West Deptford Republicans Start Housecleaning with Professionals
More than half the professionals approved at West Deptford's reorganization were new firms.
It wasn’t a complete housecleaning, but the Republican members of West Deptford’s township committee at very least broke out the vacuum and glass cleaner as they overhauled the township’s professional services at a major savings to start 2012.
Solicitor Michael Angelini? Gone.
T&M Associates as engineers? See ya.
Insurance from the Martin Company? Not any more.
Those were just some of the professionals replaced Thursday night, which committeeman Sam Cianfarini said saved West Deptford around $150,000.
In their place came a slew of new appointments, as well as a number of carryovers from last year.
While most of the appointments, both new and carried over, were unanimously approved, the board broke on party lines on several.
The new township special counsel for redevelopment, Mark Cimino, who has been connected to and donated to Republicans at the county level, got a pair of no votes from the Democrats, but was approved by all three Republicans.
The Democrats also voted no to new township engineering firm Alaimo Group and new township insurance broker Anderson, Jackson Meff, but the Republicans voted them in, as well.
Mayor Ray Chintall also spiked four professional appointments off the agenda, opting to not appoint a bond counsel, a solicitor for the rent control board, a township financial adviser and a special appraiser for tax appeals, citing insufficient responses in the request for proposal period.
He indicated those positions would be put back out to bid, in the hopes the township could get more responses and a more favorable contract.
The two Democrats pushed back on that move, though, questioning why the three Republicans would dismiss valid bids from qualified firms.
“The identical scores of zero seem unfair,” Donna Szymborski said.
Szymborski and Denice DiCarlo pressed to reappoint as bond counsel Parker McCay, the law firm run by Philip Norcross, brother of state Sen. Donald Norcross and Camden County power broker George Norcross III, but were shot down in a 3-2 vote.
They also moved to reappoint Phoenix Advisors, whose CEO, David Thompson, donated to several state-level campaigns, including John Burzichelli’s re-election bid, as the township’s financial adviser, but were again voted down in a party-line vote.
And though Chintall cited the lack of responses as reason for not making a call on those positions, he and the other Republicans all voted to approve Triad Associates, one of just two bidders for the affordable housing administrative agent, and Cooper Hospital, the lone bidder for the township’s employee assistance program.
The two professional firms–Cettei & Connell and Ward Shoemaker LLC–that donated directly to Cianfarini and Chintall’s campaign both came up empty, despite putting in bids on a number of professional positions.
2012 West Deptford professional appointments approved Thursday night:
- Solicitor: Anthony Ogozalek Jr., Capehart Scatchard
- Auditor: Holman & Frenia
- Special counsel for redevelopment: Mark Cimino
- Special counsel for tax appeals: John Lloyd, Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman*
- Public defender: Lawrence Hubert*
- Prosecutor: Kelly Conroy*
- Municipal engineer: Alaimo Group
- Insurance broker: Anderson, Jackson Meff
- Affordable housing administrative agent: Triad Associates
- Physician: Dr. Gerald Vernon*
- Employee assistance program: Cooper Hospital
*indicates carryover from 2011 appointment