LTE: Smears and innuendo once again spoil Hopewell politics

Nenad Stojkovic, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

To the Editor,

Hopewell is a lovely place to live. But I have come to realize that every Fall this is marred by the nastiness of its local politics. 

This year is no different. 

The Democratic incumbents Courtney Peters-Manning and David Chait conclude their letter of November 2 by stating that “Property taxes are complicated, and it’s easy to misrepresent the facts and even outright lie.” While they don’t come right out and say it the implication is clear: Their Republican challengers (Jenn DiDonato and Dan Hanley) are engaging in deliberate deceit about local taxes. This is a serious charge. If Ms. Peters-Manning and Mr. Chait have evidence that this is the case, then they should present it to the community. If they don’t, then this sentence was simply an underhanded smear.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Ms. Peters-Manning has implied that people who disagree with her are dishonest. A MercerMe article from March 2, 2021 reported that she “questioned the motivation” of those residents who expressed concerns about the massive commercial developments that were being thrust into their neighborhoods. The residents expressed concerns about the environmental impact of 2,200+ new houses, the vast majority of which would be commercial units built to profit developers. In response, in her capacity as Deputy Mayor Ms. Peters-Manning stated she believed that this concern was not real. Instead, she said it was a “thinly veiled attempt” to oppose “affordable housing”. Dismissing her neighbors’ concerns she chastised them for failing to welcome new residents and meeting them “with pitchforks”. 

Attributing bad motives to people who disagree with you isn’t serving the community. It’s engaging in smears. 

Hopewell deserves better. 

I hope in future that all candidates for local office—whether Democrat or Republican—can put aside party politics, refuse to stoop to smears and innuendo, and listen to their neighbors so we can all work together to make Hopewell even better than it already is. 

James Stacey Taylor,
Hopewell Township

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