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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.