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Reducing Expenses in West Deptford, Denice DiCarlo and the DPW

Reducing expenses in West Deptford has never been an easy task.  But Township Committeewoman Denice Dicarlo is taking on the responsibility of saving West Deptford taxpayers money by streamlining management and labor practices.

Early in her tenure as a Township Committeewomen, Denice DiCarlo led a review of the Township’s Public Works manpower needs. While the number of Public Works employees in 2012 were essentially the same as the number of Public Works employees in 2004 (28 employees in 2012 vs. 27 in 2004), the department had become dependent on seasonal labor to make up employment shortfalls from past budget cuts.

By hiring the same seasonal workers over and over again and keeping them on for extended periods of time, the township was really pushing up against the boundaries of federal labor laws and needed to revise its policy. DiCarlo crafted a solution using a flexible workforce approach which reduced the number of seasonal employees to zero in 2012, down from seasonal employment that ranged from five to fifteen workers during 2011.

By using flex labor, West Deptford’s Public Works Department can now add workers on a daily basis based on our seasonal needs or to replace full-time employees who are sick. Flex laborers get a Six am call if there is a need for additional workers on any given day. All the flex workers used are trained on trash collection procedures and equipment operation which allows the town to free-up more experienced full-time West Deptford workers for other maintenance and public works tasks.

In an effort to continually reduce expenses in West Deptford, Denice DiCarlo plans on incorporating flex labor for any department or project that could benefit taxpayers financially with it’s benefits.

West Deptford Field of Dreams: Dreams Come True

Restoring our dreams through collaboration and hard work

West Deptford’s Field of Dreams shines bright

By leading a collaborative effort between the town, volunteers and local businesses, Denice DiCarlo pushed through a restoration of the Field of Dreams site in less than a month.

The West Deptford Field of Dreams was neglected for years after being built as a community project sixteen years ago , DiCarlo made revitalization of the park a significant priority of her first term in office and was able to accomplish that goal in less than six months by bringing people together.

Working together across party lines with Deputy Mayor Sean Kilpatrick, DiCarlo built a committee in her first months in office that included elected officials, local business leaders and West Deptford employees and local volunteers.

DiCarlo was able to raise $60,000 in donations and keep costs to under $52,000 which provided an additional $8,000 for use at other parks in West Deptford after the work at West Deptford Field of Dreams was completed.

In a very short time span, from early January 2012 to May 2012, not only was West Deptford Field of Dreams completely refurbished at minimal cost to the town, but additional funds were made available for deferred maintenance work at other town parks.

Collaboration, hard work, a strong commitment to improving our town, and wisely managing our town’s resources is what distinguishes Denice DiCarlo from other leaders.

 

West Deptford Seniors Bus: A New Pair Of Wheels

Making Sure West Deptford’s Seniors Needs are Met

As a member of the West Deptford Township Committee Denice DiCarlo helped ensure that West Deptford Seniors have a permanent bus dedicated to their needs.

After being without their own dedicated bus for almost a year…

DiCarlo and the township committee approved the purchase of a new West Deptford seniors bus in May to replace the previous bus, which had been destroyed in an electrical fire last year.  The previous township committee had arranged for a loaner bus from Gloucester County which worked well as an interim solution, but lacked the comfort and dependability of a permanently dedicated West Deptford seniors bus.

Many West Deptford seniors depend on the bus for transportation to the supermarket, to the mall and sometimes even to Cowtown. A permanent and dedicated West Deptford Seniors bus is an important part of our community. It helps make it easier for West Deptford’s seniors to manage their daily lives and to socialize with their friends and neighbors.

Providing services to West Deptford’s senior citizens is a point of pride for our West Deptford community. Whether it’s  senior citizens club meetings at Riverwinds, hosting the senior citizens nutrition center for Gloucester County at the Thorofare Fire Hall, or providing transportation around town, ensuring that West Deptford’s seniors are mobile and living life fully is something our town takes pride in.  The new West Deptford senior bus will help seniors of our community get around easier and safer so that they too can enjoy our community.

 

West Deptford Committee and Mayor’s Salaries Cut $24.5K

DiCarlo leads West Deptford Township Committee to a combined $24,500 savings in annual salary costs for the Committee and Mayor’s salaries.

Early in her tenure as a Township Committeeman, Denice DiCarlo proposed reducing the Mayor and Committee people’s salaries as a show of good faith as West Deptford wrestles with ongoing budget challenges.  Armed with a proposal to cut Township Committee salaries that the Mayor and Republican Committee majority refused to put on the agenda, DiCarlo proposed an amendment from the floor to reduce salaries from $11,500 to $6,000 for the Mayor and from $9,500 from to $5,500 for Township Committee members.

Not willing to be shown up, Republican Committeeman Sam Cianfarini tried to one-up Committeewoman DiCarlo by offering a token reduction of an additional $500 per Committeeperson and $1,000 for the Mayor to create a flat $5,000 salary for all committee members including the mayor. In an act of partisan pique the Republican Committee majority then moved the second reading of the amendment to the next meeting and onto Committeeman Cianfarini’s agenda, after Committeewoman DiCarlo immediately agreed to Cianfarini’s changes to her proposal and took action to move the proposals forward.

