Letter to the Editor: Alternative Facts Apparatus in Hopewell Twp

To the Editor:

Hopewell Township has its own alternate-facts apparatus, in the form of Harvey Lester and Jon Edwards. Both are self-promoting purveyors of false and purposely scary information about new housing plans for the township.

Having served on the Planning Board for a total of 14 years and was part of the creation of the Master Plan, I am quite familiar with the development process.  So are Lester and Edwards. They, as well as I, know that from the time the zoning ordinance is put in place to the time a development is started takes years, and more years till people move in. Before construction begins on any project, there are a number of studies that have to be conducted. These include environmental impact, hydrological, and traffic studies. Lester-Edwards would have you believe that any planning, zoning and ultimate development is going to happen, in secret, day after tomorrow. Not.

They know it’s not. But they and Jim Burd encourage misinformation by asking that studies take place now, before a plan has been presented by any developer, when they are fully aware that those studies will take place after a plan has been submitted. The developer pays for such studies, not the township. Then the studies are evaluated by our professional staff.

They know that the affordable housing settlement provides an opportunity for the construction of affordable housing but does not mandate it.  And they know that the public will have many opportunities between now and some future year when shovels are in the ground to voice their opinions.  Our Planning Board does not operate in secret.  They know this, too, but want you to believe otherwise.

They ignore this reality to promote themselves (they would each love to talk with no time limit!).  And they are bizarrely supported by Committee Member John Hart, who approved the unanimous, bipartisan settlement agreement last year but keeps denying he supported it. (Sound like any national figure we know?)

It’s just horse feathers to claim that the public has been shut out of the process and has no voice.  That is simply false.  People, follow the dictates of Lester-Edwards at your peril; they are looking for non-thinking followers.  


Billie Moore, 

Hopewell Township



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  1. The developer pays for such studies, not the township. Then the studies are evaluated by our professional staff.

    . Then the studies are evaluated by our professional staff.

    These two statements in the above article don’t hold water, if we have learned anything from the debacle that was the “Hamlet at Pennytown” that the above statements are misleading. First if you can provide information as to what part of that development Kooltronics funded with there money I would like to see those numbers. Secondly the if the Townships Professional staff had really evaluated the reports on the Pennytown & Kooltronics sites the taxpayers would not be in the hole for approximately “Seven Million Dollars” and that does not include the lost of rate-ables from the time the township acquired the site to the present which would be in the neighborhood of 800,000.00 dollars and that dose not include the cost to maintain the site.
    If you can provide any answers to the above questions I am willing to be enlightened.

  2. I do not know either Ms. Galioto or Ms. Moore watched or attended last night’s Township Committee meeting but if my hearing is not failing me at one point Mayor Kuchinski in response to someones concern about the developer ability to perform the due diligence that the township would conduct their own. I did not hear him say that the developer would be required to pay for it, but implied the township would, in that way it insure that if there was any conjecture about the results the township would have way to contest the developers conclusions.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Richard. This is a letter to the editor and not an article. I have not contributed to the content of this letter. Commenting here is a great way to contribute to the discussion. Thanks for reading!

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