To the editor:
I’m Andrew Borders, and I’m no one’s political crony.
I don’t appreciate the use of my name, as someone who holds no elective office, in a Letter to the Editor without my permission, nor will I let anyone else define my positions for me.
But, a letter in the Hopewell Valley News following the April 23 Hopewell Township meeting to pass the annual budget called me and several of our neighbors just that: political cronies. It said that when Mayor Kevin Kuchinski and Deputy Mayor Julie Blake need some “make-believe public support,” they call us up.
Make-believe? I am an actual Hopewell Township resident, every voice in our community counts as much as the letter writer’s, I write what I say when I speak at our township committee meetings, and I don’t say things I don’t believe in order to score political points.
It went on to call me a “Democrat-loyalist,” and said I “will, no doubt, be rewarded in the future.”
How does the letter writer know everyone I’ve voted for? But, the letter is correct that I do hope for a reward in the future, and it won’t just be a reward for me. Let me tell you about what that reward, and that future, looks like.
It’s a Hopewell Township where we’ve got community spaces indoors and outdoors to spend time with our neighbors in an era when it’s far too easy to stay inside, attention focused on our phones and devices.
It’s a Hopewell Township where we’ve got all sorts of places to get a great meal and watch the game or talk with family and friends without having to drive to Route 1 or some other place to spend our time and money.
It’s a Hopewell Township where a greater share of our residents both live and work here because we’ve built the kind of environment that businesses are looking for today and down the line, and we can do it while keeping our rural character. It’ll help us with our tax burden, it’ll help us with sponsors for things like community events and our youth sports teams, and it’ll be a place where your kids and mine can go learn about their possible career and their parents can build their actual career without having to commute far to do it.
I know our community has a wide range of opinions on what our future should look like, and that’s a dialogue we ought to have. But, it’s got to happen with civility, respect, and open-mindedness. I am a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to learn from or don’t want to hear from Republicans or folks who are members of other parties or no party at all.
I began going to our township meetings in January when I’d received one too many Trenton Water Works notices and wanted to know what we could do about it. I should have been engaged earlier. But, I saw our government in action, and I came back. I speak regularly at the meetings to advocate for the kind of community I described and to respond when I hear things that don’t sit well with me.
If I have the opportunity to serve our community on some of our boards or committees, I will listen, I will learn, and even if we don’t end up agreeing, I will treat everyone with respect.
Thanks for reading, and, regardless of political persuasion, I hope you’ll get involved like I have and let your voice be heard. We’ll be living our future together, as a community, so let’s create it together.