Keeping the best interests of West Deptford residents at heart, DiCarlo used her knowledge of Roberts Rules of Orders to quickly sign onto and move forward Cianfarini’s amendment to reduce salaries an additional $500 – $1,000 per year from her original proposal to slash the Mayor’s salary by over $6,500 dollars per year, and to slash Committee members salaries by over 4,000 per year for an annual savings of $22,500 per year.

Knowledge, expertise and a willingness to fight for the best interests of West Deptford’s residents despite the roadblocks thrown up by the Republican majority on the Township Committee and Sam Cianfarini’s grandstanding is what makes Denice DiCarlo a strong watchdog and effective leader.

New Background Checks Enforced In West Deptford

Keeping our kids safe by enforcing stricter background checks in West Deptford.

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Ensuring that our kids remain safe especially in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State is a significant concern for all of us.  Committeewomen Denice DiCarlo, a mother herself, worked closely with West Deptford’s youth organizations to bring in the “Check Em’ Out” program from the Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation so background checks could be completed on all youth organization volunteers.  The new background checks for West Deptford organization volunteers are described as an enhanced security measure that will take a preemptive approach to protecting our kids.

Working with the Recreation Advisory Committee to ensure that input was gathered from all West Deptford youth organizations, Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo proposed that all youth organizations verify that every volunteer is certified before the organizations receive their yearly financial allotment from the town.

Youth organizations across the country  have been implementing background checks for all volunteers who come in contact with youth since the Sandusky scandal came to light last year.

West Deptford’s new background checks will require fingerprinting of all volunteers from West Deptford youth sports organizations. Volunteer’s fingerprints will be run through both the State Police and FBI databases.

After the Recreation Advisory Committee unanimously adopted the proposal in June, Committeewomen DiCarlo brought the proposed policy to the full Township Committee. The Republican Majority on the Township Committee have yet to schedule the proposed policy for a vote.

Taking on Sunoco in West Deptford

West Deptford Sunoco Negotiations: Denice DiCarlo Saves Taxpayers $1 Million.

Moving West Deptford forward requires competent business leaders like Denice DiCarlo who have strong financial and negotiation skills and who can act as a watchdog to make sure the Township Committee’s Republican majority doesn’t put their own short term political gain ahead of the long-term interests of West Deptford.

West Deptford’s financial problems can’t be solved through backroom meetings and rushed negotiations by a small clique of local elected officials.  The West Deptford Sunoco negotiations were complex negotiations with a giant oil company that regularly moves pieces around on a global chessboard. Dealing with these types of companies requires leaders that understand both complex negotiations and corporate finance. In West Deptford, leaders who can negotiate complex business transactions and who understand how corporate finance works are a necessity, not a luxury. As the Vice-President of Finance and Controller of  PBS Kids Sprout Network, DiCarlo’s high-level business experience is exactly what West Deptford needs.

Denice DiCarlo  brings to the table the sophisticated skills that are needed to help transition global petrochemical companies properties in West Deptford into new businesses and industries.

During the West Deptford Sunoco settlement Committeewomen Denice DiCarlo and Donna Szymborski consistently demanded more information on the terms of the settlement and also pushed back hard against Sunoco in a last ditch effort to get a fair settlement.  DiCarlo voted no on the first settlement championed by the Republican majority because the Texas/El Paso portion of the settlement contained only a scant four pages of information. DiCarlo was not willing to vote for a settlement with Texas/El Paso when only four pages of information on the terms of the deal were publicly available, and for a deal in which the Republican majority was consistently pushing for approving both a settlement and a bond issue based on verbal assurances of good faith rather than the written, vetted terms of a deal.

Even though she was frozen out of the West Deptford Sunoco negotiations, Denice DiCarlo fought on and found a way to save tax dollars. DiCarlo openly challenged the unfair settlement, made a solid case for a better deal, then negotiated directly with Sunoco executives, and got a deal that saved $1 million dollars.

Complex negotiations require timely and accurate information and detailed term sheets, all of which were sorely lacking during the Sunoco and Texas/El Paso negotiations led by the West Deptford Township Committee’s Republican majority this past spring. It often seemed as if Mayor Chintall and the Republican majority were simply trying to rush a deal through so they could claim that they actually accomplished something, instead of  looking out for the long-term interests of West Deptford.  Sam Cianfarini’s analysis pointing to a potential $90 million dollar payout to Sunoco was completely misguided from day one. Anything can happen in a courtroom and most companies seek a settlement outside of court in order to minimize their risk. If Sunoco was guaranteed a $90 million settlement on $1.5 million dollars in legal fees they surely would have pushed hard for their day in court. Instead they chose to settle.

Using her business experience, negotiating chops and financial skills enabled Denice DiCarlo to force a settlement with Sunoco that saved $1 million dollars for West Deptford taxpayers.

Had the Republican majority worked with DiCarlo from the beginning, who knows how much more of our tax dollars could have been saved for the West Deptford Sunoco negotiation.

It is time to move West Deptford township forward in a positive direction. We need skilled, experienced watchdogs like Denice DiCarlo on West Deptford’s Township Committee.