TITUSVILLE: Vote for Ruger and Kuchinski


Reader Submitted
To the editor:
When I was eight years old, I moved for the third time in four years. New kids back then didn’t get a lot of empathy, but one kid was always a steady influence. Curly-headed, glasses-wearing and freckled, this one kid never teased. He treated boys and girls with the same courtesy and he was unfailingly calm and kind. Bullies did not faze him. When I was feeling out of control, I would look at him as a steady ship in a rough sea.
That kid was Michael Ruger. As we went through school, I was jealous of him because he was smarter than me and got better grades. But you couldn’t hate him because he was so nice. I moved away after eighth grade and lost touch with everyone. Four decades later, I was surprised to find my old friend lives in the same town as I do. Small world.
Michael has not changed. He is still unflinching in the face of adversity. He cares deeply about the environment and has worked for years to oppose Penn East. He volunteers his brain power to the Township finance committee. And still so freaking smart. He’s a quick study and a good man.
Now Michael is running for township committee with Kevin Kuchinski. I haven’t known Kevin nearly as long but I have been equally impressed by how smart and kind he is. This past year negotiating the affordable housing settlement was hard. I work in affordable housing and I know first hand how complicated this stuff is. As Mayor, Kevin took the lead in coming to terms with Fair Share and the intervenors in what is undoubtedly the best deal we could have gotten under the circumstances. He also has worked closely with the school board to restructure debt payments to lessen our tax burden. Mayor Kuchinski has a strong track record of thinking outside the box and we can rely on him to do his best thinking for us.
I went to the debate among the four township committee candidates and it was clear who the best leaders on our township committee will be. The Republican candidates, who only declared their intention to run two weeks ago, were wholly unfamiliar with the budget, the affordable housing settlement, and most issues that affect our town. Neither has any experience whatsoever in government. Our town deserves better than a couple of guys who someone just convinced a few days ago that they should run for such an important position.
Our affordable housing settlement means our elected volunteer officials are going to have to put in a lot of overtime hours during the next few years. The settlement is complicated and the issues that follow, including overseeing the redevelopment process, watching the developers to make sure the interests of the township are foremost, and making decisions that will affect all of us will be difficult. We need leaders who are smart, tough, experienced and committed. Vote for Kuchinski and Ruger, for steady hands in the rough economic waters of the years to come.
Amie Rukenstein