A new law in Washington Township makes anyone who donates a financial or in kind campaign contribution ineligible to receive a public professional service contract from the town.
The Washington Township Council passed the new ordinance at their last meeting by a vote of 3-2 after waiting for Councilman Joe D'Urso, who arrived late. D'Urso, along with Council President Steve Cascio and Council Vice President Fred Goetz, voted in favor of the law. Councilmen Richard Hrbek and Glenn Beckmeyer voted against it.
Mayor Janet Sobkowicz told Patch she believed the ordinance was politically motivated and had seriously considered vetoing it. She ultimately decided to sign it after researching the approximately-100 local pay-to-play laws in New Jersey and deciding it would be best to move on to other issues, she said.
"I'm trying to move forward with positive things," Sobkowicz said.
Goetz said the law was a part of the platform to "eliminate cronyism, favoritism and special interests" that he, D'Urso and Sobkowicz ran on in the previous election.
"Now that our term is coming to an end, we want to make good on our promises," Goetz said.
Hrbek said he voted against the ordinance because he believed the state's pay-to-play law was sufficient.
"Are they really expecting that by giving $300 they're going to be awarded contracts?" Hrbek said, referring to the amount of money allowed to be donated by government contractors under state law.