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Don't Count on a Committee Debate Tonight

Hours before a scheduled debate, Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo and her GOP opponent Jeff Hansen are still at odds.

After what seemed like a good start, a township committee debate now looks like a long shot for tonight.

After discussing changes to last year’s forum and making alterations, both Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo (D) and Jeff Hansen (R) could not agree upon a moderator for the debate. Discussions via email continued all throughout yesterday, resulting in a lengthy back-and-forth, but no resolution.

“There’s a reason I wanted attorneys involved,” DiCarlo said.

After Thursday’s township committee meeting, DiCarlo said she notified Township Administrator Eric Campo that the debate would not be held and, at this point, had no intention of being present at RiverWinds on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.—the originally appointed date of the debate. DiCarlo said it was far “too late in the game” to maintain ongoing discussions with no resolution.

Hansen, on the other hand, is still waiting to hear an absolute cancellation from DiCarlo. He said if he does not hear back from DiCarlo before the debate, he will show up with Patrick Vilary, his choice of a moderator.

“I want to do this, I’m going to be there,” Hansen said.

One of the final sticking points on the debate agreement was the moderator choice. Hansen wanted Vilary, a teacher at West Deptford High School, while DiCarlo wanted Tim Zatzariny Jr., Patch's regional editor. Two days before the scheduled debate, when things started to crumble in earnest, both candidates held firm to their moderator choice.

On Wednesday, Oct. 31 DiCarlo sent out a press release expressing her disappointment in Hansen for not agreeing to debate under the same terms as 2011's debate. In response, Hansen explained he never said he did not want to debate DiCarlo, and cited her failure to cooperate as reasoning for the stalemate. 

While debate efforts began in August, the two candidates didn’t meet until the beginning of October to discuss the event. The candidates had agreed on certain points, including the location, forgoing rebuttals and decreasing audience questions to six.

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Dave November 02, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Jeff and Denice its obvious neither is going to budge on your choice for moderator. Lets move on and find someone else ASAP. I myself changed travel plans to attend tonight so please pick somebody! Worst case scenario we can all meet at the Colonial and have an impromptu open forum.
Robert Bastow November 02, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I dont understand why Hansen would not let the Patch moderate this debate and would rather have his friend moderate. Most of the articles on this website favor the republicans so I would think it would be in his advantage. I guess he never wanted to debate in the first place so he keeps making excuses.
Occupant November 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM
At this point what difference does it make. Only voters from both camps will attend to cheer their candidate Friday. Most of the town doesn't have clue who the candidates are. Those that are informed already know who they are voting for..
Dave November 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM
That's the point of the debate so folks can get a clue in an open and enthusiastic forum. Cheering will happen in any community gathering of this nature. Nothing wrong with it if it's respectful and appropriate.
R Nichols November 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Hansen's obstinance on having "his choice" of a moderator for the debate is INEXCUSABLE! Since when in the history of debating does one side get to make an arbitrary choice for HIS moderator or REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE??......He said if he does not hear back from DiCarlo before the debate, he will show up with Patrick Vilary, his choice of a moderator.....are you kidding me???? Why is he hiding behind his friend for this debate at the expense of the public??? Why is he afraid to have a respected member of the non partisan press moderate??? I'm voting for Denice dicarlo.
Occupant November 02, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Dave, I say we meet at the Telford Inn. Those prime rib sandwiches are to die for. LoL
John Hayden November 02, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Reading isn't your strong suit, is it? DiCarlo is refusing to participate in the debate.
R Nichols November 02, 2012 at 04:00 PM
John..obviously, comprehension isn't yours. Dicarlo met with with every single one of his requests with the exception of a hand picked moderator. Do your homework genius.
Dave November 02, 2012 at 06:00 PM
If I am not mistaken I believe both sides have to agree on the moderator despite where they come from. If someone is from the press doesnt mean they are the default choice. In this case both candidates should have dropped both preferences and moved on. All of this great smart unbiased people in this community surely there is one. And I am not saying either of the chosen were biased in anyway. It's just ashame we are not going to have this forum tonight. Raking leaves until dark and then the Telford I guess for prime rib sandwich.
John Hayden November 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
You said he refused to participate (your words, not mine). I read the article, which states DiCarlo is refusing to participate. Funny how you think it's OK for DiCarlo to have "obstinance on having her choice of a moderator", but it's inexcusable for Hansen to do it. Tells me the issues aren't important to you, only the party affiliation.
humpty dumpty November 02, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Dicarlo refused,Hansen refused. now we won't know who the master debater is.
Bill Whipkin November 02, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Denny Forte wouldnt let Hansen debate because he knew what the outcome would be. Hansen has been delaying this September now the night of the debate he wont let an independent newpaper editor moderate. What a shame for the residents. That's what you get with Hansen, disappointment.
Wayne Klotz November 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Admit the truth! Jeff Hansen is scared to debate cause he cannot answer any issues put to him! Odd how ms.dicarlo is willing to debate but mr.hansen won't! WHY? Who knows! Only Jeff can answer that! Not to late to change your mind, mr.hansen!!!
R Nichols November 02, 2012 at 08:37 PM
John....Hansen refused to debate if the moderator was not HIS choice. Period. Dicarlo would have.. as long as the moderator wasn't solely his choice. (It didn't HAVE to be her choice..just one they agreed on.) He refused to discuss any other options & this debate will not take place because Hansen has put one obstacle after another in the way of its occurrence. @ humpy dumpy...LOL!
Bill Whipkin November 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Don't forget Denise started this conversation in August and Jeff was too busy for the entire months of September and October to debate her. They must be the busy seasons for brick sales.
daisy duke November 02, 2012 at 09:40 PM
it's a no brainer.hansen doesn't need to debate he's the hands down winner,according to the political guru and what my tarot card reader told me last night.she also told me Dicarlo has her sights on bigger and better things running on the county level ( freeholder )
Occupant November 02, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I don't need a debate. I know who I am voting for already. It's not the candidate who keeps pounding their chest on being a professional, not the candidate who is a party hack with delusions of grandeur. Not the candidate who obeys their Puppet Master. I am voting for the candidate who is a decent and honest person... a resident who is looking out for the good of West Deptford. That person is: J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N ***** J E F F H A N S O N
Wayne Klotz November 03, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Daisy duke; you are a joker and a half! Please get your stories right. You and the republicans are running scared. Just admit it and you will be mind free!
Duchess November 03, 2012 at 01:08 AM
So Denise where were you????? Jeff Hansen was at the debate tonight, where were you???? We had D's and R's there waiting for you. You have again let us down, you are totally unreliable. The Gloucester County Times were there to report and were quite confused as to why you didn't show up. Afraid that more of your lies were going to be exposed maybe?
katie henderson November 03, 2012 at 01:57 AM
DENISE A NO SHOW FOR THE DEBATE A LOT OF DEMOCRATS WERE IMPRESSED WITH HANSEN COMMENTARY. DENISE JUST LOST FOR SHORE. A LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF WEST DEPTFORD. DONNA YOU CAN TURN YOUR RESIGNATION WED.NOV 7TH.
Few & Proud November 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I went to Riverwinds to listen to a debate. Hansen with the moderator showed up and answered questions from the audience of a number of people. Committewoman DiCarlo did not show up. A reporter from Times was present. Where was the Patch? See Photo.

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