To the Editor:
“The golf developer is not happy,” says former township administrator Gerry White in a recent article.
The people of West Deptford aren’t happy! Our past administrator seems more worried about a golf developer that left RiverWinds and West Deptford with a $9.9 million bill than he is about the residents of West Deptford.
The comment by Mr. White was in response to the most recent articles about the audit and redevelopment reports presented at the West Deptford township committee meeting on June 14th.
I was at the meeting on June 14th and was totally floored by these reports, along with most of the others in attendance.
This isn’t an issue about Republicans and Democrats as pointed out by Gerry White and Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo; this is an issue about what’s right and wrong.
Mr. White, how can you blame Fulton Bank and not know how the township’s money was being allocated? The township secured a $9.9 million loan and didn’t know who was getting the money?
The auditor, Mr. Cimino, as well as the people of West Deptford, are just asking, “Where did the money go?” If it’s somewhere Mr. Cimino hasn’t looked, maybe you or Mr. Weinstein can direct him.
Mr. Cimino says he has been asking for months. It’s not a smear campaign or a finger-pointing game as insinuated by Denice Dicarlo. Missing funds of $4.5 million and a nonexistent general ledger are no game—if the money is accounted for, then great.
It still doesn’t change the fact that RiverWinds Golf Course was a bad business deal: Spend $9.9 million to build the course, then grant a 90-year lease for $2.1 million.
That’s a $7.8 million loss with a PILOT program attached to it that eliminates any contributions to our school system.
The right way is to identify the problems, put together good solutions and fix it. You don’t just ignore the problems and say you’ll try to do better—that is what got us in this $130 million hole. We need to cut our ties with the people who put us in this mess. It’s not a party issue, it’s a people issue.
It’s amazing that the Wednesday, June 20th Gloucester County Times editorial asks for an independent look into West Deptford and RiverWinds accounting and finances; Committeeman Sam Cianfarini has been saying this for almost a year. It was documented when he asked Governor Christie at a town hall meeting last year to perform an independent audit of West Deptford.
Mr. White and Mrs. DiCarlo: please don’t insult the people of West Deptford with excuses and accusations. The fact is there are real problems here in West Deptford.
It’s unfortunate that previous audits didn’t raise a red flag; if they had maybe we wouldn’t be in this crisis today. Take off the political hats and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Republican candidate for West Deptford township committee