Go to the polls, make choices in fire elections


By Ruth Luse
   Registered Hopewell Valley voters have a job to do Saturday. They are being asked to vote in one of three fire district elections, which will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. in Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough and Pennington Borough.
   The purpose of the elections is twofold: to decide the fate of the 2004 fire district budget proposals and to pick fire commissioners to fill open seats.
   We urge voters to take a few moments of their time Saturday to cast ballots in these elections. Voter turnout is generally unimpressive, to say the least. Perhaps the reason is that very little hoopla precedes them and they seem to creep up on us before we know it.
   So this week, we hope readers will check out the related story on Page 1A to see what these elections are all about.
   Here is a brief synopsis:
   Only Hopewell Township has a commission race. Three men are seeking two open seats. They are incumbent Bill Walker, Tim Lang and Michael Ackerson.
   In Pennington, incumbents Tom Timpermann and Chris Naylor are running unopposed for three-year terms. In Hopewell Borough, three incumbents — Chairman Schuyler Morehouse, who is seeking a three-year team, and Donald Reichman and Melvin Myers, who are running for one-year terms — are running unopposed.
   Only Hopewell Borough’s board of commissioners is seeking a tax rate increase. Commissioner Myers, the treasurer, says the "tax increase is needed primarily to fund the borough’s 30 percent share of the cost of a new full-time firefighter/EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), who is stationed at the borough fire house Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The remainder is to provide funds for a professional consultant to study a contemplated addition to the borough fire house."
   The fire election in Hopewell Township will be held at the municipal building, Route 546 and Scotch Road. In Hopewell, voters will go to the Hopewell firehouse at the intersection of South Greenwood and Columbia avenues. In Pennington, the election will be held at the firehouse on Broemel Place.
   The items your fire tax dollars fund are important. They relate to your health and safety. The people who are elected to run the commissions work hard. They deserve more than a passing glance. They deserve your interest and your effort to vote.