To the Editor:
I have known Bill Herbert for 14 years and am confident that he would be an incredible asset to the Hopewell Valley School Board. Bill’s intelligence, strong values, thoughtfulness and vast business and community experience make him the perfect candidate. Not only is he a kind and likeable person who can talk to anyone, he is uniquely qualified to elevate the School Board to the next level.
There is no doubt that Bill is committed to community service. He has coached countless soccer and lacrosse teams, has served as a member of the Soccer Board since 2010, and was Treasurer of the Princeton Community Church for 5 years.
One of the qualities I admire most about Bill is his willingness to take in and assimilate different points of view and compromise. I have witnessed him change his mind as new information arises and circumstances change, which is a critical skill that is lacking in many dynamic leaders in today’s world. Bill has a rare combination of approachability and fierce commitment that will allow him to work with the diverse personalities on the Board and optimally serve the numerous stakeholders of our education system.
I have spoken to Bill on multiple occasions about his vision for the School Board and am excited about his desire to bring more transparency and clear communication to our community. As an Executive Leadership Coach, I know how important these competencies and values are to the efficacy of any organization or advisory group. We have recently seen budgets passed with little debate and no compromise, which has all but eliminated taxpayer accountability. The breadth and depth of Bill’s financial background–from his MBA to his positions as VP of Financial Planning & Analysis and Group CFO at Jackson Hewitt–will bring a welcome level of expertise and fiscal responsibility.
I also agree with Bill that it’s important to have someone representing the community who doesn’t currently have students in the District. If elected, he would be the only one with that status. Bill is deeply appreciative of the outstanding education his daughters received in Hopewell and is 100% supportive of ensuring exceptional offerings, yet believes that we should only increase budgets for reasons that are clearly communicated to and supported by the community. HVRSD costs are now the most per-pupil in Mercer County. We claim to want increased diversity and equity in our schools and community, yet passed a budget that makes it even more unaffordable to live here. The one board member who protested the spending increase and wanted to look for alternatives was literally shouted down by another member.
Bill’s leadership skills, commitment to transparency and clear communication, financial expertise, and passion for Hopewell’s ability to continually provide a top-notch education–while simultaneously serving the community as a whole–make him the obvious choice for the School Board. I could not recommend him highly enough!