Welcome to the latest installment of As The Town Turns, Delran’s own little soap opera playing out in real time and in real life, where today we will be looking into just why Delran split up the services and how now a second contract was awarded to another company with direct links to the Mayor.
NJ municipal contract law requires municipalities who have a qualified purchasing agent to put out a request for proposal (RFP) for any public contract exceeding $44,000. The RFP process is used to create an open and fair process which is intended to create competition amongst bidders and give the best outcome for taxpayers. Bid splitting is when the RFP process is avoided by parsing up a project into smaller pieces, as was done with the Carli Lloyd retirement party by breaking up the video screens and the stage/audio into two resolutions that were passed by council on 10-5-21. One resolution was for $39,000 for the stage, lighting, and audio. The other resolution was for the video screens for another $22,500.
Since the total of the two contracts was above the $44,000 threshold, the township should have sought bids through the RFP process, but they didn’t. Both of the companies that provided the 2 quotes for the stage could have also provided the video, but again, they didn’t. The second quote that Delran received for the stage was almost $5,000 less than the one that the town chose to go with and it was oddly sent to a person named Alex Glover with an address in Florida. Alex Glover was also hired in 2018 for $2,400 to book The Legacy Band for the Delran Night Out event, but who is Alex Glover and why is he getting quotes on behalf of the township? I’ll get to that in just a bit.
At the September 28th Delran Council Meeting the Mayor told citizens to “just calm down” in regards to the costs of the Carli Lloyd event that were being discussed amongst people in the Delran forums. The number of $150,000 was being thrown around as the cost of the contract to throw the party, which the mayor called ridiculous at the same council hearing on 9-28. When I requested all quotes received by the town in regards to the Carli Lloyd event, I did not receive the one for the $150,000 number that was being discussed. I have been told though by a reliable source that such a quote does exist, as well as a competitive bid, both encompassing the stage, sound, lighting and video, and both being well above the $44,000 threshold to trigger the RFP process, yet again, that never happened and the township has refused to provide them to me.
In 2018 the Delran Recreation Committee put on an event the Township has tagged Delran’s Night Out, an event that also had a stage and live music. According to financial documents provided by the Township the stage and production equipment cost roughly $7,000 and the band was paid $2,400. Alex Glover and Company are listed as being paid for hiring The Legacy Band, a local group who play all types of events, but who is Alex Glover. Remember, Alex was the same person listed with a Florida Address on the quote for $34,165 from SpellCaster for the stage. So who is Alex and why is he in charge of hiring bands and getting quotes on the stage equipment? Does he work for the Township? If not, how is he connected to the town?
Alex Glover has been working with Mayor Gary Catrambone for the last 28 years at Center Stage Entertainment. The Florida address listed on the contract from SpellCaster is listed as the Florida address for Center Stage Entertainment and it also shows that a Donna Catrambone is the contact for Center Stage Entertainment out the the Florida address This is now co-worker/relative #2 at Center Stage Entertainment that the Mayor kicked down a contract to for hiring a band. Not only did Alex hire the band in 2018 and was he seeking quotes on behalf of the township for the stage at the Carli Lloyd event, he is also the singing representative for Go Events!
The Mayor and the Council will have a lot of questions to answer at this Tuesday’s council hearing that starts at 7 pm and will be live streamed here for all to see. Will the Mayor answer the questions raised by his activities, or will he instead exit stage left and step down?