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West Deptford Republicans Start Housecleaning with Professionals

More than half the professionals approved at West Deptford's reorganization were new firms.

It wasn’t a complete housecleaning, but the Republican members of at very least broke out the vacuum and glass cleaner as they overhauled the township’s professional services at a major savings to start 2012.

Solicitor Michael Angelini? Gone.

T&M Associates as engineers? See ya.

Insurance from the Martin Company? Not any more.

Those were just some of the professionals replaced Thursday night, which committeeman Sam Cianfarini said saved West Deptford around $150,000.

In their place came a slew of new appointments, as well as a number of carryovers from last year.

While most of the appointments, both new and carried over, were unanimously approved, the board broke on party lines on several.

The new township special counsel for redevelopment, Mark Cimino, who has been connected to and donated to Republicans at the county level, got a pair of no votes from the Democrats, but was approved by all three Republicans.

The Democrats also voted no to new township engineering firm Alaimo Group and new township insurance broker Anderson, Jackson Meff, but the Republicans voted them in, as well.

Mayor Ray Chintall also spiked four professional appointments off the agenda, opting to not appoint a bond counsel, a solicitor for the rent control board, a township financial adviser and a special appraiser for tax appeals, citing insufficient responses in the request for proposal period.

He indicated those positions would be put back out to bid, in the hopes the township could get more responses and a more favorable contract.

The two Democrats pushed back on that move, though, questioning why the three Republicans would dismiss valid bids from qualified firms.

“The identical scores of zero seem unfair,” Donna Szymborski said.

Szymborski and Denice DiCarlo pressed to reappoint as bond counsel Parker McCay, the law firm run by Philip Norcross, brother of state Sen. Donald Norcross and Camden County power broker George Norcross III, but were shot down in a 3-2 vote.

They also moved to reappoint Phoenix Advisors, whose CEO, David Thompson, donated to several state-level campaigns, including John Burzichelli’s re-election bid, as the township’s financial adviser, but were again voted down in a party-line vote.

And though Chintall cited the lack of responses as reason for not making a call on those positions, he and the other Republicans all voted to approve Triad Associates, one of just two bidders for the affordable housing administrative agent, and Cooper Hospital, the lone bidder for the township’s employee assistance program.

The two professional firms–Cettei & Connell and Ward Shoemaker LLC–that donated directly to Cianfarini and Chintall’s campaign both came up empty, despite putting in bids on a number of professional positions.

2012 West Deptford professional appointments approved Thursday night:

  • Solicitor: Anthony Ogozalek Jr., Capehart Scatchard
  • Auditor: Holman & Frenia
  • Special counsel for redevelopment: Mark Cimino
  • Special counsel for tax appeals: John Lloyd, Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman*
  • Public defender: Lawrence Hubert*
  • Prosecutor: Kelly Conroy*
  • Municipal engineer: Alaimo Group
  • Insurance broker: Anderson, Jackson Meff
  • Affordable housing administrative agent: Triad Associates
  • Physician: Dr. Gerald Vernon*
  • Employee assistance program: Cooper Hospital

