SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - South Brunswick Councilwoman Josephine ‘Jo’ Hochman (D) is running for her third term on the township council in this upcoming election on November 3rd, 2020. Along with being on the township council, Hochman is also the head of the South Brunswick Advisory Board of Health and on the Board of Trustees for the South Brunswick Public Library.
In the past few months, Hochman says she has been focusing all of her efforts on helping out the residents who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Hochman says she gets phone calls from residents every day and addresses any concerns they might have.
“We are still doing the things that need to be done. Everyone here is still working and doing our jobs,” Hochman said, “I think that this is important. People need to know that their general needs are still being met.”
Hochman serves on the Advisory Board of Health along with other residents who volunteer their time. The board’s responsibility is to listen to the public’s concerns and address them as they see appropriate. Recently, the board wrote a letter to the South Brunswick Board of Education calling on them to postpone high school sports due to complaints that health measures, such as face coverings and social distancing, could not be done during practice.
The Councilwoman also addressed the recent Black Lives Matter events that have happened in South Brunswick. Hochman says that she was proud to see the community get involved and praised Police Chief Raymond Hayducka for setting an example.
“The talk about ‘defunding the police,’ It's not really about taking money away from cops. It’s about making sure that money is put into things that will benefit the community” the Councilwoman said,“We do community policing here in South Brunswick and that is really important for us. People here don’t see the police as enemies, they see them as people they know in town.”
One of the biggest issues facing the South Brunswick Council concerns a 2016 court order demanding that the township add more affordable housing units. In the past year, the township has voted to rezone parts of the township for affordable housing. Back in June 2020, members of the board approved these measures ‘under protest.’
Hochman takes issue with Judge Wolfson’s decision, pointing out that Wolfson now works as a legal consultant for a real estate development company. According to her, South Brunswick had received multiple letters of accommodation stating that the township had enough affordable housing before this court order.
“Everybody needs a place to live in a good community, and we support affordable housing. However, the housing that has been pushed onto South Brunswick is not healthy for this community,” Councilwoman Hochman said, “All of our services would need to be enlarged such as schools, sewage and policing. These builders just want to make as much money as they can, and they don’t want to build anything for our community like roads and recreation.”
If re-elected, Hochman promises to finish the project that she has been working on during her first two terms - redesigning the South Brunswick Public Library to meet the demands of the public as well as creating a sizable auditorium for the performing arts. Hochman said that the township is in desperate need of a professional performance space, and the library is not nearly big enough to meet the needs of all South Brunswick residents.
“This is the most exciting thing happening in this town in my opinion because the residents are going to love it! People are going to have a place to go to hear beautiful music and see some excellent performances,” Hochman said, “It amazes me how popular the library still is in this age of technology. That’s why I believe that revamping the library is necessary for the people of South Brunswick.”