HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Continue new path of financial planning

Todd Brant, Hopewell Township
A letter to the editor from Hopewell Township Committee member Kevin Kuchinski in the Oct. 15 edition made false claims about mismanagement of monies and poor planning under Mayor Harvey Lester.
It is obvious that the junior member of the Township Committee does not know his history; it was the Democrats who controlled the budget in eight out of last 11 years. It was that leadership which has burdened our budget with so much debt.
Mr. Kuchinski also claims that Mayor Lester “raided” the township surplus. The very definition of surplus means we have excess cash. Previous committees, under Democrat leadership as recent as 10 years ago, used almost 50 percent of the surplus. Where was the outrage then? The truth is residents paid almost $200,000 in excess taxes last year resulting in an increase in the surplus. Mayor Lester thought it was only right to not double tax, and suggested we use this excess money against the increased expenses created by the prior administrations spending.
Lastly, I find it interesting that someone who participated in the 14 budget meetings this year now believes he can find savings. Where was his voice during the budget meetings? If you have the time, listen to the audio recordings of these meetings, which can be found on the township’s home page. What you will hear is plenty of their ideas on increasing costs instead of cutting spending.
What we need is to continue this new path of financial planning and fiscal responsibility that Mayor Lester has put in place. Please join me in voting for Harvey Lester on Nov. 3.
I am a member of the Hopewell Township Committee; however, this letter reflects my personal views, not an official committee position. 
Todd Brant 
Hopewell Township 