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Meet the Candidates: Washington Township Council


Leading up to the 2020 election, The Washington Township Sun is running a three-week Meet the Candidates series. In this first week, candidates running in the 2020 election for Washington Township Council provide some background on who they are and why they’ve chosen to run. (This week’s responses are listed alphabetically by last name.)

Name: Richard Bennett 

Occupation: Purchasing Manager

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Washington Township Republican Club; Washington Township Zoning Board member; Assistant Scoutmaster BSA troop 123 Washington Twp (13 years)

I am running for Washington Township Council because I want to be a strong voice for Washington Township residents and businesses. I want to bring the Premier status back to Washington Township by focusing on continual improvement. I am running for Council because I want to bring fiscal responsibility to the taxpayer, and further examine purchasing and services. As elected officials, we must remember that we are handling the taxpayers’ dollars. I am running because I want to bring accountability to municipal spending of your tax dollars, with laser-sharp focus on fiscal budgets, reporting and setting goals. Maximizing transparency in today’s municipal Government should be a commonplace initiative, but it is not. Residents should not be stifled from speaking publicly at town hall forums and given time limits when voicing their concerns on issues they wish to address with council. I am running because we finally need to enhance and improve economic development in Washington Township, which has stalled in the current administration. The Black Horse Pike zone needs revitalization. Washington Township is a great place to raise a family, with great education, sports programs and parks. As a Scoutmaster, I allocate my time with the Boy Scouts Organization, focusing on teaching scouting, communication and team building skills. As a Washington Township Zoning Board member, I allocate my time in learning more and helping residents and businesses. As your Councilman, I will be your liaison, your advocate and your voice. 

Name: Giancarlo D’Orazio, former Councilman and Council President.

Occupation: Retired

Political Affiliation: Independent

Clubs/Organizations: Member of Filitalia, Gloucester County Chapter; Member of Knights of Columbus – Fourth degree; Member of the band “Mirror-Mirror”, drummer.     

I am running for mayor because I want and can lead a corruption-free administration for a community that I have been part of for more than thirty years. A community that, in my opinion, is second to none when the time comes to help the less fortunate. 

Many of you know me as a former councilman. Those closer to me and my family know me as a private citizen who cares deeply about my faith, family and community. 

As for my character, I stand for my flag, I kneel to my Creator, I sit with my family.

We need an administration that keeps Washington Township strong and serves its people with dignity, honesty and respect. 

When I served on council (2011-14), I became proficient in our local government and the political culture it brings to our community. Above all, I was asked to resolve issues. I have learned that in order to resolve issues and improve on our community, we need independent thinkers that are ready to do the responsible thing as elected officials. Too often we watch politicians putting their party above the needs of the people. I am committed to putting people above politics. I realize that having a safer environment for our students and faculty, implementing a perpetual capital investment program and having a vision for economic growth, are the primary responsibilities for elected officials. ​

As your councilman, I stood up to the corruption. As your mayor, I will lead a corruption-free administration. 

Name: Anthony L DellaPia

Occupation: President of Floors Just for You Inc. and President of Built Just for You Construction and Remodeling

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Board of Directors: Our Lady of Hope Regional School, Advancement Committee; Washington Township Republican Club 

I am running for Council because I want to represent you, the resident of Washington Township, the business owner, the veteran, the single parent and the senior. Living in Washington Township for more than 20-years, I have seen how things changed, with the most emphasis placed on quality of life. Gloucester County ranks 28 out of over 3,143 counties in the US as the highest property taxed county in the nation. This is unacceptable. I am running for Council because I want to make a difference. As a business owner focused on budgets, costs, expenses and overall return on investment, I have learned that every project starts with a plan. We need a plan in Washington Township. I want to see Washington Township become the desired destination it once was when I first moved here, a place where people want to live and businesses can thrive. I am running for Council because I can and will make a difference. 

I am an ordinary citizen like you. I am not a politician. I am a husband, a dad, a son, a brother and a business owner. I want seniors, including my parents, to be able to afford to live here and I want my children to be able to afford a home here.   

So why vote for me? I am a strong and independent leader that wants to make our community thrive again. I am running for Council because I want to make a difference and be your voice in Washington Township.

