Having worked in corporate America for more than 30 years, there’s no question that our nation’s tax structure needs comprehensive reform. It’s punitive and puts far too many U.S. companies at a disadvantage. The opportunity for meaningful tax reform hasn’t come along like this in decades, and that is why am deeply concerned that the whole thing may be derailed by polarizing environmental politics.

There is a push in Congress to package tax reform with opening the Arctic to drilling to offset revenue loss. A hot-button issue that’s been debated for years. Add in the fact that revenue projections from the move are questionable at best and could end up adding to the deficit—and the chance for real reform seems to diminish even further. I applaud U.S. Rep. Chris Smith for urging his colleagues to omit drilling in the arctic from the final tax bill. As the debate continues, I encourage him to continue speaking out against it, as arctic drilling is not a budget issue and has no place in any substantial tax reform.

— Jim Harrington

Leaving Board of Education with optimism

As my term on the Hamilton Township Board of Education comes to an end, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the people of our community who gave me the opportunity to be of service. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to be an advocate for our children and thus the well-being of our township.

I am proud of the work I have done on the board, including the hiring of our new Superintendent, Dr. Scott Rocco; the passage of the bond referendum that will bring much needed attention to our aging facilities; dozens of new programs aimed at getting our students ready for college and the workforce; my fights for greater transparency and respect to the taxpayers all year long, and especially during the budgeting process.

To our teachers, custodians, maintenance workers, secretaries bus drivers and all those who come to work every day to help serve our children, I thank you. You are all the backbone of our community, and if it were not for your hard work and passion to help the kids and their parents, our district would not be so well along and on track for improvement.

While there is still much work to be done, I am optimistic about our district’s future. Thank you, again, to the people of Hamilton Township for your trust and support throughout these past three years. For that and so much more, I am eternally grateful.

— Christopher F. Scales
Christopher Scales served on the Hamilton Township Board of Education since 2015. His term ends this month.