Committed to ensuring township stays affordable

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To the editor: 
Hopewell Township residents work hard, take care of each other, and want to continue to live in their community for years to come. Over and over again, I hear the same sentiments. We love it here, but aren’t sure we’ll be able to stay because the taxes we pay have become a burden.
We need to elect leaders who understand that spending increases equal extra burden on taxpayers. For families with young children who want to build a future here and older residents who worked hard to build this incredible community, we must keep spending under control. Over the past three years, John Hart and Todd Brant voted for an average increase in property taxes of 4.6 percent, well above the 2 percent cap set by the State of New Jersey. We must do better.
Michael Ruger and I will bring new ideas and fresh eyes to the budgeting process. We are both committed to exploring every opportunity for cost savings. We will explore the possibility for shared services with both boroughs. Technology offers opportunities for savings where more efficient processes can replace the way we have always done things. We can look at our energy bills and see if small changes in efficiency can reap big benefits. We can work with the school district to see where we overlap and can find savings in working together.
Working within the township Master Plan, we can look for ways to diversify our tax base which helps to relieve the burden on homeowners. We can support our existing businesses. Let’s make the most of Restaurant Week and highlight our Farm to Table efforts. Encourage residents and visitors to stop at our many farm stores and markets. We will encourage new small businesses such as restaurants, medical offices and other service providers. With fresh eyes, I will look to streamline regulations and licensing to help small businesses move to Hopewell Township.
I am committed to safeguarding your tax dollars. I am committed to ensuring that our Hopewell Township remains affordable for our seniors and attractive to young families.
Please vote for the team committed to careful financial stewardship — McLaughlin and Ruger on Nov. 8. 
Kristin McLaughlin 
Democratic Candidate for Hopewell Township Committee 