There are a number of uncontested races happening in town: Paul Anzano for Hopewell Borough Mayor, Chris Fossel and David Mackie for Hopewell Borough Council, Joseph Lawver for Pennington Borough Mayor and Charles “Chico” Marciante and Beverly Mills for Pennington Borough Council. Each candidate wrote a brief statement about what they hope to accomplish in the coming term.
Hopewell Borough Mayor
Paul Anzano, 64, has lived in Hopewell for 16 years. He attended Lyndhurst High School and graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in history and economics. He went on to attend Seton Hall’s school of law and is currently an attorney at Princeton, Quinn, Anzano PC. He previously served one term on the Hopewell Borough Counsel and was the state senate counsel from 1984 to 1991. He and his wife, Christine O’Brien, have two children: Bridget, a junior at George Washington University, and Maeve, a senior at Hopewell Valley Central High School.
“In what will be my fourth term, I am looking forward to growing the positive sense of community currently thriving in the Borough. Our residents and business owners exhibit pride and support for the intangible sense that is the ‘Hopewell community.’ I look forward to the seamless elimination of plastic bags in 2020, the continued improvement to our housing and retail sectors through public and private means, including redevelopment, and maintaining our focused pursuit of grants for infrastructure improvements. Above all, I look forward to working with the Borough Council, led by Council President Sky Morehouse, to keep property taxes as low as possible while we address our community’s most urgent and desired priorities to help maintain the quality of life our residents expect and deserve. I truly enjoy interacting with our residents, listening to their ideas and concerns. I look forward to continuing that open and productive dialogue.”
Hopewell Borough Council
Chris Fossel and his family moved to Hopewell Borough in 2010. They previously lived in Pennington for eight years. He attended St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone and earned a degree in psychology from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He also earned a teaching certificate. Fossel retired from Merrill Lynch and went on to become a special education job coach and special education running coach at Hopewell Valley Central High School. Both of his children graduated from HVCHS. This will be Fossel’s third term on council.
“I would like to continue to focus on needs of the residents of Hopewell Borough. I would also like to continue to increase the communities efforts regarding health and climate issues.”
David Mackie, 60, has lived in Hopewell with his wife, Mary, for 28 years. He attended Princeton Day School and transferred to the Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts during his junior year. He graduated in 1977. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Rutgers-Newark and has masters degrees in geology from the University of Connecticut and public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Mackie currently works as a consulting environmental geologist at Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions in Somerset. He has served on Borough Council for over 20 years.
“My primary goals this term are: promote the creation and preservation of affordable housing opportunities and a diverse range of housing options the Borough that meet the needs of the community; investigate possible options for a new water supply well in or near the Borough, in order to reduce our current dependence on water purchased from New Jersey American Water and lower our water supply costs; and working together with the Building Committee to prioritize and address our ongoing infrastructure and building maintenance needs, especially with regard to our water supply, the Public Works facility, the Hopewell Borough Train Station, and our Library.”
Pennington Borough Mayor
Joseph Lawver has lived in Hopewell for 15 years. He attended the Lawrenceville School and went on to graduate from Georgetown, where he studied government. He is a former product manager with Verizon Wireless. Lawver has two children.
“Over the next four years, Pennington Borough will continue to redevelop the old landfill into a true community asset, develop an arboretum behind Toll Gate as a new park space, partner with the business community to address the changing retail environment and its impact on our downtown, collaborate with Hopewell Township so that the changes at the BMS site are advantageous to the Pennington community, execute our long-term capital plan for road improvements and water and sewer system maintenance, replace the HVAC system, roof and other failing systems in Borough Hall, secure long-term labor contracts with our police and public works teams and continue our strong tradition of pinching every penny so that we can keep tax increases to a minimum.”
Pennington Borough Council
Charles “Chico” Marciante, 71, is a lifelong Pennington resident. He graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School and attended electrical trade school. He is a retired business manager of IBEW Local 269, and he presently serves on Borough Council. His three children went through the Hopewell Valley school system, and his two grandchildren currently attend Hopewell schools.
“In the next few years, Pennington will be facing many issues that effect the quality of life for its residents. All of these issues come with a cost, and it’s council’s job to hold taxes while providing top notch service. Listed below are a few of the most pressing issues and my personnel opinion dealing with them.
- Police Department: Can Pennington continue its own police force with neighborhood coverage or should it look into contracting with Hopewell Township for a totally different type of coverage at a reduced cost. I am opposed at this stage to change, we enjoy neighbor coverage and should continue as is.
- Road repair: Our roads have been let go over time, and now we are trying to catch up and bring all of our roads up to par with the help of state grants and county assistance with mill and overlay. The county’s help has saved us a lot of money, we pay for the blacktop and they grind and pave the road at no cost. We are not that lucky on other roads that need complete repair and have to go out for bid costing the borough a lot more. Once all the roads are repaired a schedule will be put together so that future councils won’t have to deal with these large expenditures.
- Open space: I believe in open space and support its use in the Borough or adjacent greenbelt properties, not on a piece of land that doesn’t help protect the borough’s boundaries. I want more money spent on improving our parks, which includes more playground equipment for the kids and an area for residents to enjoy. I have fond memories of of the playground equipment that use to be at Kunkle Park.
- Water quality mandate: I support water quality 100% what I don’t support is the state mandating expensive rules that has effected our tax rate. Thank goodness there are people on council that are planning and working hard to find a cheaper alternative.
- Taxes: I grew up in Pennington and hope to enjoy my retirement in Pennington but increased taxes are forcing seniors and middle age families whose children have graduated to move away. I did not support the last school board tax increase and hope people will pay attention to future school budgets. What kind of community drives out the people that helped make it what it is today?”
Beverly Mills, 69, has lived in Pennington her entire life. She graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School in 1968 and attended the College of New Jersey after getting married and having children. She graduated in 1988 with a degree in fine arts. She retired as the director of the county workforce development board in 2016. Mills is the co-author of the book If These Stones Could Talk, which “covers a decade of research on the African American presence and contribution in the Sourland Mountain region and surrounding area,” she said. She is a fourth-generation Pennington resident and has traced her ancestry back to enslaved individuals during the Revolutionary War. Her two sons, Jason and Drew, both went through Hopewell Valley schools. Her grandson attends Timberlane, and her granddaughter attends Tollgate.
“As a councilperson one thing we definitely need to accomplish is how to fund short term and long term repairs on our borough streets. Some of the decisions to be made is determining which streets can be remedied with milling and overlay and which ones are too far gone. Long term capital planning is key but how do we achieve this in the most fiscally responsible way? That’s our charge and we are currently working hard on this. The committees I serve on is the Library Board as well as the Historic Commission. Though I have special interest in both committees, as an historian I feel very strongly that the preservation and protection of homes within the historic district is essential. I was pleased to be part of the committee which produced the Historic Preservation Ordinance in 2010. Preserving the character of Pennington Borough not only enhances our community aesthetically but also boosts our economy by maintaining property values.”