Letter to the Editor: From Michael Ruger for Hopewell Township Committee

To the Editor:

Lacking a record of achievement or a positive vision for Hopewell Township, John Hart and Todd Brant have decided to base their campaign on the oldest trick in the Republican playbook:  Fear.  Specifically, fear of a “supermajority” on the Township Committee.

Let’s get some facts straight. Very few votes by the Township Committee have been decided solely on a partisan basis. A review of the facts shows that an overwhelming majority of votes by the Committee are unanimous. I would like to see my opponents point out instances where partisanship played a role over the past few years.

A “supermajority,” or agreement by four of the five Committee Members, is required in very limited circumstances. Again, a review of the facts shows that when a supermajority has been required in the past few years, the vote has been unanimous. I would like to see my opponents point out how political affiliation matters in these cases.

My opponents seem to believe that because people share a political affiliation, they agree on everything. While that may be the case for them, it is not the case for me.  I am a proud Democrat but that does not mean I agree with everything my fellow Democrats on the Committee have said in the past. For example, I do not agree with Deputy Mayor Vanessa Sandom’s approach on bulky waste. I have heard from many Township residents that they want this service to resume. We do not need a survey to determine need. We need to act now. I guarantee there will be other issues in the future where I will disagree.

I pledge that if elected I will be an independent voice on the Committee. I do not believe there is a Democratic way or a Republican way to pick up bulky waste, or to provide better communications to Township residents, or to keep a close eye on local spending. By design, our local elections are partisan. But partisanship should stop at the door to the Township Building and Committee Members should be governed by common sense, not political affiliation.

Three years is a long time to serve without establishing a record to show voters that you deserve to be elected. My opponents have done just that, having failed to keep their 2013 election year promises to reduce debt, improve transparency and communication with all residents, and rebuild community spirit. Instead, they offered huge property tax increases while in the majority last year and in the past, have made no progress in improving communications, and have taken no action on a community and senior center.

John Hart and Todd Brant have failed to keep their promises. Kristin McLaughlin and I will work in your best interest to keep our budget in check, to oppose the PennEast pipeline, and to move forward on a community and senior center. And we’ll make sure to pick up bulky waste.

We ask that you vote for Kristin McLaughlin and Michael Ruger on November 8.


Michael Ruger

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