Why wait for 2020 when your vote will matter this November?
Hopewell Township residents can cast a vote for our community’s prosperous future on Nov. 5 by re-electing Mayor Kristin McLaughlin and electing Courtney Peters-Manning to the Hopewell Township Committee.
Their qualifications match what our community needs to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead. As mayor this year, McLaughlin has overseen the end of years of costly litigation in satisfying the township’s state-mandated affordable housing obligation. She has personally—and at her own expense—made two trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with commissioners from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that gives federal approval for pipelines, letting them know how PennEast’s prep work has affected our community and others.
Under her leadership, the township committee cut the discretionary portion of its budget this year by nearly 3 percent, keeping services and safety while stewarding our tax dollars.
By electing Peters-Manning, Hopewell Township would gain a fifth member of the township committee who will meet our community’s needs with a forward-thinking approach, and she’ll treat residents with respect. Her credentials on the environment are also strong, as she has testified in Trenton against PennEast and has participated in events protesting the pipeline.
Borders is a member of the Hopewell Township Zoning Board but writes as an individual resident.
* * *
While so many people are focused on the 2020 presidential election, I encourage everyone to remember that we have an important election in Hopewell Township this year. Mayor Kristin McLaughlin and her running mate, Courtney Peters-Manning, are the right choice for the Township.
I have known Kristin for over 10 years and have served with her on the Township Committee for nearly two years. Kristin is incredibly hard-working and takes her responsibilities seriously. When she speaks at a Township Committee meeting, she is well-prepared and knowledgeable. Her decisions are based on facts, not opinion, and her votes reflect conviction, not political expediency.
I have known Courtney for several years. Courtney is a lawyer and an experienced director of finance, so she understands fiscal responsibility at the most fundamental level. When it comes to environmental issues, Courtney does not just talk the talk, but literally walks the walk. She has not only attended numerous protests against PennEast, but has spoken at them as well. I know nothing will ever change Courtney’s firm and long-held opposition to the PennEast pipeline.
Kristin and Courtney are a fantastic team and will work in the best interests of all of us in Hopewell Township. I encourage everyone to vote for Kristin McLaughlin and Courtney Peters-Manning at the polls on Nov. 5, or by mail before then.
Michael Ruger is writing as an individual and is not speaking for the Hopewell Township Committee.
* * *
Kristin McLaughlin and Courtney Peters-Manning are two extremely qualified candidates running for Hopewell Township Committee. Ms. McLaughlin is seeking her second term and is currently the Mayor. As a committee member, she has demonstrated her willingness to get deeply involved in critical issues that face the Township. She has listened to all sides of an issue and has presented viable solutions that not only make sense but align with constraints and regulations that are dictated by other governing bodies. Ms. McLaughlin has proven that she always has the best interest of residents from the entire Township, and she has clearly shown that she understands and respects the history of the Township but is not naïve about what’s needed to address current and future issues. Ms. McLaughlin has earned the support of Township residents and deserves to serve a second term.
Ms. Peters-Manning may be a new name to voters, but she is a mainstay in the local community. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, she has used her expertise as an environmental lawyer to serve the people of Hopewell as a highly-valued member of the Planning Board. Ms. Peters-Manning will add important financial expertise to the Township Committee. As the Director of Finance at Cambridge School, she knows how to use resources wisely and to create budgets that meet obligations within fiscal means. She has demonstrated these skills at St. James Church where she serves as a member of the Finance Council. A highly devoted member of this community, a trustee of both the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail and FoHVOS, Ms. Peters-Manning brings a fresh, new perspective to the challenges facing this community.
Kristin McLaughlin and Courtney Peters-Manning are the perfect candidates to respect Hopewell’s past, while preparing for its future. Extraordinarily qualified, conscientious, and committed, they deserve your votes on Nov. 5.
* * *
I’m running for the Hopewell Township Committee to promote fiscal responsibility, environmental preservation and positive, civil dialogue.
Our community is facing important issues. We must keep municipal taxes under control. We must protect our rural character by continuing to preserve open space, closely managing development, and fighting to keep the PennEast pipeline from decimating private and preserved lands in the Township.
After many years of working as an environmental lawyer, and now running the finances of a small school, I got involved in local politics because I want a more positive, civil, and inclusive dialogue. Based on my listening tour this summer, I’ve found that Township residents agree more than we disagree on most local issues.
But when we disagree, I hope we can discuss it respectfully. As a candidate for Hopewell Township Committee, I pledge to listen to anyone who wants to engage in a constructive way, and if elected, I will respect and hear all constituents, whether we agree or disagree.
I care deeply about Hopewell Township, where my husband Tomas and I have firmly put down our family’s roots and are raising our two boys in this active and engaged community. Everywhere I go, I meet people who care about our shared place on the planet and the people in it. I love this community, from Pennington Day to the Harvest Festival, from preserving Baldpate mountain to providing meal trains when friends have babies or lose loved ones. I am on the boards of the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) and the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, and I serve on the finance council for St. James Church.
