Below are the minutes from the Delran Township Council Meetings for 2021.
OCTOBER 26TH 2021
Patrick Duff stated that he grew up in Delran at 812 Chester Avenue. Mr. Duff stated that he is a researcher, writer and activist. He goes around to towns in NJ seeking OPRA requests. Just last year he sued six municipalities and won every single lawsuit. Mr. Duff stated that when he files against Delran, he can be sure number seven will be in his pocket because Delran is censoring comments on the Facebook page. What he finds appalling is that the Township is that the Township took on a Communications Director earlier this year, which he
believes was a move to try and silence dissent in Delran, that runs one of the Township Facebook pages that also censors comments. Mr. Duff stated that Carli Lloyd put his name on her fan page and told him to stop questioning the finances into the event to which he received hundreds of hate messages. Mr. Duff stated that the Mayor also put him on Facebook calling him the non-resident and stating that he was claiming coercion was happening with a variance, which Mr. Duff stated that he never claimed. Mr. Duff stated that his Attorney can prepare a lawsuit to have the Township open up the comments on the Delran Residents 2.0 Facebook page because it is being run by a public employee or have the person give up their admin status to the page. People need to have a voice. Mr. Duff stated that the first civil rights battle of Martin Luther King happened in Maple Shade, he was living in Camden, NJ. Mr. Duff stated that he was the researcher that brought this to light. He found things that no other researcher in the world has found about Martin Luther King. Mr. Duff stated that he wants a public apology from the Mayor for putting him on Facebook and saying he did things he did not and he wants the Facebook page open for comments.
Mr. Burrell congratulated Mr. Duff on his research regarding Martin Luther King. With regards to the other comments, we can’t comment on litigation. Mr. Burrell stated that we will turn it over to the Mayor as Mr. Duff was referring to the comments on his Facebook page and about the Communications Director being the admin for Delran Residents 2.0.
Mr. Catrambone stated that the Delran Township official Facebook page is in legal compliance.
Mr. Duff stated the reason he started this in Delran was that there were some questions on the various pages about the cost of the event. He filed an OPRA request and was provided with a cost of $37,633.88 which include the cost for fireworks. He put the information on Facebook and there were responses that there were donations for the fireworks. Mr. Duff stated that he filed another OPRA request for the donations received and was provided with different number. The third request was to clarify how much of the donations offset the costs of the event and Ms. Eggers responded none, which he released that information to the public. The lack of clarity, which should have been addressed in the Mayor’s post, has caused the residents to feel something has been hidden. He asked that Township please clarify the numbers.
Mr. Burrell stated that all the financials are well documents. The OPRA request from Mr. Duff came early in the process and if the figures have changed it is because more purchase orders are being paid. Mr. Burrell stated that he did want to clarify the statement made about the donations not offsetting the costs. In order for the Township to accept donations, we had to establish a Dedication by Rider as permitted by N.J.S.A. 40A: 4-9. In 2018, we adopted the Resolution for the Dedication by Rider and created an account for Delran Events. The account is where all donations received by the Township for events are deposited. At the end, the donations offset the costs charged to the event.
Patrick Duff asked if Mayor and Council could clarify the expenses for Carli Lloyd event.
Mr. Catrambone stated that we believe all the expenses have been received with the exception of the overtime costs. The total expenses were $90,456.93. The total donations were $46,166.00 of which $7,000 as not been received but has been committed.
Patrick Duff stated that would have been an easy thing to answer with the OPRA request but the numbers seem to have changed.
