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Cianfarini Hammers Summer Rec, Questions Program's Real Cost

Committeeman Sam Cianfarini raised questions about the accounting behind the township's summer rec program, and whether it's costing taxpayers money.

West Deptford’s recreation department came under fire again Thursday night, as Committeeman Sam Cianfarini first proposed a further hike in summer rec fees while questioning whether the township is losing money on the annual effort, before ultimately advancing the original amended fee ordinance setting this year’s rate.

Cianfarini initially put forth the idea to establish the summer rec fee at $250——then immediately tacked on the possibility of hiking it even further, up to $300 for anyone registering after June 15.

But that was met with resistance, as Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo noted the summer rec guides had already been sent out with the fee set at $250, and no hint of a possible late registration fee.

“I think it’s a little unfair,” she said. “We’ve already noticed the whole town.”

Cianfarini acknowleged that point, then raised the concern the rec program had been sent out before the fee, which was raised $50 from last year, was finalized by the township committee.

“We’ve got the cart before the horse,” Cianfarini said.

Cianfarini then attacked the accounting by Ley on the summer programs’ cost, claiming he hadn’t seen any of the details of the income and expenses before getting a memo on them Wednesday—though Ley and Kilpatrick had detailed the cost and proposed rate hike back on March 21, in a public session of the rec advisory committee.

“I don’t know that a thorough and accurate accounting has been done,” Cianfarini said. “We’re not sure at this point in time it covers the cost of this program.”

When DiCarlo pointed out she’d put together an analysis of the entire recreation budget—an analysis she’d handed out when the township committee debated the summer concert series—Cianfarini dismissed it, claiming there were multiple errors in judgment in how that was put together.

And while Ley and Kilpatrick’s presentation cited the $250 fee bringing the program’s income above its costs, which run about $70,000, Cianfarini claimed that failed to take into account things like insurance bills and management salaries—costs that exist even without the summer rec program.

Cianfarini also raised the issue of not adding more money to the township’s debt and trotted out the same argument he and Mayor Ray Chintall made during , pointing out the township needs to consider replacing fire apparatus and repairing an aging sewer pump system.

“We have to prioritize,” he said.

Cianfarini even went so far as to broach the idea of privatizing the entire program, though he didn't go into specifics on that notion.

But when solicitor Anthony Ogozalek pointed out the old fee ordinance, which lists the summer rec program as a $200 cost, still technically holds, Cianfarini softened his stance, moving to pass the original version of the amended fee ordinance, which passed unanimously. He did so while noting it may be amended further after a full analysis of the summer program’s costs is done, however.

Cianfarini's efforts were met with some scorn during the public session, as Bill Gigliotti, who was one of several candidates put forth to replace former Mayor Anna Docimo on the township committee, took Cianfarini to task for going after the summer rec program.

“I was appalled,” he said, noting the committee had just finished recognizing outstanding athletes from the middle and high schools. “That’s your future.”

Eighty-two kids have signed up for the rec program in the first week of enrollment, Ley said, with the program already bringing in over $20,000.

