To the Editor:

It has come to my attention that, after attending the 2019 Hopewell Township Budget Presentation and reading the letter to the editor of Jack Belmont, a stalwart of Democrats, a district 12 municipal representative of Democrats and a Planning Board appointee of Democrats, Mayor McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats have excuses for raising taxes 4.68%, more than twice the rate of inflation.

It seems that, after increasing taxes for three successive years and failing to carry-out three successive years of campaign promises to make Hopewell Township “affordable,” they now seem to portray their failed leadership as due to unique circumstances beyond their control.

Mayor McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats appear to claim that they are the first Hopewell Township Committee to have inherited debt from a previous Township Committee, or at the least, the first Township Committee this century or this decade to have inherited debt.

Can this be true? No. Every Hopewell Township Committee this century and this decade has inherited debt from prior Township Committees. In fact, Mayor McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats have balanced their last four budgets by incurring new debt that they themselves borrowed.

Mayor McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats appear to claim that they are the first Hopewell Township Committee to have emergency expenditures, or at the least, the first Township Committee this century or this decade to have emergency expenditures.

Can this be true? No. The 2015 Township Committee had a devastating fire in the public works building that destroyed every public works vehicle, which had to be replaced at an accelerated pace, while the 2002 Township Committee defended a multitude of lawsuits caused by down-zoning to protect our water table, to name a few.

Apparently, after running out of gimmicks, like raiding our Emergency Fund, Mayor McLaughlin and her majority of Democrats have nothing left but excuses.

Harvey Lester

Titusville

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