*indicates carryover from 2011 appointment

Larry Umba January 07, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Happyfeet, how about our mayor, the band director, calling for a "recall" on every reolution rather than a "roll call". that was pretty intelligent. Ernest, you are partially correct. You can tell a savings on the insurance side but on the rest of the professionals that bill hourly there is no way of telling how many hours they are going to bill. You can not simply say because they charge $10 less per hour that they are going to see a savings without knowing any of the issues that may arise this year
Bill Bondar January 07, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Larry, This is not new math here.. -$10 or $10 less means exactly that. Its $10 LESS. Nobody know how many hours will be billed, but whatever is, it will be $10 LESS than the twp was formally being billed.. Get it?
happyfeet January 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
first of all his pronunciation or the english language has nothing to do with saving the taxpayers out of pocket expenses. at least he didn't say it's none of your business like the previous mayor. docimo can have brain surgery and our tax dollars are gonna pay for it. if you like dishing out hard earn money over nothing send some my way.
Jodie Meeks January 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I agree Larry, they can appear to have a lower hourly rate but bill more hours thus costing the township more money in the end. So you can not say that they are going to save money without knowing how many hours they will bill this year. But i'm not sure anyone has seen the proposals so i don't know if they were the lowest rates as Ernest suggested. Unless Ernest has seen the proposals he doesn't know either and is only speculating.
Samantha McCall January 07, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Imagine people, how many billable hours have been spent already in this township for the Sunoco issue???? I moved here in1994 and heard about it, only to find out now, that this issue with Sunoco is the same issue from back in 1994! It was never resolved, This past administration has allowed this to go on for all of these years!
Proud D January 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The fact that you Republicans choose to see only what you want to see is nothing short of amazing. To Ernest...Who did we appoint as here in WD? Anthony Ogozalek from Capehart Scatchard. Who did Freeholder Wallace push for last night at the County Reorg? Capehart Scatchard. So while you may not consider the County Republicans a "machine" your friends here in WD are doing NOTHING different than what you have opposed the Democrats doing for the last many years. Oh, and look a little further into Mr. Ogozalek, former mayor of Delran and a well connected member of the Burlington County Republican MACHINE. How is this any different than what you claim the Democrats to have done for all this time? And to Mr. Bondar, the math is not nearly as simple as you make it out to be. Charge $10 less and bill an hour more, where does that put you? If you're the attorney, well ahead. If your the Township, well behind.
Bill Bondar January 07, 2012 at 04:30 PM
So what your saying is that you cant trust lawyers to do the right thing when billing hours? When I bill my clients, and I'm not an attorney, I list everything that I did and how long it took to do it. Its up to the persons paying me to review the billing statement before paying. Trust me in saying that it will be done by the NEW administration, so don't let that worry you. Your in good hands now.
Ernest Kraus January 07, 2012 at 08:02 PM
If any of you are interested, and want to see numbers, this is the link to the investigation of former solicitor Angellini;http://slic.njstatelib.org/slic_files/digidocs/90/i622009a/i622009a.pdf He was paid a fee plus incidentals; like the $85 per resolution. He had himself classified as a fulltime employee so as to collect a pension. He received health care coverage for himself and his family while receiving a 1099 for his wages; the form used for an independent contractor. No, I have not seen the proposals. For those of you that are interested, go to the municiple building and file the required OPRA form. It's all a matter of record. The issue is the township has been spent into debt by the previous democrat administartions. I do not enjoy living in debt; do you? Finally, to ProudD and the rest of you that hide behind anonymity, have the courage and conviction to use your real name. It is surprising that those of you so quick to criticize after one meeting have been so silent for the past years. One can only speculate what you got out of it.
Proud D January 08, 2012 at 12:57 AM
How does me not using my real name have any bearing on our newest Committeemen doing one of the very things they claim to have fought against for some time, appointing politically connected law firm to be the town's solicitor? You were certainly against this practice when you claim it was being done my democrats, how is the appointment of Capehart any different? If there is something I am missing, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, as you like to say, one can only speculate and I have decided that Sam and Ray fell prey to a policical machine before they even took office.
Proud D January 08, 2012 at 01:02 AM
That is not what I am saying. I'm saying something that takes one person an hour may take someone else an hour and a half, so to claim an hourly rate $10 less will automatically save the Township money is ridiculous.
Ski Ulinski January 08, 2012 at 09:45 AM
No name, it is morons like you that allowed the rape of our Township!
Ernest Kraus January 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
It has been commented over the years that if someone is proud of their work or their words,then they sign their name. As far as the Capehart firm, they submitted an RFP that was compared openly to other RFps. They were the lower. What do you not undersatnd about competitive bidding? Under the OPRA regulations, other RFPs are available. This leads a logical person to accept that other firms were higher. Once again, if you are that proud, sign your name.
Proud D January 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I understand enough about the competitive bidding process to know that this is not how it works with professional contracts, and so do you, I am sure. If this was how it worked, and had Mike Angelini submitted a bid that was lower than Capehart, he should have gotten the contract, right? Or if Joe Blow, Esq. with zero experience submitted a bid at $25/hour he should have gotten the contract, right? We all know neither of those scenarios would have happened. Your refusal to address this issue speaks volumes, Mr. Kraus. You've been a very outspoken opponent of the Twp Democrats for doing this very thing, giving their "friends" government contracts. Now the tides have turned, Sam, Ray and Sean gave their "friends" a nice contract and your lips are sealed.