J. Smith June 08, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Cianfarini is dead set against Recreation programs and takes every opportunity to eliminate or cut programs for the kids. Not content to just cover the Summer Rec program's cost, he tried ( with no research or preparation) jack the fee up $50 after the notices were already mailed to the residents! Brilliant! His own attorney told him at the meeting he could not do that. What a nitwit.
Children & Seniors June 08, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Sam always seems to go against our community's most vulnerable people, the seniors and the children. Fitst he taxes grandmom some more with the Riverwinds hike now he goes after the children's summer recreation propgram. He is just a complete buffoon. This guy is a total disaster to the future of WD and needs to resign. Is there anyway to have a voter recall like they did in Wisconsin?
Bill Bondar June 08, 2012 at 11:21 AM
The pump on Grove Rd is circa 1946. It serves half of West Deptford. If the coupler on the pump goes, which they don't make anymore, and the Sh*# hits the fan. Who you gonna call? It's all about priorities, When you're toilet is overflowing and there's only so much money to go around. What would you do? Send Johnny to summer camp or call a plumber. Don't shoot the messenger.
WD Alum June 08, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Well, you see where Wusconsin got us. Although I'm all for a program paying for itself, I'm aghast that Mr. Cianfarini asked about insurance and management costs that will be there with or without summer rec. The program is designed to benefit the children and the working parents of the township, not to be a moneymaker to help us pay our bills. Thank goodness Ms. DiCarlo spoke up about the unfairness of hiking prices after the brochure has gone out. If a retailer had done that, we'd call it false advertising.
Funtowatch June 08, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Mr. Gigliotti......the same guy that said last night he worked at eagle point for 26 years.......a lie. The same man who got a job as a dispatcher for the county after eagle point closed jumping to the top of a list of those that applied for dispatcher? The guy whose wife got a job after one was created because he is a good envelope stuffer and can make signs? Why not real reporting Brian instead of just Republican bashing. The people that speak out at Township meetings against everything that is discussed by the republicans are not your average citizens. One after another they are on the payroll and they are told what to say, when to say it and how to say it. It is even comical to watch when they speak and a question is asked, they are clueless in how to answer it as that was not part of their reherseal.
Funtowatch June 08, 2012 at 11:54 AM
What did Wisconsion gets us, I'm curious? It appears it got the State spending under control and it seems it was supported by roughly 66% of the population. It seems that the average, not on the payroll citizens finally are being told the truth and want to make a change. I love it. The real "Change" is hoping there, in New Jersey and in West Deptford....good to see
Bryan Littel (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 12:34 PM
The context is there, though you might've missed it.
Ken June 08, 2012 at 12:51 PM
WD finally makes it to #3 of great communities and one of if not the biggest reason was the REC dept. and they want to consolidate rec and roads over charge for programs or cancel them. Well at least the people without kids will be happy, maybe that's the grand plan annoy the families so bad they leave and then the town will be a retirement town like Boca. They were very proud of WD being recognized as a great town, now they want to question what got us there, alotments for sports programs, summer rec, concert series, excellent trash/recycling program, riverwinds, police dept. get rid of that stuff WD becomes little woodbury on a good day or little camden on a Sam's words "worst case". Oh wait people with out kids are ok with that as long as they won't be paying for what they don't use.
Bill Totten June 08, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Should Brian also expose the motives of every republican that gets up at the meetings to speak such as Joann Priga, Janet/Kendoll Vogt, Forte, Barbara Turner, etc. He said he was a democratic candidate or didnt you understand?
Bill Gigliotti June 08, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I will start with you don’t see me post on here and I sure am not gonna be a regular, today after a few phone calls I thought I would write a reply to "Funtowatch" I don’t believe I said I worked at EP for 26 years, I am quite sure I said 21. Also I believe my dispatcher position may also have had something to do with the fact I have given 25+ years to the vol fire serv in West Deptford and currently hold my NJ EMT. Which may not mean much to you but I am very proud of my vol. serv. to this community. I decided to say something last night because I thought it was the right thing to do. For whatever reason Sam has a problem with the youth in this town, from his off the cuff comment calling the H/S "heroin high" to the attack on the summer rec. prog. I am sorry you take exception with my view, He is not running a business the group is running a twsp. keeping the youth busy with summer events and programs is essential. They are the future of the town. With that being said I might suggest that if you want to call people a liar, you should at least ,,,,man up or woman up and use your real name as I did. I have many friends that don’t agree with my political views and I don't agree with theirs, We talk we joke and we leave it at that and if they want to say something they don’t hid behind a screen name. I have respect for someone like that. You,,,,, sorry not so much. Bill Gigliotti
