Charles J. Tahaney, a hugely competent and likeable administrator who served as the Livingston Township Manager from 1985 to 2005, died on February 11. He was 75.
He began his public career in 1969 when he was hired as assistant township manager. Ten years later, Tahaney left to become the township administrator in Montville.
Following the retirement of Robert H. Harp, who has become Livingston’s first township in 1957, Tahaney applied for the job in his hometown.
The Township Council, in a closed session, picked Tahaney in a 3-2 vote over the other finalist, Bertrand Kendall, the town manager in Montclair. Democratic Councilman Dominick Crincoli, a fan of Tahaney from his first stint with Livingston, made a strong push for Tahaney’s hiring and was joined by two Republican councilmen.
During his 20 years as township manager, Tahaney easily remained above partisan politics as a man of extraordinary effectiveness.
Tahaney grew up in Livingston and joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a second lieutenant after his graduation from St. Peter’s College. He served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, where he was wounded while serving in the infantry division.
After his retirement, Tahaney remained involved in his community as a member of the Livingston Free Public Library Board of Trustees and the First Aid Squad.
Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein called Tahaney an “outstanding Livingstonian.”
“Chuck will be missed by all and his family is in our prayers,” Klein said.
Tahaney is survived by his wife, Eileen, his children and grandchildren.
Editor’s note: New Jersey Globe Editor David Wildstein was serving on the Livingston Township Council when Tahaney was hired in 1985.