Samantha McCall January 08, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Proud D, why don't you sit back and let this whole thing play out. You haven't even given these guys a chance, and you're condemning them. This township is in a mess, and our children will be paying for it. Please stop defending the democrats, they are not angels. You need to have more than a one party administration, honestly, I would like to have seen an independent up there, just not Len Daws, that would be a nice balance.
Wdtruth January 09, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Ernest, first you say you did not see any of the proposals now you say they had the lowest RFP. Which one is it Ernie? You can't have it both ways. If you didn't see it how do you know they gave a lower RFP????? Stop with the lies Ernie, they're getting old.
Proud D January 09, 2012 at 02:42 AM
What is left to play out, Samantha? I'm talking about the appointment of Township professionals, something that is over and done with. I'm pointing out the hypocracy of our new Township Committemen who in the past claim to have faught against the practice of giving government contracts to political "friends," only to turn around and give government contracts to THEIR political "friends." The fact is, Sam and Ray lied to the people of West Deptford. They ran on a promise of putting "people before politics" and that promise didn't make it through the reorganization meeting when they appointed Capehart and Alaimo Group, two political heavyweights in the Republican party. (The also appointed Mark Cimino, a long time lacky of the GC Republicans). And, this is in no way a defense of the former Democratic administration, I'm merely pointing out the hypocracy of these two men, and people like Ernest Kraus who have faught this practice in the past, only to defend it now. Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and if it was wrong for the Democrats to do it, it's wrong for the Republicans to do it. The only difference is, the Democrats never promised not to do it.
Ernest Kraus January 09, 2012 at 11:41 AM
To Wdtruth; I spoke with the lawyer at length after the township reorganization meeting on Thursday night. He very openly discussed his fee with me and others that were talking with him. From the copy of the Angellini contract that was obtained through OPRA and which I read, his fees are lower. Do not accuse me of lying when you hide behind a pen name. Why not come to the township committee work session this coming Thursday evening, Jan 12th, and ask these questions in a public forum. Do not accuse me of lying. What is getting old is all of you that want to continue on the same road. One meeting and you condemn. What is it with you? One further note; it is Ernest; not Ernie.
Ernest Kraus January 09, 2012 at 11:50 AM
To Proud D; Why not come to the committee meeting on Thursday, Jan 12th, and ask these questions in a public forum and not hide behind a penname on line? I admit to being an outspoken critic of the township democrats. Part time people getting full time health care; an independent contractor paid with a 1099 and receiving the same healthcare benifits as well as getting into the state pension system; people walking into Riverwinds without paying; placing the name of former mayor Shields on Riverwinds; the FOX news investigation of the former mayor and his contrite answers while burdening the taxpayers with the costs; how much more? Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The people of this township spoke in the last election for change. Come to a meeting and voice your concern. The last thing one needs when in a deep hole is another shovel.
Bill Bondar January 09, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Proud D. If you don't approve of what they are doing, then you should grow a pair, build, organize and fund a campaign, run for Committee and WIN!. Problem solved and we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Proud D January 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Let us not forget where this all started, in response to Ernest's criticism of Donna/Denice's allegience to what he calls the "county dem machine." Yet, at the same time he has defended the Twp R's appointment of the same professionals endorsed by the GC R's and the same professionals with long, deep ties to the Rep party, mainly the Burl. Co. Rep machine. This leads me to believe that Sam Ray and Sean have pledged THEIR alliegence THEIR party machine. My intent thoroughtout this discussion has been to point out the hypocracy in the fact that to some, it's wrong for one party to allign with their county leadership but it's ok for the other party to allign with their county (or another county's) leadership. Again, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If it's wrong for the D's, it's wrong for the R's. For a long time, Sam, Ray and Ernest said it was wrong for the D's so I'm curious how this is different. So far, Ernest has not said why he thinks it is and I am left to believe it is the same and, in his eyes, wrong. Further, I am left to believe he is a hypocrite for now defending these appointments. Lastly for the record and just so I'm clear, I am not criticizing the mere appointment of these firms or saying they shouldn't have been made. This is politics and Sam/Ray probably made the right appointments for themselves, politically. The problem for them is it flies in the face of their "people before politics mantra" when this was, clearly, politics.
Ernest Kraus January 09, 2012 at 05:32 PM
So far, Mr. Proud D, who hides behind a pseudonym, you offer no solution; therefore you are part of the problem. At this point in time, only the elected officials and probably Eric Campo, the township administrator, have seen the RFPs. It is my understanding that these spell out the terms including charges. Since the voters voted for change, that change would be to reduce costs. It is my understanding from my conversation with the new solicitor that his rate is lower then the previous solicitor, plus he is not billing for each resolution plus he is not requesting health care. I would suggest that you come to the meeting once again on Thursday, Jan 12th at 7:00PM and state your concerns in public. From what I have learned about Ray it is that he will be pleased to give you an answer. You can also go into the municiple building and OPRA the documents. So for the record, just what are you critizing? It sounds to me as if your ox has been gored. If you do not have a solution, it is part of the problem.
ERNIE ERNIE January 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM
