Hopewell Township officials may hold agenda meeting each month


By John Tredrea
   During Monday night’s very brief, lightly-attended Hopewell Township Committee meeting, Deputy Mayor David Sandahl announced that planning is under way for the committee to hold a agenda meeting each month.
   During that meeting, which would be open to the public, the committee would establish agendas for each of its two action meetings, which are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The committee votes on ordinances and resolutions take place during action meetings.
   Mr. Sandahl believes a public agenda meeting would improve the process of township government. "Those of you who know me know I’m a big process guy," he said.
   Also during Monday night’s meeting, Committeeman Jon Edwards announced that he had asked Township Administrator Christine Smeltzer to check with neighboring townships that collect trash as a municipal service, as part of an investigation into "whether we can offer our residents a better deal" than private haulers, Mr. Edwards said.
   All trash in the 58-square-mile township is collected by private haulers. Resident Robert Beyer was skeptical of Mr. Edwards’ idea.
   Noting that he gets "a great deal and great service" from Raritan Valley Inc., which collects his trash, Mr. Beyer said switching to municipal trash collection "might create more problems than it would solve."
   In other business Monday night, the committee voted unanimously in favor of resolutions under which:
   • Kurt Vollherbst and Patricia Arhontoulis were appointed to the Hopewell Valley Recreation Policy Advisory Committee, for three- and two-year terms respectively.
   • John Hart and Lucia Huebner were appointed to the township Agricultural Advisory Committee for three years. Mayor Vanessa Sandom was appointed an ex-officio, or non-voting, member of the committee for one year.
   • The township accepted the resignation, effective, Dec. 23, of Police Department dispatcher Brian Hofacker, who was with the department two years.