By Laura D.C. KolnoskiCOLTS NECK — Kathleen Capristo of Spring Lake Heights will make history on Sept. 28 when she assumes her new position as the township’s first female administrator.Capristo, former municipal clerk in Spring Lake, will also be the township’s first new administrator in 25 years following the lengthy tenure of Robert Bowden, who retired in May.Bowden was in attendance at Capristo’s Sept. 9 unanimous formal appointment during a Colts Neck Township Committee meeting, along with Capristo’s former bosses Spring Lake Borough Administrator W. Bryan Dempsey, and Fair Haven Borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande.Capristo’s two-year employment agreement with the township stipulates she will receive an annual pro-rated salary of $95,000 for 2015 and $109,250 for 2016, according to Beth Kara, Colts Neck’s deputy clerk who was elevated to municipal clerk the same evening. Capristo will also serve as the township’s deputy municipal clerk, recycling coordinator and clean communities coordinator.“We saw 51 people and had many more resumes than that,” said Mayor James Schatzle. “All five of us on the township committee and (acting administrator) Thomas Antus feel her skills will make her a perfect fit for the township. We are confident in our choice of Ms. Capristo.”A nationwide search commenced when Bowden announced his pending retirement earlier this year. Ben Stentz, recreation director for Princeton Borough, was chosen to succeed Bowden, but decided to remain in his current position and the search had to begin again. Antus, formerly administrator in Freehold Township, was tapped to serve as Colts Neck’s administrator in the interim.In addition to Spring Lake Heights, Capristo also served as municipal clerk in Jamesburg. Prior to entering the public sector, she had a 2-year career in corporate human resources. Her experience includes senior level management, compensation and benefits administration, employee relations, strategic planning, budgeting, and contract negotiation experience, Kara said. Of her one-time assistant, Casagrande said, “Kathleen is one of the most effective and efficient people I have ever worked with.” Casagrande, currently borough administrator in Fair Haven, formerly held that position in Spring Lake Heights.“My experience during the assessment and selection process solidified that the committee persons are committed to Colts Neck and its ongoing improvement and that’s important to me,” Capristo told the Two River Times.