Home » Oyez, oyez! The Township Committee begins a new year with goals of inclusivity

Oyez, oyez! The Township Committee begins a new year with goals of inclusivity

by Cat Jackson

Two re-elected Township Committee members were sworn in at the first meeting of 2024, held this past Wednesday, January 3. The ceremony was heralded by Stanley D. Saperstein of the American Guild of Town Criers, pictured above, who was dressed in a tricorn cap and carrying a staff topped with a bald eagle. Committee members Kevin Kuchinski and Michael Ruger made their oaths of office, and then all present welcomed Courtney Peters-Manning as the new mayor and Uma Purandare as the deputy mayor. 

The Committee has pledged a year outreach and acceptance for all residents of the Township. Peters-Manning recalled her late father, Jim Peters, and the way he modeled acceptance and conflict resolution to her and to all. Purandare talked about how quickly she and her family were made to feel at home here in the Township when they moved to Hopewell from a village in India; despite many changes in the community in her years of living here, she has no doubt that the welcoming attitude will continue. Committee member Michael Ruger also took a moment to acknowledge and mourn the late Madeleine Mansier, who served on the Equity Advisory Board and did valuable work to make the policies of the Township more welcoming and equitable for all people.

The meeting was brief. During public comment, resident Jim Burd asked about sewage pumping for the new development on Route 546 (Washington Crossing – Pennington Road). The sewer system is hooked up, but the development is still removing waste via “pump and dump”. According to Peters-Manning, the pumping station has a fifty-five thousand gallon capacity, and until the waste reaches that amount, they must continue to truck sewage away manually. 

Burd also expressed concern about the difficulty he had in obtaining information about this development, as well concern that not all subcommittees have resumed in-person meetings after the COVID-19 lockdowns. Two Hopewell Township subcommittees are currently online-only: the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Township Planning Board.

In regular business, the Committee noted that Sean Canning has been designated as the Public Agency Compliance Officer for 2024. The Hopewell Valley News, The Times of Trenton, The Trentonian, and the Hopewell Express are the official newspapers for the Township. In addition, the Committee finalized the official calendar, cash management plan, and temporary budgets.

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