To the editor,

The race for Flemington Borough Council is remarkably packed this year. I can remember years when the races were uncontested. This year, you have choices.

The Democratic candidates are leading the way in moving Flemington forward. We have an amazing opportunity to make Flemington a progressive community that is diverse and welcoming to development that fits and will attract more people and more business to town. 

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Over the past year, I was happy to have Councilman Jeff Doshna and Councilwoman Caitlin Giles-McCormick on my side as we forced the Courthouse Square redeveloper to bring his project in line with what the community wants. We made sure that they will save 78 Main Street, lower the height on Main Street and Spring Street, and have less traffic overall. The community has told us in no uncertain terms that they want to see something happen on Main Street and for the lawsuits and stalemate to come to an end. 

Jeff Doshna, as a member of the Redevelopment Committee, has used his experience as a professor of urban planning to guide that process. First as a renter, and then as a homeowner, he has raised his family on Main Street for the past two decades. He volunteered on the Planning Board for years, serves on the Environmental Committee, is a leader at his synagogue, and has been a supporter of the Flemington Free Library for many years.

Jess Hand takes care of abandoned and special needs cats at Tabby’s Place. The compassion she has for her neighbors and the homeless and sick animals she cares for is unmatched. Jess and her husband Matt recently bought their first home in Flemington after being renters here. They chose Flemington to raise their children in because they believe in the future of our Borough. Jess and her family represent the future of Flemington. 

Jeremy Long and his wife teach our children at Hunterdon Central High School. They also chose Flemington to raise their two children in. While they are relatively new homeowners in town, Jeremy’s heritage in town goes back nearly a century. His great grandfather left Italy in 1916, saw an opportunity in flowers here and started the iconic Flemington Floral Company in 1923. 

The future of Flemington needs to be in the hands of those who are investing today to shape our community into one that has a bright future. We can honor our past while building for the future. We need to be a place that people drive to, not a place that people drive through. We need to rebuild our town into one that our children and grandchildren will want to come home to and one that will be accessible to our seniors and mobility-impaired residents.

Jess, Jeremy, and Jeffrey are committed to building Flemington into a community that asks, “When?” rather than being held back by a small group of residents that shout, “No!”

This year alone, the lawsuits filed by the plaintiffs opposing redevelopment have already cost taxpayers over $55,000. Their supporters on Council have blocked efforts to find a compromise, and attempts to find a new home for our police, who will soon find themselves homeless after the previous Borough administration voted to sell the current station without a plan in place to relocate it. And now they are asking you to vote for candidates who will join them in blocking progress and, perhaps, even eliminate our Borough Police Department and Department of Public Works. 

Pay attention to who is displaying lawn signs on their property this year. Two candidates, Allie Shore and Alan Brewer, are being outwardly and actively supported by the so-called Friends suing the Borough and current members of Council who want to kill redevelopment at any cost. Two others, Marc Hain and Kim Tilly, voted to advance a project without a plan for the future, including voting to sell our police station.

The clear choice on Nov. 5 is to vote for a team that will work for you and for the Borough: Jess Hand, Jeremy Long and Jeff Doshna. They need you to get out and vote for them on Election Day, Nov. 5.

This year, join me in voting for the future of our town. On Nov. 5, vote for the candidates that share your values: Hand, Long and Doshna for Flemington Borough Council.

Betsy Driver, Mayor

Flemington