To the Editor:

Once upon a time, Hopewell Township Mayor Kristin McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats promised to keep Hopewell Township “affordable.”  Those promises were made during every election campaign for the past several years, and, like all fairy tales, those promises were pure fiction.

At the Township Committee meeting on May 20, Mayor McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats passed a 4.68% municipal tax increase with Republican John Hart voting in opposition.  

For those of you keeping score, this is now the third year in a row that municipal taxes in Hopewell Township are more than they were the year before.  In fact, this year’s McLaughlin-Ruger 4.68% tax increase is just about twice the Kuchinski-Blake 2.48% tax increase of last year.

More telling, this year’s 4.68% township tax increase is more than twice the rate of inflation, but that’s not all.

For the past several years, the Democrats, who have controlled the Township Committee, have been spending down our Emergency Fund. When the Democrats attained a majority in 2016, our Emergency Fund stood at just over $12 million.  By 2019, our Emergency Fund is now down to just over $10 million, but that’s not all.

For the fourth consecutive year, Mayor McLaughlin/Mayor Kuchinski and their majority of Democrats have incurred new debt. In other words, they are once again taking out a loan to balance their budget. This year, they are borrowing $4.4 million or 25% more than the $3.3 million that they borrowed last year to balance their budget. That’s almost $8 million dollars in new debt borrowed to balance the budget in the past two years.

Maybe now we will stop believing in fairy tales.

Harvey Lester



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