Lawrence Township has faced some difficult times dealing with the effects of the economic downturn beginning in 2008. It deeply impacted the township along with Mercer County and our state.

Since then the Democratic members of the Lawrence Township Council have fought hard to maintain the quality of life that residents expect and deserve. Today, Lawrence Township is as healthy as ever with strong finances, new investments by the business community, and a continued focus to provide residents excellent services within a budget that is not a burden on the taxpayer.

For the past four years, Lawrence Township has had a flat tax rate. It is worth repeating, thanks to the leadership of the Democrats on council, the municipal tax rate has remained unchanged for the past four years. While inflation and the cost of living have increased during this time, the Democrats on council have made the difficult decisions to maintain and improve municipal services through their collective knowledge, experience and creativity.

The leadership of the Democrats on council in managing the township budget is one piece of our stable tax rate. Having a strong ratable base both commercial and residential is an important piece as well. Over the past four years, the township has undergone a renaissance of new smart development focused on filling in the missing pieces to our business and residential districts while maintaining our preserved open spaces.

Many years in the making, the Business Route 1 redevelopment project is turning a deteriorating area into a safe, friendly neighborhood. The new roundabout at Whitehead Road along with a lowered speed limit will only improve this business district. Township council has worked to improve and maintain the Johnson Avenue streetscape as one of the gateways to the Eggerts Crossing neighborhood. The expansion of Bristol Meyers Squibb, the renovation of the Quakerbridge Shopping Center, the new Costco, Wawa and other commercial expansion throughout the township point to the strong and productive relationship between municipal government and the business community. The Democrats on council will continue to work to ensure that all areas of our township prosper.

This strong ratable foundation has allowed the Democrats on council to renew the investment in municipal public safety and services. Today the police force is back up to full strength and council is committed to providing the required resources to have them perform at the highest level. The Democrats are also committed to continue to provide cost-effective fire and emergency services. With a focus on the future, township council has continued to work with and provide the necessary funding for Public Works to provide effective snow removal, maintain the public park system, and to continue to maintain and renovate township roads.

Our township parks are being improved with a new accessible playground honoring Captain Lawrence at Central Park, renovated tennis courts in Colonial Lake Park, and other projects occurring throughout the township. This ongoing and wise investment by the Democrats on council in public safety and services helps to ensure that the township can grow in a manner that respects the past while looking ahead to the future.

This is the proven leadership that the Democrats on Lawrence Township Council have shown over the past four years. Jim Kownacki and Chris Bobbitt will continue this long track record of success. Both will continue to fight for new ways to improve Lawrence while keeping an eye on the municipal tax rate. On Nov. 7, vote for a better Lawrence, vote for new ideas that will reduce costs, vote for Kownacki and Bobbitt.

— Chris Bobbit and Jim Kownacki
Bobbit and Kownacki are Lawrence Township councilmen.