To the Editor:
Three years ago, Julie Blake was a name on a flyer on my front door. Like a lot of folks, I was not plugged in to municipal politics. I followed the back-and-forth between red and blue nationally and state-wide, but not here in our own community.
That changed when I received one too many notices about our public water system, and I went to a Hopewell Township Committee meeting for the first time and introduced myself to our Deputy Mayor.
Right then, I knew Julie was not your typical hi-how-are-ya politician. Julie has a skill that those stereotypical pols don’t have: She listens.
I saw that in action when I went to an information session at the high school on the Zaitz development. Julie heard from resident after resident – our neighbors – deeply concerned about what might change, and not only was her interest in listening plain to see, it resulted in action, adjustments made based on what Julie and her fellow committee members heard.
Washington and Trenton might get most of the attention when it comes to politics, but the HTC deals with issues that affect our lives every day, and Julie gets that. She knows our tax dollars are valuable and should go more to services and less to debt. She knows the PennEast pipeline is no good for Hopewell Township. She knows we all need clean water to drink, whether you’re on public water or you rely on responsible use of our land so your well stays charged.
Those issues might not get the clicks like what’s going on down in Washington, but they get Julie’s notice, and that’s after she’s spent the day in our state’s public schools. I’m the son of and husband to public-school employees, and I know as much as anyone outside the field what that day is like. That Julie is willing to devote so much to the issues that face us all, on top of what she does professionally, says a lot more about her than I ever can.
I went to a Trenton Water Works presentation in Trenton, and Julie was there. I bought lunch at Pennington Quality Market during the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation’s benefit, and there she was, bagging groceries. I went to the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance’s night at the Trenton Thunder, and there was Julie, ushering and selling 50/50 tickets on their behalf. Not even being grazed by a Tim Tebow foul ball could set her back.
The Soul Food dinner for the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, she was there. The Lawrence Hopewell Trail’s Full Moon Ride, she was there. So many more community events that I didn’t go to, she was there, and for her to be there for us for the next three years, she needs us to be there for her on one day, November 6.
Mr. Borders is a member of the Hopewell Township Zoning Board but writes as an individual resident.