James Clayton Kingsbery

Clay Kingsbery

Years In Rumson: Homeowner since 1985.

I originally moved to Rumson in 1985 with my wife, Mary Lou and two children. As my family grew I moved to a bigger house in the same neighborhood. Due to an expanding role at work we were forced to move closer to New York in 1997 but continued to own our home and spend summers in Rumson. After retiring and about two years ago my wife and I moved back to Rumson full time.

Job/Career: Currently I am retired.
Upon graduation from Washington & Lee University in 1978 I began a career as an auditor with Price Waterhouse & Co. During my ten years with PW I audited a large variety of companies including banks, brokerage houses, consumer product companies, and mining operations in West Africa. In 1988 I went to work for one of my clients that was a start-up investment bank called Wasserstein Perella. At WP I became the Chief Financial Officer and a Managing Director responsible for all of the firm’s operations including legal & compliance, finance, risk monitoring and computer operations. In 2001 WP was sold to Dresdner Bank and I became Co-Chief Operating Officer of its North American operations. In 2002 I left Dresdner and became a Managing Director at Lazard Freres & Co., an international investment bank until I retired in 2007.

Length of Time on Council Sworn in June 12, 2018

Community Organizations
Board Member and Finance Committee of Family & Children’s Service of Monmouth County
Board Member & Treasurer of Oceanic Free Library Trust

Top Five Council accomplishments:
When I was approached to serving on the Town Council a few important facts were explained to me; first, every dollar spent is spent as if it is our own because as we are all taxpayers it is. Second, that there was absolutely no compensation of any sort associated with the position. Third, that while the Borough collects property taxes for the County, School Districts and the County Library System only a small portion of total property taxes collected is under the control/influence of the Town Council and relates primarily to such basic services as Police Protection, Sanitation and Public Works, Recreation, etc. Fourth, that while the Council has been dominated by a single party for a number of years the Council Members consider themselves to be independent of the Democratic or Republican parties as those parties are defined on the National, State or County level. Council Members serve only in the best interests of the citizens of Rumson and are not tied to a particular political philosophy. Fifth, Council members are singularly focused on the Borough of Rumson and are not using their position as a stepping stone to a higher office.

It was this independence from party ties and singularity of focus on the Borough that were most significant factors in convincing me to volunteer my time and effort to serving the Borough of Rumson.

Three reasons why Rumson is a great town to live in:
Over the last 20 years or so while we have been living in Northern New Jersey we have had the opportunity to explore different communities up and down the Jersey Shore as well Nantucket, Cape Cod, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. The factors that kept us in Rumson include its ease of access to New York City, its proximity to the Ocean and rivers but most of all our friends in this wonderful community. I think my daughter captured it best as when she went away to college (understanding that we moved to north Jersey as she had just completed Kindergarten at Dean Porter) when someone would ask her “where do you live?” her answer was “Short Hills, NJ” but when someone would asked “where is home?” her answer was always “Rumson, NJ”.