Letters to the Editor: Week of November 6, 2017

The following are letters submitted to the editor of MercerMe:

Letter in Support of Sarah Tracy for HVRSD BOE

I am writing a letter in support of Sarah Tracy for the School Board of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District.  Sarah Tracey is running as an independent candidate. She is running on her own merits against a slate of 3 candidates. This alone speaks volumes.

I have a history of splitting tickets in varied elections because I can; because NO ONE regardless of how much knowledge or expertise they claim to have has the right to choose for you what an ideal School Board or Township Committee and so on looks like.

Hopewell Township is faced with an actual decision for the first time in ages.  If memory serves me correctly every currently seated board member ran unopposed.  If I’m wrong, I’m certain my neighbors will have no problem fact checking me.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sarah and asking her many of the questions that were posed during the Candidate Forum at CHS along with many of my own.

There are a few key things that stood out for me in that exchange and ultimately why I choose to support her.  First, Sarah’s commitment to fiscal responsibility resonated with me.  Her 30 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry has armed her with the tools to be effective in that endeavor.  Sarah has students in our schools and wants them to continue to have all the wide range of resources available to them and believes that there are ways to balance the budget without limiting resources for our children.

Second, Sarah is very clear about who the stakeholders are in our community.  This bit really resonated with my mother a 75-year-old lifelong resident of the Township.  Sarah acknowledges that beyond our students and their families, our teachers, support staff, administrators, and other district employees; that residents like my mother, people who have no children enrolled in our schools, or perhaps have no children at all BUT pay taxes in this community are indeed stakeholders as well.   She understands that she has a responsibility to them too; a responsibility to keep them informed and to consider them in Board decisions.

For families of middle and high school students in the south end of the Township and along the route 31 corridor, Hazardous Busing continues to be a pressing issue.  This brings me to my final point.  There are a handful of us that have been fighting for change as it applies to the district’s policy on this for over two years, some longer.  Those of us who are impacted are required to pay for our students to ride a bus to school (because we live within 2 miles of their school) despite the fact that their route to school, the one that was used to measure their distance from that school is deemed hazardous and in some cases illegal for bike or pedestrian traffic.  Many of us feel that our concerns have fallen on deaf ears and that this sends a message that our students safety is not a priority.  We’ve heard vague chatter about potentially reviewing the policy, ironically in these past few weeks at the peak of the election cycle.  I shared our current policy with Sarah.  It was news to her, as it is for most parents of elementary students.  She found the policy shocking, specifically that the district would require families who pay taxes already; to pay for their students’ busing when walking is not a safe option.  If elected, she is committed to reviewing this policy and looking into potential solutions for the approximately 400 impacted students and their families.

Catherine Fulmer-Hogan, Hopewell Township


Letter Rebutting “Beware Lester’s Twisted Words”

I am compelled to write to rebut last week’s letter to the editor by the Democrats’ Campaign Manager for the past 4 years, Peter Sandford, in which he claimed that my brief, five-sentence letter to the editor, entitled “Kuchinski Expanded Sewers Last Week” was “full of misleading statements and twisted logic” and referred to me as “the same man who famously switched parties so that he could become mayor.”

(For Peter Sandford’s LTE, please visit this link: https://mercerme.com/letters-to-the-editor-week-of-november-2-2017-part-3/)

At the outset, I challenge Mr. Sandford to identify any one of those 5 sentences, or any phrase or even any word in my letter that was untrue.  It was true, wasn’t it, that just 4 days after Candidate Kuchinski claimed at the League of Women Voters debate that he fought sewers “and just 10 days after MercerMe printed his claim in his Letter to the Editor, he voted to approve a Township Committee Resolution to expand sewers into an area that, previously, was not able to have sewers” at the Township Committee Meeting on Monday, October 23, 2017?  It was true, wasn’t it, that “all attending Democrats voted to expand sewers, while the lone Republican Township Committee Member voted against the resolution?”  It was true, wasn’t it, that the public could “watch the videotape of the meeting for yourself and see Candidate Kuchinski and his fellow-Democrats vote to expand sewers over Republican objection?”  Was it the other two sentences announcing that I was rebutting your candidate’s letter or inviting the public not to take my word for it that troubled you, Mr. Sandford?  Or was it that you simply wanted to keep the truth from the public?

And speaking of the truth, did you forget, Mr. Sandford, that I was a registered Democrat in January, 2015 when I was voted Mayor by the majority of the 2015 Hopewell Township Committee? You were so deeply involved in Democrat politics at that time that I have a hard time believing that you forgot. Perhaps you could jog your memory by researching any of our local news sources, including MercerMe.  As you do so, you will remember that I remained a registered Democrat until mid-March, 2015, so I could not have “switched parties to become mayor,” famously or otherwise, because I was already Mayor BEFORE I switched parties.

Does the truth come back to you now or do you chose to continue to shred your credibility?

Harvey Lester, Hopewell Township (Titusville)



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