Letter to the Editor: Good things come to those who work

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To the Editor,

Some say that good things come to those who wait. But more often, good things come to those who work hard for them.

The good news we received last week on the PennEast pipeline did not come to us because we, as a community, stood silently. Individuals, small neighborhood groups, environmental organizations and governments at all levels collectively stood up to help stop PennEast.

It is one thing to say that you are against PennEast. That’s easy. It takes conviction and consistent advocacy though to make a difference. I have dedicated my time over the past four-plus years to stopping this pipeline, standing strong with others fighting against PennEast. This fight took many groups working together and Courtney Peters-Manning and I were there with them every step of the way. I have done everything I could to fight against this potential intrusion through Hopewell Township.

On my Facebook page, Kristin McLaughlin for Hopewell Township, you can watch two of the speeches I gave in opposition to PennEast. You can see photos of my trips to Washington DC at the headquarters of FERC, where I advocated at the highest levels to stop PennEast. On our joint Facebook page, McLaughlin and Peters Manning for Hopewell Township, you can see additional pictures of both Courtney Peters-Manning and me at rallies and at the statehouse. You can see us working with other groups fighting to stop this unneeded and unwanted pipeline.

Protecting the environment of Hopewell Township takes the same level of dedication and willingness to work with others. Our Master Plan was developed with our water sources as the base for all decisions. The decisions made over the years on the township’s court-mandated affordable housing plan used water availability and impacts on our aquifer as a central guiding principle. Keeping our water clean, safe and healthy remains our highest priority, and keeping development in areas already in the Waste Water Management Plan is critical to meeting that goal. I do not believe that we should extend sewer service to pristine areas of the township. Bringing sewers all the way up 31 to support a community center at the golf course or putting affordable housing at the workhouse on Rt. 29 as my opponents have suggested would have far-reaching consequences and would destroy our Valley’s rural character.

One of my strengths is my ability to listen to, learn from, and work with groups and organizations that are experts in their fields. I have learned much from our incredible environmental organizations who have reinforced the need for planning as we look to preserve new properties. Land preservation is a process that looks to create connections that lead to “green belts” that support wildlife and trails for people to explore. It is important to elect public officials who will spend their time learning the facts, and then advocating for outcomes that will benefit the whole community. Progress demands effort, and I give that every day.

By engaging with, listening to, and then working together with our environmental partners, I have helped create new trails for people to explore, parking areas so existing trails can be accessed, a new safe route to school for our kids, and a plan to complete Hopewell’s section of the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail. These are real accomplishments – and there is more work to be done. I am committed to making sure that Hopewell Township remains green and healthy.

I ask for your vote on Nov. 5 for Kristin McLaughlin and Courtney Peters-Manning. There is a lot at stake. The choice is clear.

Kristin McLaughlin
Mayor 
Hopewell Township