Matthew Watkins recently became NJMMA’s newest life member, an honor reserved for distinguished members of the association. 

Life membership is conferred by the Executive Board of the Association, by a two-thirds majority vote, when a Full Member in good standing retires or leaves the profession. These individuals must also meet certain criteria, including being a member of various state municipal management associations for at least 15 years, of which 10 years must be as a member of NJMMA. They must also participate in at least three of the following:

  • Member of Association Executive Board
  • Association officer
  • Association committee chair
  • Association program leader or organizer
  • Active ICMA committee member for two or more years     

Originally from Oklahoma, Watkins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central State University (Oklahoma) in Political Science and Municipal Management, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Rutgers University. Watkins was appointed as Bloomfield’s administrator in 2015, after previously serving as Clifton city manager and South Brunswick Township manager. His government service also includes stints on the Governor’s Local Government Ethics Task Force, time as a commissioner on the N.J. Public Employment Relations Commission, and director of the Division of Local Government Services at the N.J. Department of Community Affairs. Watkins also previously served as administrator for the City of Burlington, Barnegat Township and Delran Township. 

Watkins retired from his administrator role in Bloomfield after more than five years with the municipality. Those who worked closely with him recognize his positive contributions and commitment to Bloomfield. Watkins’ wealth of experience and knowledge on infrastructure and policy changes have left a lasting impact on that community. 

“Public service is a vocation and honor given to the few who have the courage to stand up in the face of unmerited criticism in order to serve the greater good of their community,” said Watkins.