Letter to the Editor: Kristin McLaughlin, Candidate for Hopewell Township Committee

To the Editor:

My name is Kristin McLaughlin and I am a Democratic candidate for the Hopewell Township Committee.

I am running for office in order to protect the unique core values of Hopewell Township. For generations, our residents have fought to preserve the land and open spaces while giving people a strong community in which to build their lives. To achieve these goals, our government must be efficient and responsive. When our Committee members work together, we can look for innovative ways to keep taxes low. I am running because I want to ensure that Hopewell Township is well positioned for the next generation yet looks very much like the one we are so fortunate to enjoy today and those who want to stay in this township can continue to do so.

When we arrived in Hopewell Township in 2008, my husband Mike and I were thrilled with the opportunity to live next door to a farm. We had returned to Mike’s hometown, a place where we could raise our daughters surrounded by incredible preserved spaces and people who share a commitment to each other. I plan to bring my interest in sustainability and the environment, experience with fiscal responsibility as a trustee of a local independent school, and understanding of the complex needs of residents of the township to the Committee.

The biggest immediate threat to our community is the PennEast Pipeline. This project would ruin farmland, devastate livelihoods, and destroy property values. The quality of our well water would be in jeopardy. We must speak with a unified voice against the project. I have worked extensively on issues of sustainability and understand the real threat this pipeline poses. We must stand united, firm, and ready to take action against this threat to the health of our land, water, and ultimately, our people.

We also face a challenge with the Affordable Housing mandate. We must continue to pursue every option to ensure that our township is not forced to shoulder an unmanageable burden. Only by working with a unified voice can we protect our township.

I was born and raised in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas and came east to attend college and get my Master’s in Elementary Education. I had learned the value of public service from my mother who served four terms in the Kansas Senate. Since moving to Pennington in 2008, I have volunteered extensively for my daughters’ schools. My primary initiatives in the schools have been sustainability and inclusiveness. I have experience balancing competing needs within groups and understand the importance of collaborating to find the best solutions. I fully understand the critical importance of keeping the township affordable for everyone including families and seniors. Both our past and future demand protection.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking and running in the magnificent preserved spaces Hopewell Township boasts and watching my daughters compete in the sport of the season. We hike with our daughters and fish in the streams. With every change of season, I am reminded how fortunate we are to have such incredible public spaces available to us. Our farms and waterways sustain us physically, financially and emotionally. We must protect them.

I am running with Michael Ruger for the Township Committee. Michael and his family have deep roots in the township and a true devotion to keeping this community affordable and protected. He shares my values, and together we will listen to your ideas and concerns and use our skills and commitment for the betterment of our neighbors.

I look forward to meeting many of you and hearing your thoughts on what is important to the future of Hopewell Township.

Sincerely yours,

Kristin McLaughlin Hopewell Township

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