Letter to the Editor: Kennedy Running for Hopewell Borough Council

To the Editor:

My name is Ryan Kennedy and I’m proud to be on the ballot as a Democrat in the November 7 Hopewell Borough Council election.

In June, I was humbled to have nearly as many voters write me to be the Democratic party’s nominee as voted in the entire Republican primary (and that’s without counting a few Republicans and Township residents who tried to add my name in other columns and even towns). My family and I love our small, historic, caring, and progressive community, and I am asking for everyone’s support this November, regardless of party affiliation.

As a lifelong Hopewell Valley resident, a volunteer, an attorney, and parent of two daughters attending the same school district that I graduated from, I have a unique understanding of the issues affecting our residents and our businesses.

A little bit about my background and ideas for our town:  For the past several years, I have represented our Borough as the Mayor’s designee to our planning board, volunteering to be on our affordable housing and redevelopment subcommittees. We’ve been busy making Hopewell a more inclusive and affordable place to live but there’s lots still to do and much for this community to talk about. I’m honored to serve as President of the Board of Directors of our YMCA, a trustee for the Recreation Foundation, and a Vice President of Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (“FoHVOS”). Through these, I am working hard on issues that I intend to make priorities as a member of Borough Council: building a community/senior center and preserving our town’s open space green belt.  I sit on our town’s economic development committee, the similar committee for our neighboring Township of Lawrence, and am chair of the Hopewell Valley chapter of the MIDJersey Chamber of commerce. Working to promote our  business community, while respecting our quiet, walkable, residential character, can be a win for everyone.

I’m an attorney by trade and look forward to putting my knowledge to work on our town’s toughest issues. My work puts me front and center on an issue that’s going to be one of the biggest for our town, as we enter our second 125 years: openly and inclusively managing our three redevelopment areas. I have experience representing people, businesses, and governments, and am proud that part of my job quite literally is to help homeowners and businesses throughout the State save money on property taxes. The New Jersey Law Journal this year chose me as one of their “New Leaders of the Bar” and my industry peers recognized me as a New Jersey Super Lawyer Rising Star each year since 2014.

Traffic calming, more walking/bike trail connections, smart property tax policy, a redevelopment plan everyone can be proud of, a community/senior center for Hopewell Valley, modern electronic communications with residents, curbside organics recycling?  I know that our progressive community can make these things happen.

This Saturday, October 21 from 11am to 1:30pm, I have organized a candidate “meet and greet” at our Borough Park gazebo.  I hope you can join me, along with many of our other elected officials from the Borough, County and our representatives from the 15th Legislative District for an informal get together – come meet them in person!  We’ll be there with donuts, coffee and cider.  And, because Saturday is also FoHVOS / Hopewell “Clean Communities Day,” I’ll have work gloves, trash bags and other equipment for anyone who wants to help us clean up our park.

I’d say that I’m ready to get to work, but if you know me, you know that I’ve already started.   Call me (609.466.3972).  Email me (council@ryankennedy.com).  Visit me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RyanKennedyNJ), on the web (www.RyanKennedy.com) or just stop by and say hi. I’m always learning, listening, and working. If you need help with something, have questions or an idea, I want to hear about it.

It’s no surprise that Hopewell Borough consistently ranks among the top towns in our State. Sure, our many restaurants, walkable downtown, antiques and shopping, historic homesteads, parks, fantastic schools and open space are probably what the reviewers are adding up but we know it’s the people of Hopewell that make it a great community.  I’m proud to be a small part of that, and honored to have the chance to represent you on Borough Council.

Ryan Kennedy, Hopewell Borough

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