Professionally, I am the director of finance and general counsel at the Cambridge School in Pennington, which my parents founded in 2001 to help children with learning differences. I am responsible for all budgeting, keeping expenses under control and managing cash flow and payroll. I know what it means to keep expenses under revenue in order to make payroll every two weeks, which is a skill I will bring with me to the township committee.
I have been going door to door all summer and will continue my listening tour of the township this fall, knocking on doors to hear what your concerns are for Hopewell Township’s future. If I miss you, please contact me at email@example.com, or see my Facebook page with my running mate, Mayor Kristin McLaughlin, at facebook.com/courtneyandkristin. I look forward to talking with you, and I promise to take what you say to the Township Committee if elected.
* * *
My name is Kristin McLaughlin and I am running for reelection to the Hopewell Township Committee.
More than 11 years ago, my family moved to Hopewell Township. My husband grew up here and we came back because we knew that our three daughters would thrive here. We love the small town feel of Hopewell Valley, but the challenges facing the Township are no small matter. It takes work, thought, diligence, and patience to create a clear eyed and smart government for our residents. It has been an honor to serve this community for the past three years, and I’m committed to continuing to listen to our residents and fight for their benefit.
As I reflect on my years on Township Committee, I realize that my reasons for wanting to serve have not changed. Three years ago, I ran to preserve the unique core values of Hopewell Township. I ran to protect our magnificent open spaces. I ran to help build a stronger and more unified community. I ran because I wanted a say in how tax dollars were spent and wanted to make sure that those in charge were not spending indiscriminately.
I now have a much deeper understanding of the unique character of our hometown and none of those reasons have changed in the least. I’ve met representatives from many other municipalities and they are amazed when I tell them about Hopewell Township. I have seen first hand the strength of our environmental partners. I’ve enjoyed working with the leadership at FoHVOS, D&R Greenway, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Sourland Conservancy, and the The Watershed. Hopewell Township now boasts 3731.72 acres of preserved land. We have expanded our trail network (some which help our kids walk safely to school) and worked to increase awareness of the incredible natural spaces our residents can use.
In the past three years, the committee has focused on reducing our debt so that we can put our dollars toward the services our residents deserve. Our commitment to fiscal responsibility has emerged in everything we do. We have questioned every budget line and zero-based our budget. Over three years, we cut a total of $2 million of unnecessary spending. I was proud as your mayor to present a 2019 Budget that kept spending below what the Township spent in 2015, while still expanding services to residents. This was not an easy task, but by finding creative ways to do more with less, I was able to keep our standard of service high, at a lower cost to everyone.
We are also much closer to the long-talked-about Senior and Community Center. I spent several months last year talking to seniors as well as other community groups about their needs and desires for a new center which offered more space. The Township sent out a survey to residents asking what their vision for a center, including types of programming and recreational offerings. By working with partner organizations, we plan to bring a space which can function as the heart of the Township- a gathering place for people of all ages. Our seniors will have the additional space they need, and there will be expanded recreational options options for everyone including an indoor lap pool and therapy pool. We have land reserved for a new center and are also actively looking at additional sites to make sure we have the information we need to make an informed decision.
I’ve made it my mission to stop the PennEast pipeline. Here again, I have worked with numerous groups opposed to this project – The Watershed, HTCAPP, and ReThinkEnergy NJ, and I’ve spoken at numerous rallies, press conferences, at a hearing in the statehouse with Senators and Assembly members present, and travelled twice to Washington DC to speak directly to the FERC Commissioners about the disastrous effect this pipeline would have on our township. We do not want and do not need this pipeline!
There is always more work to be done. We have a tremendous group of active volunteers. I promise to continue to work with them and to fight the important battles that lie ahead. I will partner with the non-profits in our community and other municipalities to do more for less. We must find ways to protect the township we love, efficiently and effectively use the resources we have, and thoughtfully plan for the future. I ask for your vote on November 5th.
* * *
I watched the Hopewell Township Committee meeting in astonishment on Monday night (September 16, 2019). Longtime Committee member John Hart is pushing the Township to purchase the Hopewell Valley Golf Club without a careful look at the financial and engineering problems that could plague taxpayers for years to come. In all his haste, Mr. Hart is out of touch with the needs and wishes of our community:
1. After years of seeking help, do our seniors really want the Township to halt its $300,000 renovation of the current Senior Center on Reading Road?
2. After years of fighting overdevelopment, do residents really want the Township to spend millions of dollars running sewers up Rte. 31 so they can tie into the golf course?
3. After years of careful planning, do taxpayers really want to rush into a hazy, ill-conceived plan that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars down the road?
The Golf Club is undoubtedly a wonderful asset to our community, and in the coming months, I hope the Township Committee will develop a careful, responsible strategy to protect this property and the recreational opportunities it provides. However, taking John Hart’s advice and rushing into a real estate deal without first doing our due diligence could lead to another Pennytown fiasco.
I don’t think Hopewell Township can afford yet another chaotic John Hart term. I’m voting for McLaughlin and Peters-Manning on November 5th.