HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Lester made moves to save town’s finances

Kim Johnson, Hopewell Township
Committee member Kuchinski’s letter of Oct. 14 uses inflammatory phrases that all of us have gotten used to hearing at election time. However, his letter is unbecoming a public official. He has been dishonest in his characterization of this year’s budget.
Residents should watch the April 2015 budget presentation given by our town’s CFO. Then they will understand, as Mr. Kuchinski does, that the increase is almost solely due to required payments for debt incurred by previous committees (many run by his party). One of those acquisitions, bought with the good credit of Hopewell Township, was Pennytown in 2008. Seven million dollars for a property they were warned was worth half that. Mr. Kuchinski promises to do with it what anyone would do. I’m confused; is Mr. Kuchinski running for office?
The other problem contributor is the Public Works fire. In order for the township to accept the insurance payment to buy replacement vehicles to perform our snow removal, grounds maintenance and brush pick-up the money must show up in the budget as an expenditure. Purchasing vehicles with insurance payments is not an “out-of-control” rise in spending.
If a fire in a government building is not an event for which you use emergency funds then I would like Mr. Kuchinski to explain what would be. Mr. Kuchinski uses the word “misappropriate” to describe what Mayor Lester and the rest of the budget subcommittee have done. Should our government keep surplus away from the taxpayers it came from? If Mr. Kuchinski were in charge, would he tax us again instead? It’s our money and Mayor Lester has used it wisely to put us back on track.
I urge all residents to again demonstrate their confidence in Harvey Lester by re-electing him on Nov. 3. 
Kim Johnson 
Hopewell Township