Name: Ray Dinovi 

Occupation: Retired Elementary School Principal 

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations:Washington Township Public Schools Board; Washington Township MUA Board; Rotary Club of Washington Township; Knights of Columbus; Jaycees; Kiwanis Club   

Over the course of my life I have had a number of opportunities to serve my community. Having been a teacher and a principal within the New Jersey public school system, I have a vast understanding of how to work with others and how to accomplish goals for the betterment of the community. As a longtime resident, I wish to continue to be involved in Washington Township and lend my experience to create a better place to live for all. My vision for Washington Township is to continue the economic development that has occurred over the last four years in order to reduce our tax burden and provide additional amenities to our residents. Economic development is paramount to achieving this goal and I am a staunch believer in the addition of an economic development officer who actively pursues businesses to fill vacancies. This proactive approach is an important tactic to the revitalization of the Black Horse Pike. While I am the newcomer to this ticket, I have stayed involved in our community through serving on the Washington Township MUA Board where we maintain the lowest rates in the area. Furthermore, serving on the Washington Township School Board has provided me with additional insight into what makes this town work and how we can make it better. I enthusiastically support and seek to continue Mayor Gattinelli and Council’s desire to make all who work, play and live in Washington Township proud. 

Name: Joann Gattinelli 

Occupation: Mayor of Washington Township, Office Manager- Martinelli Insurance Agency 

Political Affiliation: Democrat 

Clubs/Organizations: Washington Township Planning Board; Washington Township Library Commission; Washington Township Veterans Advisory Board; Washington Township Green Team; Washington Township Municipal Alliance Commission; Rotary Club of Washington Township 

When I ran for Mayor four years ago, the township government had long been faced with constant legal battles and infighting. Our township was struggling to ramp up its economy. As a former small business owner, I knew that I possessed valuable experience that I could use to put the township in a better position. Throughout my first term, I have had success in spurring the local government and was able to get the township moving in the right direction. My administration has sought out local business owners and other township officials to create an environment where businesses want to grow. As we have brought in new businesses, revenue has been generated that has allowed us to enhance township parks, provide new services and hold new events. We have added new police officers and with Chief Gurcsik, we have developed innovative ways for our police department to interact with our residents. Some of these events have included a centralized National Night Out, Cops and Bobbers, Coffee with a Cop and a new program that has just begun where our officers will be giving baseball cards to children so that they can collect them for prizes. All of these things have occurred with no municipal tax increase over the last four years. We look forward to continuing these fantastic programs and growing our recreational offerings during the next four years. If we continue to work together, we can continue to achieve greatness in Washington Township. 

Name: Joe Perry 

Occupation: Retired UPS Industrial Engineer Manager 

Political Affiliation: Democrat 

Clubs/Organizations: Washington Township Economic Development Committee; Washington Township Planning Board; Lions International; Rotary Club of Washington Township 

I have served on Washington Township Council since 2017, and as its’ President for the past three years. In my role as Council President, I constantly involve myself in the daily operations of the township. Some of the daily tasks consist of reviewing items with department heads or working with the Mayor and our economic development consultant to bring new businesses to Washington Township. One item I have focused on is making common sense decisions to help our businesses during the difficult times we are currently facing. In addition to helping the businesses that are currently operating within the township, I have also pushed to streamline the process to make it easier for new businesses to open. Throughout the last four years on Council, much has been accomplished thanks to the efforts of the hardworking and devoted members of the current administration. I am honored to have played a role in those accomplishments. The first time I ran for Council, it was to get more involved in the township and to make our community the best possible place to live. If reelected, I will continue to work to keep Washington Township a strong and growing community. The founder of UPS, where I worked for 37 years, once stated that “determined people working together can accomplish anything”. The Mayor, Council and our administration have shown this in the last four years and will continue to do so. 

Name: Vincent T Spinelli

Occupation: Information Technology Executive

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Church of The Holy Family IT/AV Ministry; Knights of Columbus Sancta Familia Council; Washington Township Rotary; Washington Township Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, Our Lady of Hope Regional School, Technology Chair; Board of Directors, St Michael The Archangel Regional School.

I am running for Mayor of Washington Township because I care about our Township and community. I am running because of what it has become. More importantly, I am running because what it can become; a town full of economic growth where families will once again come because it is safe, affordable, and fun; a place where our children will have every opportunity to reach their highest potential; a place where businesses can come and thrive. I see a Washington Township where people want to come to live, learn, work and play. This is our vision for the future of Washington Township.  

I am a transformational leader and team builder. I lead with vision and conviction and create the sense of common purpose among the team to complete the mission. I believe in people and have the ability to create strategies to leverage the best of people for the common good of the task at hand. I do not seek credit; rather strive to make those around me better.

So why vote for me? I want to leverage my skills and help our community thrive once more. I am not a politician; I come from the business world.  I am an ordinary citizen, just like you, who wants to bring common sense solutions to very solvable problems in our Township. Learn more about the Spinelli administration at www.spinelli2020.com and join us to Make Washington Township Premier AgainTM!


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