T.J. Patch June 08, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Bill, quick question, is the summer rec program self-sustained? If so, what does that program have to do with the pump on Grove Road? I'm asking because I don't know that much about the program but you seem to know a lot about the pump. Thanks for your time.
funtowatch1 June 08, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Really now. Jerry White is calling his job posting favors back now and you are one of them. like it or not, you know that you jumped to the front of the line because of your loyalty. It is a fact. Just admit it. you are saying you are being honest say it. Don't know anything about your friends or such but I do know how you got your job and others related to you got jobs. People have to be accountable and start here. Everyone cares about the town and all that BS but no one cares that we are broke, it cracks me up. Everyone that speaks against the Republicans has a financial stake, plain and simple. As for Ken, tell me those people you list how much money they are taking from the public trough? Maybe the Vogt's just want a level playing field since they have a business in this town and have had it for years, had to get a liquior bill the old fashioned way. If anyone here feels that it is fair they way the past administration has handled the golf course deal....please explain it to me.....would love to hear it.
Ken June 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Not sure what people i listed, the ones leaving. i was refering to everyone with kids in this town that enjoy sports, summer rec, concert series, WD day, ect. Don't worry about people who live here taking money from the town under Sam's plans it looks like we'll sub everything out in the future, so i guess noone who lives here will be drawing money from here. we'll just increase the unemployment number for the county, but hey at least your tax's will only go up 8.3 cents instead of 8.5. oh wait till next year when the other companies watching sees this great give away we are giving Sunoco and they decide to sue and tell us what they want to pay and soon we'll have no taxable base just a crap load of companies sueing us. I'm just saying some of the things being questioned are what makes this town great, and yes they need to be micro-managed and things should be handled with a tighter reign, but it looks a lot like they are looking past the people of this town and what makes WD better then Woodbury,Camden,Collingswood, and suchto appease some retired people with out kids and make themselves look better buy saying i saved a buck.
al d'angelo June 08, 2012 at 07:47 PM
look bill i was an employee of eagle point and you got your job thru John Austin and beside you were an outside contractor you weren't even affiliated with sunoco besdie sunoco only had the ep facility for a few years so being a sunoco employee for 21 or 26 six years was a lie.I workd fro sunoco way before they acquired ep in a supervisory capacity.Sunoco is a ruthless company and if you don't settle now they will definitely put the screws to this township and our taxes will sky rocket just like with thje citgo and coastal settlement. As far as the rec programs I don't have kids that live at home but I sure don't want my tax dollars supporting programs that parents of kids should do Of couse no one listens to these meetings all they want to do is attack these people were elected they got a job to do so let them do it and if you don't like it vote them out when their time is up so you can bash the next administration
funtowatch3 June 08, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Seriously, we want to go to court against an oil company that has way more money than us and better lawyers? Curious, why didn't these same people get up a few years ago and question the settlement with Citgo?Wait, could it be because it was an all democratic board? If nothing else, this mixed committee atleast gets things in front of the residents so we know whats going on. One last thing, have we not beat the herion high thing to death? We all know there are drugs in that school. There was when you went there mr. gigiliotti, there is now and there will be 10 years from now. We are all concerned about the kids 'Our future" and make an issue of raising glorified day care by $50 but if an elected official asks a question about drugs in our schools it is bad? I am guessing little johnnie or Julie being able to make a space man out of popsicle sticks is more important than Johnnie or Julies older bother/sister O.D.ing. Yep, you people make perfect sense.
keith monahan June 08, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I can't imagine what fools we have in the democratic party of west deptford. 1. You have donna wanting to walk out in the middle of a meeting,TYPICAL. 2.Then you have Denise always saying " oh but fellas I didn't have enough time to look over what was presented to me " 3 Gerry white choreographing the two dems what to say when to say it and how to say it 4. then you have a handful of people wanting to extend the litigation process with sunoco so they can pay higher property taxes ( ingenious ) 5 Oh the rec program God forbid if we do away with the obligation of babysitting the poor kids while they learn how to build blocks which no one is trying to take away just being fair to the public so taxpayers don't have to foot the bill. 6. most of all let's not forget the residents that voted our 3 republicans in office they should be in the cheers section of the times.Kudos for keeping the democrats whining and moaning since they don't have control of the township
