Liston Out!

Mayor Gusciora’s Chief of Staff resignation adds to the long list of employees leaving the administration

Mayor Gusciora’s former Chief of Staff, Arch Liston

It looks like Mayor Gusciora’s administration is looking more like the CBS game show Survivor. Last week rumors began to swirl on the popular Trenton Facebook page, Trenton Orbit, that Mayor Gusciora’s Chief of Staff, Arch Liston, resigned at the beginning of the week.

Prior to Liston’s role as Chief of Staff, he served as Trenton’s Interim Administrator in 2018. It was reported that Liston’s primary focus was to transition from a fiscal-year budget to a calendar-year budget among other administrative duties. Liston is a former Mount Holly Police Chief and has served as an administrator in more than a half dozen cities including Hoboken and Atlantic City. It was reported that Liston’s salary was in the range of $140,000 a year as chief administrator.

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 When reached for comment about Liston’s departure, Mayor Gusciora, told the Trenton Journal, “On Monday, Arch Liston, resigned as Chief of Staff. He will be replaced by Jim Beach, who is currently the American Rescue Plan coordinator. Look out for further announcements in this regard. Nonetheless, we hope that this personnel change provides an opportunity to continue the pace of positive change for the citizens of Trenton.” Responding to questions about personnel changes at City Hall, Gusciora later added,
“Due to budget constraints, our recently proposed budget has combined the Department of Recreation, Natural Resources & Culture and the Department of Health and Human Services; as a result, there is only one director for the combined department. Additionally, the City of Trenton is currently seeking qualified applicants for the Director of Housing and Economic Development position.”

 It’s been quite a year in the Gusciora administration. In December, Economic Housing and Development Director, C. Andre Daniels, Trenton’s public information officer, Tim Carroll, and the Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Adela Ames, all exited from their roles at City Hall. “Two days ago, I was advised that my service is no longer needed by Mayor Reed Gusciora and his administrative team. This effective as of 12-31-22 with notice given 2 days prior on 12-29-22,” Ames wrote on her Facebook page back in January. Dr. Ames’ position has been taken over by Maria Richardson, Director of Recreation Natural Resources & Culture.

 “Nobody is coming to fill the holes in the cabinet. The only folks left willing to take these jobs are other mercenaries or the folks nobody will hire, even in a very tight job market. The administration is running on fumes, and there’s only 3.5 more years to go,” wrote Trenton Orbit’s co-founder, Bill Kearny in a Facebook post, echoing the sentiments of many residents concerned about the stability of Gusciora’s administration.

Williard Stanback who took over Daniels’ position as Acting Director of Economic Housing and Development in January has also departed from Gusciora’s team this month when his position was not put up for vote before city council after serving two 90-day periods. Stanback is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also received a Master of Engineering and Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia. He worked at Morgan & Finnegan, Reed Smith Shaw & McClay, Sega Channel, and Scripps Networks, LLC where he served as Senior Vice-President of Legal Affairs.

When contacted by the Trenton Journal about his departure, Stanback appeared to be grateful for the experience being apart of helping to revitalize the city. “I was honored to respond favorably to the Mayor’s request that I take the Acting Director role for Housing & Economic Development.  The professionals on staff shortened the learning curve for me and, over the last six months, we were able to move positively.  The success of the first Trenton developers’ day and the focused efforts on other initiatives are examples of the advancements the residents and businesses of Trenton should expect in the future.  I will continue in my role as Treasurer of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation, as a property owner in the downtown, and as an attorney with clients here. With the City’s search for a permanent director with the experiences that will build on the foundations laid, I see a bright future for the Capital of New Jersey.”


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