Citizen volunteers take center stage for the Hopewell Valley Democratic Club

The Blawenburg Band played classic band tunes at the Hopewell Train Station parking lot on July 9 in Hopewell Valley.

Area residents can learn how in participate in local government with a new program organized by the Hopewell Valley Democratic Club.

The program will discuss committees, commissions and boards who are looking for citizen volunteers to fill positions in Pennington Borough, Hopewell Borough and Hopewell Township, according to club officials.

“This is a first us, because having these types of informational meetings for us is kind of new. I think this topic of citizen volunteers is important,” Hopewell Borough Councilman Ryan Kennedy announced. “I am a councilman in Hopewell Borough and I sit on a lot of these committees. From one perspective it is kind of hard to find volunteers with the time and the skills for a lot of the positions. Then there are sometimes when there are more than enough volunteers applying and things get competitive.”

The discussion event will be held at the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library in Pennington on July 9.

Kennedy who is organizing this event which is a first for the club said the positions are very important part of participating in government.

“It is a way for someone to have a meaningful impact and help out with a lot of different topics. They will actually role up their sleeves and get things done without being elected,” he said. “These positions are an important part to how our towns work. This program will hopefully help people get involved.”

Club members and residents will learn about getting involved in local government from Pennington Borough Mayor Joseph Lawver, Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano and Hopewell Township Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger during the informational meeting from 7-8:30 p.m., according to officials.

“Who better to talk about this topic than the people who have to sift through the resumes and make the appointments directly. In the borough form of government most of these positions are made directly by the mayors,” Kennedy said. “They are the ones who can talk about what they are looking for in terms of these position.”

He said the Hopewell Valley Democratic Club wants to add value to its membership by putting on programs that engage people in Hopewell Valley.

“We are looking to get as many people involved now and help educate more people about civics. It is better for our citizens, our club, our town and this party,” Kennedy said. “Even people who are up to date sometimes do not know what positions are appointed by whom and how to go about getting them.”

The discussion is informational and also about getting the word out about how each municipality does their volunteer position process, officials said.

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