canodit June 08, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Wow. You really seem to have an affinity for hyperbolism. There are plenty of good, hard working and drug free students at West Deptford who are still pretty offended by Mr. Cianfarini's statement. And many of those same good, hard working students from WDHS who are drug free benefited from the Summer Rec program that gave them constructive summer activities to occupy their time when they were younger. Would you rather they seek out less constructive activities for their summers that might lead them into trouble? I don't want more kids at WDHS to have drug problems, and there is plenty of research that indicates that if young kids have constructive uses for their free time that they will be substantially less likely to end up experimenting with drugs and alcohol. But none of that seems to matter to Mr. Cianfarini. His preference seems to be that the township should have no such beneficial programs for children rather than for the town to take even the slightest chance of having to spend a penny on its youth. Perhaps it's just so that when they get to high school they are already drug addicted. Then Cianfarini's offensive statement about WDHS would apply to more of the student population. We call that a self-fulfilling prophecy.
marilyn hightower June 09, 2012 at 12:52 AM
why do people only want to hear what they hear.Sam didn't say anything about ending the rec program. like myself and many others feel that are tax dollars should not be supporting programs such as these. if it came down to buying and piece of fire apparatus that needed replacement what would be the higher priorty. recreation for the kids is great but how many benefit from such programs or involved. The previous administration left this town in bad shape when they turned it over to the new admin. But with all the criticism on here I don't see anyone putting there name in to run.This country is sinking and sinking fast high umemployment,home values dwindling jobs lost and all you people are worried about is if little jimmy has a place to go for the summer.is the rec programs self sustained or does it depend on taxable dollars charity begins at home not in the township
Ken June 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
As Mr. Ley stated at the 250.00 thee program is self sustaining. And as you said the people in this town are being hit hard on all fronts, so why would we not help them out. If you do a little investigating you'll see that the 6 week program at 260.00 total include before or after latch key, is 1/5 the expense of day care for the same amount of time. It also keeps the kids in town with the kids in town while giving them a educational structure with day trips they would not get otherwise, since parents have to work all summer and daycare centers don't have them.
WDNeedsHelp June 12, 2012 at 03:24 PM
see www.wdtruth.org and look at the golf course contract, it's a joke. the WD residents got royally screwed and no one said a word about it....
WDNeedsHelp June 12, 2012 at 03:50 PM
TJ, the pump has been on the radar for some time now, meaning the previous administration knew about its potential failure and did nothing to prepare for it. I recall the cost to replace it could run from .5 to 1 million dollars as mentioned in a previous township meeting. There is no way to accurately calculate the cost of the rec program, but I believe Cianfarini wants is to be a net zero to the taxpayers. Only fair since only certain residents take advantage of it and they should bear most of the cost. Now if we could only get that to happen at RiverWinds we will be in great shape. Hate knowing 400 to 600 of my taxes goes to funding and running that facility and I cannot walk through the front door and use it unless I fork out another $500 to join.....makes me very mad.
WDNeedsHelp June 12, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Zero cost to the taxpayer is what he said... Only fair in my opinion and I use the program. I do not use RiverWinds yet I am paying for it through my taxes and that DOES need to be addressed by the Committee.
T.J. Patch June 12, 2012 at 06:15 PM
WDNeedsHelp, I appreciate you taking the time to respond, however, based on previous costs and the projected cost of running the program this year, the cost factor can actually be calculated and then the registration fees assessed accordingly. It's done all the time. Will it be 100% accurate? Of course not. But, when projecting the costs, a buffer is always added allowing for cost overruns or shortfalls in registration. Mr. Ley has run this program for the past few years so he should have a fairly strong grasp on the cost and projections. I do agree that a zero sum cost to the taxpayers would be optimal. It appears from the article and from ken's response that this will not cost us anything. My concern is folks like Mr. Bondar who post a comment that obfuscates the issue at hand with a "ooh look shiny object" comment. His comment, and Mr. Cianfrini's outrage, make it seem as if the township is ignoring the pump in order to have this summer rec program (yes, you would call a plumber, perhaps Joe the Plumber even, and not send your kid to camp). That does not appear to be the case. A prevailing and ongoing problem on this and other local boards is the constant arguing and distraction from the issue. We clearly have an issue with this pump. Let's focus on how to fix that issue and stop confusing it with a summer rec program that is not diverting any funds from the pump. That's how we solve problems, not with blatant falsehoods and misdirection.

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