“To be, or not to be" is one of the most widely known and quoted Shakespeare lines in modern English, and the soliloquy has been referenced in innumerable works of theatre, literature and music. Today, it echoes on the streets of Flemington.

I am a 30-year resident of Hunterdon County and owner of a three-story Victorian building in Flemington at 134 Main Street (built around 1850).

My friends, our community has a choice: “To Be” relevant and forward looking and make a change for the better or “Not To Be” by fighting progress, as buildings in the small Borough of Flemington continue to deteriorate because landlords and residential owners have little incentive to improve them, as business and pedestrian traffic falls away. The attractions to Flemington are disappearing as existing buildings and active culture continues to crumble.

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It is time for our community to unite and get rid of its division over community progress. I believe the Borough Council to be good, hardworking, well intentioned people. They recognize the status quo will not carry the community long if there is not considerable commercial development. Anyone who thinks differently needs to understand that real estate values and quality of life will continue to decline. I have observed and experienced this over the 10-plus years I have owned my building on Main Street. We need to bring fun and life back to Flemington which will make it a welcoming town again that will attract productive residents and businesses alike.

The Court House Square project presents many opportunities that will have a lasting, positive impact not only on the future of Flemington’s economy, but on the region as a whole. The project has elements which include new housing opportunities for young and old alike, additional dining and retail establishments, a hotel and ample expansion of parking, a community plaza, medical offices and a possible satellite college. All will add significant investment and amenities to the Borough of Flemington. Its developer Jack Cust and family are part of the fiber of Hunterdon and his father actually lived in Flemington.

Let’s not let this opportunity pass. It is “To Be” time …without delay, it is time to support our Borough Council, County Freeholders and local developer to set the path to reconcile opportunity and costs with the well-meaning of all the partners ... “to make Flemington great again.”

Please let your positive voices be heard.

Rich Cornelison, Flemington