Tuesday, October 10, 2006

DeFilippo - Worrall Papers - Appointed UCIA Exec Dir

Published in the Worrall Community Newspapers, December 7, 2000

Dem chair Appointed Executive Director

by Mark Hrywna
Worrall Community Newspapers

The Union County Improvement Authority has a new executive director: Charlotte DeFilippo, chairwoman of the Union County Democratic Committee. The UCIA Board of Commissioners approved the appointment by an 8-0 vote Nov. 29 at an annual salary of $104,000, effective last Friday. She replaces Doug Placa, who resigned to join Woodbridge Mayor James McGreevy’s 2001 gubernatorial campaign.

Placa, who serves as secretary to the county Democratic Committee, worked for McGreevey on his 1997 gubernatorial effort as a scheduler and during his days as a state senator. His duties will again be as a scheduler for McGreevey but with a broader reach, said a spokesman. He was the UCIA s first executive director, appointed in February 1999 at an annual salary of $40,000.

"There's no way that job warrants $104,000 a year," said Wayne Smith, the lone Republican on the nine-member UCIA board. He also serves as GOP chairman in Plainfield. Smith, whose UCIA term ends in February, was absent at last week's vote and was not aware who was appointed until contacted by this newspaper. "They've got the control so there's no need to keep me posted," he said.

He called it a blatant patronage job that does not even warrant $40,000 a year. The UCIA is doing a lot for the county but this is typical patronage and the UCIA really plays patronage to the fullest extent. He was the lone dissenter in a 7-1 vote to replace the part-time financial administrator with a full-time executive director last year.

Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, the board's liaison to the UCIA, said DeFilippo's experience in government made her a qualified candidate to spearhead the more than $120 million in projects on the drawing board. Her salary, he said, is commensurate with her experience and is comparable to executive directors throughout the state, and is the same as Union County Utilities Authority Executive Director Joseph Spatola.

Formerly the township clerk in Hillside, where she also is Democratic chairwoman, DeFilippo has worked for the county since Democrats took control of the freeholder board in 1998. She was a management specialist in welfare, a civil service position, with an annual salary of approximately $75,000.

The UCIA, an autonomous agency whose commissioners are appointed by the freeholder board, is the economic development agency for the county, assisting in financing public projects. This week its offices moved from the county’s annex in Westfield to 10 Cherry St. in Elizabeth.

Union County Republican Chairman Ron Frigerio had little comment about the appointment, except to say, "I wish them well."

Link to online story at CountyWatchers blog.
(Note: Online stories may be taken down by their publisher after a period of time or made available for a fee. Links posted here is from the original online publication of this piece.)

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Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.