An uncontested race will occur for two three-year terms on the Hopewell Borough Council in the general election on Nov. 3.
The candidates on the ballot are Councilman Ryan Kennedy (D) and Council President Charles Schuyler Morehouse (R).
Both candidates are running for re-election. Kennedy seeks his second consecutive term and Morehouse looks to earn his seventh consecutive term.
No other Democratic or Republican candidates filed a nominating petition to seek a council seat.
Kennedy has lived in the borough for 10 years with his family. He grew up in Hopewell Valley.
“I am a proud product of our area’s excellent public school system having also lived in Pennington and Hopewell Township as a child,” he said.
Kennedy is vice president of the valley’s land trust, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS); president of the Board of Directors of the Hopewell Valley YMCA; and a member of the borough’s finance, affordable housing and redevelopment committees.
“I also sit on the town’s planning board, economic development committee and the Hopewell Valley Open Space Committee,” he said.
Kennedy works currently as a property tax, real estate, land use and government attorney.
“Honestly – not continuing my service wasn’t really a consideration,” he said on the decision to run for re-election. “There’s never going to be a ‘mission accomplished’ banner for any of the things that are important to me … we will never be affordable enough … there will never be enough open space … we will never do too good a job on communicating and connecting with our residents and the work of guaranteeing equality and equity for all of our residents will just never end.
“It takes all of us working together to make progress on these things … and whether it’s in government or elsewhere, you’ll find me rolling up my sleeves somewhere doing the work,” he added.
If re-elected, he said his top area of focus would be communications and redevelopment.
“I am embarrassed that our town’s website has been left to wither on the vine for so long. In the coming weeks, a much better temporary site will be in place to make it easier for our residents to get the information they need, which is especially important while we have different procedures in place due to the pandemic,” Kennedy said. “Hopewell is the kind of place where you can just walk in or pick up the phone and get the answers or support you need from your town. We want to keep that feel, but modernize for those who can’t come in person for services.
“On redevelopment – the next 100 years of our downtown will be shaped in the coming few years with several key projects,” he said. “I plan to continue to put my professional experience in that field to work in helping obtain the best results for our town in an open, collaborative way that benefits all of our residents, businesses and taxpayers.”
Morehouse has been on the council since 2003. He and his wife Liza moved to the borough from Tucson, Arizona, in 1986. He has raised two children in Hopewell.
He is the owner and president of Morehouse Engineering, a process control/electrical engineering company, founded in 1990. The offices are located in Hopewell Borough.
Morehouse has served on the borough Board of Fire and Emergency Medical Unit Commissioners since the early 1990s, and the Board of the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority since the early 2000s.
When asked about his decision to run, he said, “I am running for another term because I truly enjoy serving as councilman. I enjoy the budgetary process and capital planning with the related debt management. I also enjoy working with my fellow council members.”
He said a top area of focus after the election would be the council’s top responsibility to maintain the borough’s buildings, water and sewer systems, roads and parks.
“The top three capital projects are: rehabilitation of the Department of Public Works facility, construction of a new municipal water well, and rehabilitation of the Railroad Station,” Morehouse said. “Through good debt service management and utilizing grant programs, the council hopes to achieve these improvements with minimal impact to our taxes.”