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Chamber Schedules Fat Tuesday Networking Event

Despite criticism, the chamber schedules annual event at the Vine Restaurant in Basking Ridge.

The Bernards Township Regional Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its annual Mardi Gras-Fat Tuesday networking event for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, at the Vine restaurant in Basking Ridge.

The BTCC board invites businesses to attend the event to build valuable leads and contacts, according to information from Al LiCata, executive director of the chamber. The evening includes refreshments provided by the Vine, with wine included, and a cash bar, he said. A donation of $5 per person will be asked at the door, he said.

The restaurant is at 95 Morristown Road, on Route 202 north of Bernardsville.

LiCata has been under fire in the past month after the chamber's president, Robert Love, resigned and accused LiCata of keeping chamber members in the dark about an annual $20,000 in payments, fees and related expenses he said that LiCata receives,

Love, after quitting the Bernards Township Regional Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, said in recent weeks he and other area business leaders will start a new business advocacy group with lower dues and greater "transparency" showing how money is spent.

On Tuesday, Love said he still is investigating the feasability of starting such a group, since he said he would want such an organization to be run properly.

Tim Parlatore, an attorney whose firm represents LiCata, said Love's figures regarding payments to the chamber executive director are incorrect. Parlatore said Love has made "false and misleading" statements about LiCata.

Licata also disputed Love's figures, and said that he receives a lesser amount for expenses and related costs. He also disputed Love's contention that bylaws have not been available to chamber members.

As of today, the chamber remains without a president.

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