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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