November 9th 2021
Patrick Duff, Haddon Heights resident and former resident of 812 Chester Avenue, stated that he would rather not give his full address as he has had physical threats against him. Someone actually threated to shoot him if he didn’t stay offline for trying to do an investigation into the finances related to the Carli Lloyd event. He contacted the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department and they are investigating. Mr. Duff stated that people are wondering why he is doing this. Mr. Duff stated that fourteen weeks ago he found out that he had cancer and was about two months away from dying. The perforated tumor was killing him for years and nobody knew because they didn’t look. So that is what he is doing, he is looking at the finances to see where things go and if there is a tumor that needs to be removed from this town. Mr. Duff stated that he thanks god every day that he gets to see his son and he wants to leave this world a better place for him. The only way to do that is with honest representation. He chose to pick Delran just to look at financial records of the Carli Lloyd event which should have been a really easy thing. Mr. Duff stated that the Mayor said nothing illegal happened but he has proof that there’s contract that show that the video and stage services were split purposefully to avoid getting bids, which is illegal. Mr. Duff stated that he can also show that the Mayor’s company, Center Stage Entertainment, solicited quotes from these companies and someone signed for Go Events which is owned by a relative of the Mayor and a co-worker. If that is legal, why didn’t the Township just hire Center Stage Entertainment to do all the events instead of using Go Events when you can’t even figure out how they are because they are registered in Nevada. The slow perforation of the finances in Delran are making it so the tax structure in the town and unbearable for the citizens. The residents on Stewart Avenue didn’t get checks to help them with the clean out of their basements. Mr. Duff stated that Delran is just another town where he has done this. He has done Point Pleasant Beach, Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Police System. Mr. Duff stated that he doesn’t know if this was a one-time thing but the Mayor did hire someone from his company and his family member. Being the head of the RAC, there is no way that the Mayor can say he didn’t know and there is no way that Mr. Hatcher can say we didn’t know that Go Events was being signed by Alex Glover who is an employee of Center Stage Entertainment. Center Stage Entertainment is listed under employment on the Mayor’s Financial Disclosure. Mr. Duff stated that he is asking the Mayor to be real, they are not asking him to step down. Mr. Duff stated the Mayor insulted him claiming that he defamed people and claimed coercion and bribery which he never did. He never said anything bad about Carli Lloyd or the event he simply looked into the finances. Mr. Duff asked the Mayor to answer why he hired a relative and someone he works with. Mr. Duff asked Mr. Burrell why the Township avoided getting bids which were greater than the $44,000.00. Mr. Duff stated that he has contracts that show both services included. Just admit that the Township bid split and gave contracts to your friends.
Mr. Catrambone thanked Mr. Duff for his comments.
Mr. Burrell stated that the Township Attorney, Mr. Siciliano was involved in the process and asked him to comment on the bid splitting.
Mr. Siciliano stated that there was no bid splitting.
Patrick Duff, asked Mr. Burrell if the Township or consultants received any quotes that were above $44,000 that included tv/video services along with the stage services.
Mr. Burrell stated that Mr. Siciliano was involved through the entire process. Everyone that was involved with the event consulted with Mr. Siciliano. There were proposals, early on, from other vendors as the RAC was working on the event.
Mr. Duff asked Mr. Burrell to state the vendors.
Mr. Burrell stated that he doesn’t have all the information tonight but they include Starlight and Spellcaster. There were no quotes over $44,000, they were concept proposals.
Mr. Duff again asked whether the Township received quotes over the $44,000 threshold. It is a simple yes or no question.
Mr. Siciliano asked Mr. Duff to allow Mr. Burrell to answer the question. Mr. Siciliano stated that it is not a yes or no question and stated that Mr. Duff is making factual assumptions which are incorrect. Mr. Siciliano stated that Mr. Burrell has tried to answer the question but it does not meet his satisfaction because it doesn’t meet his narrative.
Mr. Duff stated that there were original bids received over $44,000 and the same company split the bid, isn’t that correct.
Mr. Siciliano stated that no one has made that statement except Mr. Duff.
Mr. Duff stated that he has proof.
Mr. Burrell stated that he will finish is statement. For the video service, we attempted to get three quotes. One company could not meet the specifications and sent a letter that meets the standard of the law as advised by the Solicitor. Then with stage, three quotes were received and we went with the lowest quote in conjunction with the Solicitor’s by awarding a non-fair and open contract. We met the ELEC requirements to disclose any political contributions.
Mr. Duff stated that there were contracts above that amount, correct?
Mr. Siciliano stated that there were not, no one has made that statement.
Mr. Duff stated that he is just asking a simple yes or no question and stated that Mr. Siciliano is a public representative and he owes the public an answer.
Mr. Siciliano stated that it is not a yes or no question.