The following are letters submitted to the editor of MercerMe:
Letter Celebrating The Amazing Pumpkin Carve and Thanking Sponsors
Nearly 5,000 people visited our five-day display of 50 giant carved pumpkins, making The Amazing Pumpkin Carve the Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s biggest event of the year. Many thanks to our sponsors, artists, volunteers and supporters who joined us for this fun celebration of the arts in our community. We are thrilled that The Amazing Pumpkin Carve is becoming a local autumn tradition.
This year, we partnered with the Hopewell Valley Uniformed Firefighters Association and the Hopewell Township Fire District No. 1. for the annual Fire Safety Open House. We also teamed with the Hopewell Valley Historic Preservation Committee for the re-dedication of Woolsey Park, which proved to be a popular new location for the Carve right in the heart of Hopewell Valley, making the Amazing Pumpkin Carve truly a community-wide celebration.
The outpouring of support makes this and future art-inspired events a big part of Hopewell Valley’s vibrant culture. We are grateful. Thank you so much for helping the Hopewell Valley Arts Council “celebrate art in the everyday!”
Carol Lipson, Hopewell Valley Arts Council Board of Trustees President
Letter Thanking Voters for Supporting Murray and Sawicki
We would like to express our appreciation to the voters of Hopewell Township for their support in this year’s [Hopewell Valley] School Board election. While great strides have been made in the District, there still remains much work to be done. We are pleased to resume our work to further District progress toward a bright future.
We congratulate Sarah Tracy on her election, and look forward to working with her. We would also like to acknowledge Darius Matthews for having participated in the election process. We admire his strength of character and encourage him to run again, as he possesses many attributes that would be beneficial to our Board.
We thank MercerMe for its coverage of the election, and for providing an outlet for us to express our goals for the district’s future. We are grateful to our current and former Board colleagues, who provided their time for discussions and advice. We also appreciate the feedback provided by the many district residents who met with us and discussed their experiences, concerns, and opinions on education. We will keep your insights in mind as we set new policy.
Lastly, we are indebted to our families for their encouragement and hard work on our behalf.
Thank you again to the voters for the confidence you demonstrated in re-electing us, and for providing us the opportunity to continue serving Hopewell Township on the Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education.
Alyce Murray & Adam J. Sawicki Jr., Hopewell Township, NJ
Letter Asserting Township Planning Board Violated the Master Plan
It was painful to watch the unraveling of our Master Plan. In hours, the Hopewell Township Planning Board, bowing to the Hopewell Township Committee, capriciously, arbitrarily and unreasonably, undid what many previous planning boards, as well as previous township committees, took years to accomplish – a blue-print for limited development. Apparently, the current planning board believed our carefully-crafted Master Plan to be mere suggestions.
Rather than jealously guard their turf, our Master Plan, and literally, the turf of the Township, current planning board members, with one lone dissenting voice, seem to perceive themselves as the obedient servants of the Township Committee, whose role is to rubber-stamp Township Committee over-development.
With the phrase “inconsistent with the Master Plan” repeated over and over and over again during the course of the Special Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, November 15, Planning Board members Jack Belmont, Paul Kiss, Rex Parker, Courtney Peters-Manning, Russell Swanson and Chair Karen Murphy, and over the objection of member Larry Clarke, spent their meeting making excuses for the Township Committee’s poorly-conceived Affordable Housing settlement.
Then again, was anyone really surprised? These are the same approving planning board members, and the same objector, who previously determined that undeveloped farmland (is there any other kind?) was unproductive, and, therefore in need of redevelopment. And the same Township Committee that recently ignored our Master Plan by expanding sewers.
Harvey Lester, Titusville (Hopewell Township), NJ