Letter to the Editor: The good, the bad, the ugly


To the Editor,

In 1966 there was a movie called “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.” It is very similar to what we are experiencing in Hopewell Township.

Mayor McLaughlin and her running mate Planning Board Member Courtney Peters-Manning say some “good” things on their door hangers, but let’s really evaluate what they actually mean.

“2109 Budget Below 2015 Spending,” sounds good but the bad thing is that in March 2015 the diesel dump trucks at the Public Works garage caught fire after everyone had left for the day. Virtually all the trucks were totally destroyed, and a large part of the garage had extensive damage. That is why the 2019 budget was better than 2015, BUT really it was because of a major fire in Public Works that required higher costs. The 2019 budget is a farce because it increased taxes by 4.68%. Something Mayor McLaughlin doesn’t want you to know.

“Preserve Open Space …” sounds good but the bad is that four out of five committee members and planning board members approved the change in our Affordable Housing plan in a very quiet way. McLaughlin and three other Democratic Committee Members, and Ms. Peters-Manning and the planning board allowed Deer Valley Realty and CF Hopewell to change things so that the large farm on Nursery Road and some smaller farms on Scotch Road were allowed to put in 625 55+ aged community market rate homes (with 125 affordable housing units). The other bad points with this approval by Mayor McLaughlin and Ms. Peters-Manning are that in the same area, they are allowing at least a 100-bedroom hotel, which gives the owner a liquor license via the state, a conference center, fast food restaurants, a very large 16-pump Wawa type gas station with diesel fuel, and a large number of stores including a super market food store, etc.

I thought that Mayor McLaughlin and Ms. Courtney Peters-Manning were more knowledgeable about these “good” aspects of Hopewell Township, but really these are very bad aspects for our township.

Now for the ugly. The Hopewell Township Committee has four members of one political party; Mayor McLaughlin and Ms. Peters-Manning want to keep the Democratic “super majority” on the Hopewell Township Committee. Such a “super majority” has and will continue to allow one political party to rule the decisions of the entire township. I do not think anyone in our township wants this to take place, your tax dollars are too important for that. We need opposing points of view to be represented.

Make sure that Hopewell Township does not continue this ugly course of bad budgets and poor affordable housing communities and continues to take away the countryside of Hopewell Township.

On Tuesday Nov. 5, vote for two men who have businesses in Hopewell Township and truly and will respect our land: John Hart and Ed Jackowski.

Jim Burd 
Former Mayor of Hopewell Township
Former Planning Board Member