Opinion: Please don’t stack Hopewell Valley Regional School Board

ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

I am writing with my concern about the Hopewell Valley Regional School Board election. I was on the Board of Education representing the voice of retired people on a fixed income and spent nine years on or chairing the Finance Committee and kept spending at or below cap. During our overlap, Adam Sawicki spent his time chairing the Education Committee championing improved student outcomes and success.

When I stepped down, I asked Adam Sawicki to remember that two thirds of Hopewell Valley residents do not have children in the school system and while it is important to have great schools, it is also important to ensure that we donโ€™t force out retired people because they canโ€™t afford to live here. Adam kept his word to me when he was the only board member in 2019 to vote against the 5% tax increase that led to the highest per pupil cost in Mercer County. This year, Adam took over as Finance Committee chair to improve the budgeting process.

My wife is a retired teacher and understands the value of education. She has volunteered her time to read to students at Hopewell Elementary School. We both have worked with and believe that the district has excellent education professionals as teachers and administrators. We also believe that a primary purpose of the Board of Education is to provide oversight with a strong mixture of community professional backgrounds and expertise.

The HVRSD Board of Education currently includes two certified teachers. If you elect the three-candidate slate that includes two active teachers, the 9-person Board of Education will be comprised of four teachers and no township representatives with a full term of experience.

Please do not stack the board with teachers and inexperience. I supported new members last year because there needs to be fresh ideas injected into the board, but there also needs to be a balance of backgrounds, institutional knowledge, and someone that is proven to give voice to the silent majority in our community.

Please vote Sawicki, Williams-Galiano, and Genovesi for balance and diversity.

Roy Dollard
Hopewell Township