank Valerie and Daniel for the sacrifices they have made and for all of their love and support through the years Once again, THANK YOU for letting me serve you, the great citizens of Gloucester City.
Wishing you and your family all the best. God Bless