To the Editor:
Over the last few months, some township residents have been using the Pennytown history as a cudgel against current Democratic township committee members. None of the current committee members were involved in any of these Pennytown votes and the underlying narrative is inaccurate.
During the period of October until December 2008, the township committee voted eight times on ordinances to purchase the Pennytown property. The makeup of the committee was two Republicans and three Democrats. The votes were all unanimous. This refutes the allegation by Cheryl Edwards in her August 31 letter that the unfortunate “$7.8 million boondoggle” lies solely in the lap of the Democrats.
Starting with the 2008 ordinance to purchase Pennytown, and ending in 2016, previous township committees took action in public meetings on Pennytown matters 46 times. During this eight-year period, there were seven Democrats and six Republicans on the committee. With remarkable unanimity and regardless of which party was in control, 193 votes were cast on measures dealing with the redevelopment of the property, with a total of only four “no” votes. Clearly, Republican committee members were as responsible as Democrats, both in buying and in formulating redevelopment plans for Pennytown.
Readers can view an online listing of the actions taken by the Township committee at https://www.hopewelltwp.org/…/2867/Pennytown-Votes-for-HTCs…
Note: Russell Swanson is a member of the planning board, but is writing as an individual.