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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

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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