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New Leadership Set to Take Charge of Planning Board

With former chairman Scott Kintzing and former board secretary Fred Purnell not re-appointed, Tuesday night's planning board reorganization will feature a lot of changes.

Tuesday night will represent a turning of the page for the West Deptford planning board.

The reorganization meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. at the West Deptford Municipal Building, will feature a change in leadership as former chairman Scott Kintzing and secretary Fred Purnell were not re-appointed to the board by Mayor Raymond Chintall earlier this month. Both had served on the board for 31 years.

Chintall instead appointed three new members to the planning board. They are former alternate Dick Wagner, Joe Monahan and Jeff Hansen, who ran in the 2012 township committee election as the Republican candidate. All three of them will be sworn in on Tuesday.

Chintall said the changes were made to give the planning board some fresh, new ideas in 2013, with the hope it'll generate more business growth and development in the township. 

Last year's reorganization saw the first signs of some conflict on the board as Republicans Chintall and Committeeman Sam Cianfarini were sworn in. Both voted no toward Kintzing returning as chairman and Cianfarini questioned some of the proposals for professional positions. With these conflicts on the board between Republican and Democrat supporters, combined with stagnant development in the township, the changes made by Chintall at the township reorganization were not surprising.

As it turned out, the township's 2012 planning board didn't meet much at all, and there was little business development of note during the year. There were only four planning board meetings in 2012 overall, with three of those coming during the first five months of the year. From May to December, the planning board didn't receive a single application and, as a result, canceled six straight meetings.

Development, or the lack thereof, has been a hot button topic in West Deptford for a number of years now. recognized the drop in applications over the past few years and talked about different strategies that township officials have proposed to help. This included better promoting the township's location along Interstate 295, as well filling in open office space in the industrial parks.

Tuesday night's meeting will mostly be entirely focused around reorganization. There are no new applications listed on the meeting agenda put out by the township on Friday afternoon. However, the meeting will likely feature the first of many new changes that could influence economic growth in West Deptford.

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