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5 Things You Need to Know: Township Committee Meeting

The mayor criticizes West Deptford's municipal judge as 'too lenient,' the township attorney provides an update on an attorney general's investigation and more.

With an otherwise relatively short agenda, there were a few big items to come out of Thursday night's township committee meeting.

Miss the meeting? No worries, here are the five things you need to know:

1. The township committee approved the final payment for the newly installed generator in the RiverWinds Community Center. The fifth installment was approved in the amount of $11,352.15 for the period ending Dec. 17, 2012.

2. The appointment of a municipal judge for a three year term is still up in the air, after neither party could see eye-to-eye on a candidate. Republican Deputy Mayor Sean Kilpatrick motioned to appoint current Franklin Township Judge Joan Adams, but was blocked after both Democratic Committeewomen Denice DiCarlo and Donna Szymborski opposed the motion—ending with a 2-2 vote as Committeeman Samuel Cianfarini (R) was absent from the meeting.

DiCarlo then motioned for the reappointment of current Judge Guy Killen, but was blocked in another 2-2 vote, with both Kilpatrick and Mayor Raymond Chintall voting against the motion. Chintall later told resident James Mehaffey during public comment that he voted against Killen because he believed he was too lenient of a judge.

The appointment will carry over to the next meeting.

3. A Place-to-Place Transfer date of a plenary retail distribution license was extended, following the township committee’s vote. The license belongs to G’s Liquors Gallery, whose owners are currently renovating the former Terri’s Tropical Tans on Kings Highway in order to move the liquor store from its current location in the Sherwood Shopping Center. The resolution extended the date from Feb. 28 to March 4, 2013.

4. A payment for $40,000 to Active Marketing was stricken from the bill list after DiCarlo raised several concerns about the firm’s role in West Deptford Township. Among DiCarlo’s main concerns was how the report submitted by Active Marketing seemed to ask internal staff to fulfill duties that she would otherwise expect the firm to carry out. With some discussion from Chintall on possibly amending the motion to only pay half of the $40,000 to Active Marketing, Szymborski said she could not sign-off on any appropriations until township solicitor Anthony Ogozalek can examine at the firm’s contract in its entirety.  

With township administrator Eric Campo agreeing to reach out to the firm about the possibility of presenting to the committee, Szymborski motioned to withdraw the bill from the list—seconded by DiCarlo. The motion was passed unanimously, and the committee approved the remaining bill list.

5. Concluding the items on the agenda, Szymborski posed a question to the committee about a possible update on the audit that stemmed an investigation by the state attorney general’s office into the West Deptford Water and Sewer Department in September. Ogozalek explained to Szymborski that since the attorney general’s office had taken over the investigation, auditor Mike Holt was unable to continue his work; the records and accounts from the water and sewer department were taken to assist with the investigation. In addition, Ogozalek said the township committee is now able to talk about the investigation.

Szymborski then requested a meeting with Campo, Chintall and Holt in order to be brought up to speed—after voicing concerns about a Jan. 30 letter she had received from Holt requesting additional money and a more extensive audit. 

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