LTE: There’s a choice on November 5 and it’s clear

To the Editor:

Unsure if you should vote on November 5, or what the difference is between the candidates for the Hopewell Township Committee? Here you go.

Fiscal responsibility: In her role as mayor, Kristin McLaughlin helped lead the effort to cut the discretionary portion of the Township’s budget – the part over which she and the current Committee have control – by nearly three percent. Courtney Peters-Manning has experience in running a budget from her own family business here in our community, skills that directly translate when every dollar counts.

John Hart? Well, it’s tough to contribute ideas to trim the budget when you miss all or nearly all of two of the four public budget meetings in 2019. His running mate, Ed “Jack” Jackowski, hasn’t taken full advantage of his voice as a member of the public, so we don’t really know how he’d help with this issue or others so important to the continued health of our community.

The environment: Kristin and Courtney have fought the PennEast Pipeline at every turn. Kristin has made two visits to Washington on her own dime, speaking directly with the commissioners of FERC, the federal agency with pipeline oversight, and Courtney has testified in Trenton against the pipeline.

John, just this year, said, “The facts are it might be climate change and not actually global warming,” a stance that clearly doesn’t understand the urgency around this issue, nor that global warming causes climate change.   

Kids’ safety: Also this year, regarding the Safe Routes to School pathway program, of which John is critical, he said in a public meeting to “tell the kid to get his butt on the bus or to walk,” and “if you walk, then just be careful.” He then asked, “How many kids are getting hit by a car?” When told in another public meeting that in most cases, children who live within two miles of their school are not entitled to busing, John had no substantive response. Kristin and Courtney, because apparently it needs to be said, want to make sure our kids get to and from school as safe as when they left home.

Basic decency: In late 2018, John, from the Township Committee dais, told a resident “you don’t know s— about me,” in response to that resident holding John accountable for other comments he made. John later stood over that resident in the public gallery, threatening to throw the resident out of the meeting. Kristin and Courtney? No such stories. 

Being on the Township Committee is about more than moving the community’s business along. It’s also about understanding what it means to be a leader in the community, someone that future generations can look up to for when it’s their turn. Kristin and Courtney get it. John sure doesn’t, and Jack doesn’t say enough for us to know.

Andrew Borders,

Hopewell Township

Mr. Borders is a member of the Hopewell Township Zoning Board but writes as an individual resident.

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