LTE: Misinformation season is here!

To the Editor,

Having farmed in Hopewell Valley for several years now, I know that the end of October brings two things: Chickens quit laying as the days get shorter, and the local amateur politicians start bamboozling voters with misinformation in the run-up to local elections. 

Sure enough, both have happened right on cue. The birds are settling in for the winter, and Letters to the Editor are offering partisan takes filled with fallacies. 

Take, for example, Kevin Kuchinski’s recent (October 28, 2022) letter “Setting the record straight on Township finances”. 

In response to claims made by the Republican candidates Dan Hanley and Jenn DiDonato that “millions of dollars have been diverted” from the Township’s surplus to pay for the small tax cut some residents received this year Mr. Kuchinski states that 

“Hopewell Township’s Surplus balance currently covers 43% of Township revenues, which Moody’s considers a “AAA” level. This not only is sufficient to cover many months of Township expenditures, but is also healthier than many, if not most, NJ municipalities.”

But that response simply dodges the issue that Hanley and DiDonato raise. Imagine my wife comes home to find an expensive vintage motorcycle in our driveway (say, a 1952 cherry red Indian Chief in with telescopic forks and the engine stroked to 80 cu in…) and angrily asks me if I’d spent some of savings on it. If I smile winsomely and tell her that our savings will cover 43% of our revenue, and that we’re still in a very healthy financial position she’d know immediately that I was trying to avoid answering her question. 

Moreover, my wife would probably infer from my evasiveness that our savings had been spent on an icon of American engineering. In the same way Mr. Kuchinski’s refusal to directly address the question raised by Dan Hanley and Jenn DiDonato doesn’t put to rest concerns that many residents have over the Township budget. 

It just makes us more suspicious that the incumbents on the Township Committee aren’t being open with the residents they’re supposed to serve.

James Stacey Taylor,
Hopewell Township

If you rely on MercerMe for your local news, please support us.

To keep the news coming, we rely on support from subscribers and advertising partners. Hyperlocal, independent, and digital — MercerMe has been providing Hopewell Valley its news since 2013. Subscribe today.