Hopewell Township needs to adapt to thrive

To the editor:

At its May 14 meeting, the Hopewell Township Committee held a preliminary discussion to talk about the possibility of permitting alcohol in township parks during a small number of community-wide events. The discussion examined how and whether such event permits could be granted in a way that safeguards our community while allowing our neighbors and visitors to have a beer or some wine while enjoying the outdoors together. The committee opted to gather more information, so no decisions were made.

I see the community events and festivals that could be permitted as outstanding opportunities to advertise all that we enjoy here in Hopewell Township.

Our great combination of suburban and rural, our schools, our location and more is not unique to us, and while we stand with our fellow towns on most issues, we are also in competition with them. Jobs and businesses that don’t come here go somewhere else, and with them goes the chance to employ our own closer to home and keep our resident tax burden low. We don’t have to keep losing those benefits, unless we as a community are unwilling to adapt.

Change is not something to be shouted down. Being static in a dynamic world is not a point of pride. Cries of traffic, taxes, the environment, property values and schools aren’t reasons to halt our adaptation, they are concerns to solve in keeping our township relevant.

I know we can meet those concerns because I’ve seen the dedication of both our Township Committee and the residents who continue to make their voices heard.

Our affordable housing commitment is an opportunity for us as a community to step up, but the continued talk from some of our neighbors advocating the building of 100 percent affordable housing over a market-rate combination makes me wonder if those residents have forgotten what community means.

Communities ready for tomorrow know a paycheck’s size does not determine your value as a person. They know that where you start in life has no bearing on your contribution, and it stands with everyone who wants to make Hopewell Township a better place, whether you are called “doctor” or “your honor,” “mom” or “dad.”

They know great schools don’t just happen. Parents are involved and residents are generous, whether or not they have kids. We all want Hopewell Valley schools to produce top employees, job creators and innovators who will remember their start here and their community’s care for them, perpetuating a virtuous cycle to keep our community strong.

Neighbors, keep your voices heard, but keep in mind that our community is and will be great because when the need for change comes, as it has now, our residents will ask what we can do to make talented residents and job-creating businesses looking for a place to settle and contribute see that the “turning point of the revolution” is ready for its own turning point in the evolution of what a prosperous community looks like today and in the decades to come.

Andrew Borders

Hopewell Township