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Denice DiCarlo Continues to Champion Open Government

Standing up against the back room dealing and the continued politicization of township government continues to be a hallmark of Denice DiCarlo’s tenure on the West Deptford Township Committee. Last Friday the Republican Majority on West Deptford’s Township Committee found themselves defending yet another violation of the Open Public Meetings Act in court.

During the court hearing West Deptford Township Solicitor Anthony Ogozalek admitted that the secret meetings to select township officials were held in order to ensure that only township professionals who supported conservative ideals would hired (http://westdeptford.patch.com/articles/no-decision-yet-in-sunshine-law-suit-against-republicans)

“They were going to appoint people they trusted…who were going to support them in their conservative ideals,” Ogozalek said.”

Ogozalek also said, in the court hearing, that

“It was a caucus of people of the same party, discussing who they could trust and who would support their political ideals.”

Mayor Chintall and Committeeman Cianfarni ‘s secret meetings to hire new township professionals focused on ideological purity and allegiance to the Republican Party, not expertise, not experience, not professional qualifications and certainly not finding the people or companies best suited to meet West Deptford’s needs.

After Friday’s court hearing DiCarlo issued the following public statement,

“I attended the hearing before Judge McCaffrey and was very disappointed to hear Mr. Ogazalek, the township solicitor, admit that important government decisions affecting West Deptford were made at a secret meeting 30 miles away in Burlington County, with their campaign manager in the room, outside the established legal process for awarding professional service contracts. There is a right way to do this, and it is in town hall in West Deptford in full view of our residents and taxpayers.”
“This is wrong. This isn’t open and transparent government. I want the record to be clear: Mr. Ogazalek may be defending the township, but he doesn’t speak for me. I totally disagree with the “politics as usual” legal defense he used to justify patronage.”

At last Thursday’s Township Committee meeting , DiCarlo introduced a municipal open government ordinance that mirrors open government legislation currently before the New Jersey State Legislature . DiCarlo’s ordinance would ensure that West Deptford is both in compliance with the State Open Public Meetings Act, which the West Deptford Republican Majority has already violated twice this year, and focused on transparency.

Without DiCarlo on West Deptford’s Township Committee, the current Republican Majority would be enabled to run roughshod over New Jersey’s sunshine laws and to continue their backroom dealings. If you believe that government should be open and transparent and that township professionals should be selected on merit rather than allegiance to “conservative ideals” or to the local Republican Party, then Denice DiCarlo should be your choice come November 6th.