No Ernie, in previous posts you claimed that they were hired because they submitted the lowest price in their RFP then you admitted not having seen all of the RFP's. So you contradicted yourself and lied about knowing if they were the lowest because you spoke to the new solicitor? What do you think he would say, "No Ernie, we submitted the highest RFP that's why we got hire" Come on you dope. They are the republican machine's choice because they donate the most money to the republican party in Burlington County. If you haven't seen all of the RFP's then how can you say they were the lowest????? Sam and Ray are nothing mroe the pawns for the County Republican machine, for which you have been crying for years when the democrats do the same. You sir are a major hypocrite.
Proud D January 09, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Mr. Kraus, I thought I had made myself clear, but I guess not. I am not seeking to solve anything, my intent is to point out the hypocracy within the West Deptford Republican party. Politics are politics and whether you're a Democratic politician or a Republican politician there is pressure to support those who support you. Without a doubt, the Democrats did it for years by giving contracts to their supporters and all the while you and your Republican friends criticized them for doing so. Now, the tides have changed, the Republicans are in office and the first thing they did was to cave to political pressure by giving government contracts to strong Republican supporters...and it's okay by you. Had people like you not used this issue as a platform to criticize the former administration and had Sam and Ray not run on a platform of people before politics, there would be no issue, I would have nothing to criticize. This would just be politics. But, you did criticize the former administration and Sam and Ray did promise to put people before politics so instead it is hypocracy.
foughthelaw January 10, 2012 at 12:13 AM
i could give a rat's behind who got the job,if my taxes don't go up and they are not raping the wallets of the residents of west deptford,who cares and besides you don't see ray or sam collecting their salary.after all they are donating it to a scholarship for west deptford high schoolers and it could be your son anmd daughter. but being a true and die hard dem you'll want no part of your children taking donations from sam or ray because they are hypocrytical. dems are all alike they just want to be heard by submitting false information
Ernest Kraus January 10, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Why don't you and Proud D both come to the meeting on Thursday, Jan 12th and question the committee on this issue. It is obvious thatboth of you are partisin and could care less about facts. It is the democrats you are defending that dug the financial hole that West Deptford is in. What you have to offer is another shovel to deepen the hole. Both of you are quick to criticize but offer no solution; that makes you part of the problem. Rather then resort to name calling, think about the problem and come up with a solution. I stand by my original statement based on what I was told the legal fees would be and by the copy of former soliciter Angellini's contract; available by OPRA; The new gut is less. Come to the meeting if you care to speak up and use your name. " Insanity is performsing the same task over and over and expecting a different outcome" Albert Einstein.
Steve Catando January 10, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Comment to Ernest... One word, Amen. Comment to others, if you can't show your name, you must have something to hide. Comment to Bryan- thanks for a great site, great reporting, and a nice way to keep everyone informed. To all, great dialogue here with passion evident and a common goal of having a nice and fiscally responsible town. My name is Steve Catando
Proud D January 10, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Ernest, while I am a "Proud D" I am in no way defending the Democrats or their hires and I am more than willing to recognize how they operated. Mike Angelini as solicitor for all those years was not done in the best interest of the people of WD, it was the result of politics, and it cost WD money. Plain and simple. No sound thinking Democrat could honestly say otherwise. At the same time, however, no sound thinking Republican can ignore the fact that Sam and Ray just played politics with their appointments. But, if you're sticking with "the new guy is cheaper" bit and think it's a mere coincidence that we just appointed Republican heavyweights and same firms endorsed by the County Republicans, I guess there is nothing left to discuss.
WDNeedsHelp January 23, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Here's a note to Proud D: Why don't you show us why the new professionals will be the disaster you claim? I did a little test to see what the "character" of the players was.... Google Capehart Scatchard and the word "investigation" you will see NOTHING negative about them is returned. Google Michael Angelini and the word "investigation" WOW the first 5 returns are PRETTY damming articles about his "legal practices" So in your eyes the lawyer who is a thief and charges you more is OK and the one with the spotless record who charges you less should be looked at under a microscope? This is the Democratic mind-set everyone. This is EXACTLY why WD and in fact the entire county of Gloucester, under the rule of flaming Dem Steve Sweeney, is millions of dollars in debt.... I love the Dem way, let's accuse the other side of EXACTLY what we have been doing for years and hope nobody checks us....well Proud D I'm checking and you come up short.
Proud D January 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Wrong, WDNeedsHelp, I'm checking on you and you're the one who comes up short. Tell me: When did I claim that the new professionals will be a disaster? I didn't. When did I say anything about their competency? I didn't. I'm sure they are good at what they do. And when did I defend Michael Angelini and the D's appointment of him year after year? I didn't. All I've said (and all that you've gotten accurate in your response) is that the Republicans just did what the Democrats did for years, they allowed politics to influence these government contracts. It is amazing to me that you and your fellow Republican supporters continue to ignore this issue and offer responses to things that I have clearly not said. If you care to respond to what I have said, please feel free.
Thomas Nocella August 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Getting overbilled is nothing new. The old contractors were paid more and did nothing for their money. They did nothing for their money. Just ask some of the residents of the Grande. A simple solution is to have someone oversee the contracrtor on what they are contracted to do per each separate work order against the contract. Perhaps the chief inspector can handle review and providing an independant estimate of hours for each scope of work against a contractor. On a separate note and perhaps in the future, Please look at the size of vehicles being used for the township inspectors. They do not need or require full size sedans to simply go out and inspect job sites.

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