Each Hopewell Township Committee candidate and Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education candidate was invited to submit a final letter to the MercerMe editor.
To the Editor:
Over the past months, Kevin Kuchinski and I have worked hard to earn your vote for Hopewell Township Committee by explaining how we will continue to move the Township forward.
Under Mayor Kuchinski’s leadership and with the support of fellow Democrats, the Township’s spending has been brought under control. The 2017 operating budget is below 2015 spending levels (when the Republicans were last in charge). The Township’s debt has been reduced by $11 million. And the Township’s rate of tax increase has been reduced from 5.28% in 2015 to just an average of 1.1% for 2016-2017. It’s official. Hopewell Township has the lowest equalized municipal tax rate in Mercer County.
As a member of the Finance Advisory Committee, I know what it takes to prepare the Township budget, and as a member of the Township’s Environmental Commission, I know what it takes to preserve the Valley that we all love.
I strongly believe in protecting the Township’s rural character. One of the reasons Tracy Vogler and I moved back here in 1998 to the home where she grew up is because of all the open space. We’ve done our part to preserve open space personally, and I will do so on the Committee as well.
Kevin and the Democrats on the Committee have led the way in protecting our environment, particularly in opposing the PennEast pipeline. I have stood with Kevin and our fellow residents in strong opposition to the pipeline. As a Committee member I will never compromise on the pipeline.
I oppose the extension of sewers into areas outside of sewer service areas. If development comes to Hopewell Township, I will work to ensure any new construction is environmentally sustainable, built in keeping with the Township’s rural character, and sensitive to surrounding neighborhoods.
I enjoyed meeting my opponents at the candidates’ forum. But after hearing them speak, I realized they are woefully unprepared to govern the Township. They gave vague answers that showed a lack of understanding of issues like the budget and affordable housing and offered no proposals, detailed or otherwise, to move Hopewell Township forward.
If elected, I am ready to step in and work for you starting from day one. I will never forget that it is your money that is being spent and our community that we are working to make a better place for us all.
I consider it a privilege to be a candidate for the Township Committee.
Please vote for Michael Ruger and Kevin Kuchinski on November 7.