West Deptford Committeeman Sam Cianfarini clearly has a vision in mind to help bring back businesses to the township. At the planning board reorganization meeting on Tuesday night, he began to make some changes.
Cianfarini's nomination of professionals to serve as the planning board's solicitor and planner for 2013 were new appointees. His nominations all passed unanimously with the planning board, a vote that went much more smoothly than in 2012.
“It's time to get some fresh ideas with this planning board,” Cianfarini said. “We want every applicant that comes to this town to know that we are open for business and very much interested in securing their business in this town.”
Cianfarini scored applicants to the positions in a report during the past month. The categories he used to score the applicants included technical capability, mechanical capability, competitiveness, ability to perform and professionalism.
The changes go hand-in-hand with new appointments made on the planning board itself. Cianfarini said that although the planning board can't directly bring companies in to submit applications, it's important the board is open and willing to work with the applicants to help facilitate growth.
The new solicitor for the planning board is Bill Ziegler of Holston, MacDonald, Uzdavinis, Ziegler & Lodge. Ziegler is replacing former solicitor John Alice. Cianfarini said the change was made because of costs, as well as issues the township has had with Alice, primarily with the T-Mobile case. Alice remains the solicitor on the township's zoning board.
The Alaimo Group was selected to replace Jay Petrongolo of Remington and Vernick as board planner, making the Pennoni Associates the only returning professionals as the planning board engineer.
Cianfarini also questioned Ziegler about consolidating engineering professional positions for the township committee, zoning board and planning board. The committeeman said he wants synergy to the positions, as well as to cut costs for the township.
Cianfarini also said he is exploring ways to better entice businesses to come to West Deptford. He, along with the rest of the township committee, is looking to jump start what has become stagnant business growth in West Deptford.
“We'll look and mine for any type of New Jersey incentives, for any type of incentives that we can offer as a municipality to allow business to relocate to West Deptford,” he said.
“The mayor and I are very serious about this,” Cianfarini added. “That's why we sit on this board and make sure this board is running on all cylinders.”