Martin: Thank you for your support
Fellow Hamiltonians, let me start by first saying a big “Thank you!” I am sincerely humbled by your support and faith in Pat Papero, Nancy Phillips and me. I will never forget that I work for you, in our shared commitment to make Hamilton the very best it can be.
I also want to thank Mayor Yaede. Mayor Yaede has served this township for many years in many different capacities. Her love for Hamilton is apparent and I applaud her for her many years of service to Hamilton. I also appreciate her commitment to a smooth transition that will begin to bring our town back together and make it even stronger.
Hamilton had one of the highest voter participation rates in the state and it shows how much you care and love this town. Our community, and democracy, is stronger when more people participate in our elections and choose our leaders. You should all be proud that Hamilton remains a beacon of light for other towns in what it takes to have a strong government.
Over the coming days and weeks, I will be announcing a transition team that will be committed to working with the current administration so we can hit the ground running on Jan. 1. Our priorities are your priorities: holding Trenton Water Works accountable to make sure we have safe, clean drinking water; consolidating our fire districts to create a safer and more cost efficient a municipal fire department; pro-actively redeveloping our blighted and abandoned properties; and focusing on stabilizing property taxes. Your overwhelming mandate in this election deserves no less.
I thank you again for the honor to be your next mayor and look forward to serving you for the years to come.
The writer is mayor-elect and council president of Hamilton Township.
Why develop Dam Site 21?
I and those that I have been associated with through friendsofdamsite21.org are not against improvements to Dam Site 21, only the unnecessary development of amenities proposed by the Mercer County Park Commission.
Having attended an initial focus group meeting in February, I was also present at all three public meetings, including the most recent on Nov. 12 where the master draft plan was presented. Nearly 200 people were in attendance and, consistent with previous meetings, an overwhelming majority was opposed to the $19M price tag to upgrade the area to include bridges, tree walks and primitive campgrounds. Once again, the meeting was hosted by Peter Simone of Simone Collins Landscape Architecture, who was hired by the MCPC to oversee this endeavor. At the focus group meeting, Mr. Simone stated that the intent was not to replicate the attractions available at Mercer Park, which is less than 1/2 mile away. However, I believe that is exactly what they are doing.
While many Hamilton residents and most county inhabitants may not be aware of this park, spending millions of taxpayer dollars will ultimately do little to entice them to abandon Mercer Park for this pint-sized version. No study was undertaken to determine the influx of visitors who will be drawn to the improved Dam Site 21, leaving one to speculate on the per capita cost which could be in the tens, if not the hundreds, of thousands of dollars. Leaving the question unanswered as to why develop it?
Michael D. Kerwick