LETTER: Hickey ‘checks all the boxes’ in Bedminster

September 25, 2020

EDITOR: In what may be the final act to close out a brutally difficult 2020, it may take weeks to call some of the races in this year’s elections.

To my fellow Bedminster friends and neighbors, I ask for your support to ensure we re-elect Colin Hickey to the Township Committee. It has been nothing short of a privilege to serve with Colin over the past four plus years. I enthusiastically endorse and support Colin’s campaign and candidacy and hope you will do the same.

Colin checks all the boxes one would want from his or her local elected official. He is involved and dedicated. You’ve likely received that much needed update from Colin over social media concerning events in town.

Or perhaps you’ve run into him on Saturdays helping out at our Farmers Market. During our shelter at home directive this past Spring, Colin was at Town Hall daily, accepting and processing community donations for our Bedminster Food Pantry.

Colin gets results. In addition to performing his liaison duties with the Board of Education, Land Use Board, Recreation Committee and Environmental Commission, Colin willingly stepped to the front lines on behalf of all Bedminster residents serviced by New Jersey American Water this past year to challenge the water company’s rate increase application. Colin’s efforts led to a shared service arrangement between Bedminster and numerous other municipalities to challenge the water company’s application, enabling us to significantly offset our costs and expenses.

Colin also took the lead with interfacing with JCP&L over the frequent power outages in town. I witnessed him effectively broker tri-party discussions with JCP&L representatives and various community members.

While power outages remain a work in progress, Colin’s efforts to date have resulted in tangible enhancements and improvements to JCP&L’s electrical infrastructure servicing our community.

We on the Township Committee are proud of Bedminster’s ranking last year as the No. 3 town to reside in New Jersey. I’m here to confirm that Colin Hickey played his part in helping us achieve that lofty status.

Colin deserves another three years so please join me in voting for and re-electing him to the committee this fall. Thank you.

DOUG STEVINSON
Bedminster Township
Committeeman

Editor’s note: This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Hickey ‘has earned your vote’ in Bedminster

September 21, 2020

EDITOR: It’s not about which party can get their candidate elected, it’s about which public servant should be elected to get the job done.

As he has proven over the last three years, Bedminster Township Committeeman Colin Hickey is that person. Motivated by a desire to serve the public, Colin adeptly represents our residents by taking seriously both the fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers and the delivery of outstanding community services.

Colin has been a great supporter of our local businesses. When our local restaurants had to close their doors, he wholeheartedly supported the special permits that were issued to allow restaurants to have outdoor seating, helping to keep these businesses alive.

Colin also understands that our residents need to stay physically and emotionally fit. To that end, he has been key in keeping our parks open for recreation and establishing new rules that allow the Farmers Market to continue in its third successful year.

Though it seems so long ago, Colin was instrumental in establishing our food bank to make sure that everyone who needed a meal would have one.

The Township Committee dedicates many hours to making our tax dollars work as hard as they can. Colin’s background in business start-ups gives him the skills to look at our town budget to see where it’s necessary to invest our tax dollars and where we should be frugal with them.

It’s all connected – healthy residents, healthy businesses and a healthy town budget. For the past three years, Colin has been getting the job done. He has earned your vote.

Join me in voting to re-elect Colin Hickey to the Bedminster Township Committee so that he can continue to work on your behalf.

RENEE MARESKI
Crestmont Road
Bedminster Township

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Township Committee.  This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Hickey ‘takes his service seriously’ in Bedminster

September 17, 2020

EDITOR: I served as mayor when Colin Hickey joined the Bedminster Township Committee, and every year our first job is to tackle the upcoming year’s budget.

This is a complicated task that sets the priorities for the municipality and determines, in large part, your property tax bill.

During Colin’s first budget, he commented to the rest of the committee, that it was important “that we spend the taxpayer’s money like we spend our own money, carefully and thoughtfully.” That made a complex task much easier with those guiding words and leadership.

If you remember nothing else about Colin this election cycle, you should know how seriously he takes his service to you and your hard-earned tax dollars.

I will be voting for Colin Hickey this fall for Bedminster Township Committee and I urge you to do the same.

When you get your ballot, fill it out, drop it off in the ballot drop box at Bedminster Town Hall, the Board of Elections in Somerville or by mail.

STEVEN PARKER
Airport Road
Bedminster Township

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Colin Hickey is ‘there for Bedminster’

September 17, 2020

EDITOR: During his tenure on the Bedminster Township Committee, Colin Hickey has shown by his actions that he will go to bat for Bedminster residents to protect their quality of life.

When complaints about the frequent and long-lasting power outages in Bedminster Township, particularly in The Hills, fell on deaf ears at JCP&L, Colin teamed with the home owners associations to reach out to the utility.

Collectively, this ad hoc committee invited the utility to appear at a Bedminster Township Committee meeting to hear public comments and answer questions. What began as a contentious discussion ultimately resulted in multiple technology upgrades that dramatically reduced the frequency and duration of power outages.

Another positive outcome is that Colin got JCP&L to agree to provide regular updates to the Bedminster Township Committee on ongoing technology improvements and their impact on power availability. Then tropical storm Isaias struck, causing widespread and long-lasting power outages that exposed several systemic issues – lack of maintenance spares, lapses in tree trimming, rotted poles, and more.

Throughout the power outage, direct updates from the power company were infrequent and inaccurate. Colin jumped in and communicated with JCP&L and kept residents informed of JCP&L’s progress and the Estimated Time to Restoration for each neighborhood.

On Aug. 27 at about 9:30 a.m., a vehicle hit a pole, again knocking out power to the same areas of Bedminster that were knocked out by Isaias. This outage was repaired quickly, but it was Colin who reached out to JCP&L for info and he relayed it to everyone in town.

In addition to successfully intervening with JCP&L, Colin continued to work with all utilities that serve Bedminster, and also the state Board of Public Utilities, to keep rate increases in check.

His focus on quality of life issues extends beyond public utility services.

He was also instrumental in the pop-up food pantry that ran during the Covid lockdown. Colin is definitely looking out for Bedminster residents tirelessly.

It is for these reasons, and many more, that I will be voting for Colin in November for re-election to Bedminster Township Committee.

JEFFREY S. LEONARD
Bedminster Township

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Hickey demonstrates ‘persistent advocacy’ for Bedminster

September 16, 2020

EDITOR: As chair of the Environmental Commission and a resident of The Hills for 21 years, I can attest that Colin Hickey, during his three years serving on The Township Committee, has established himself as an advocate for Bedminster residents whose individual voices were not being heard.

When residents shared their frustrations with public utilities and cable companies, Colin interceded to pursue quality services at fair rates for all.

In response to the notice of a substantial rate increase by New Jersey American Water, Colin Hickey analyzed the impact to ratepayers and organized a group of municipalities to collectively push back against the usurious rate inflation.

For many years, JCP&L seemed to ignore complaints about repeated power outages. Colin joined forces with the homeowner associations in The Hills to command the attention of JCP&L and to compel the company to upgrade their equipment.

Similarly, when the social media outcry against cable provider Altice showed increasing frustration with no satisfaction, Colin reached out to the company expressing his surprise at their silence and indicated that he had no choice but to educate our residents about the options that are on the horizon for them with emerging competition from streaming content services and 5G wireless broadband.

As chair of the Environmental Commission I worked closely with Colin. This has given me insight, not only to the inner workings of local government, but the man.

The same high standards and strong core values Colin practices in his personal life are the same qualities he is committed to and demonstrates with the township and the residents he serves. Colin’s strong and persistent advocacy has already yielded improvements, yet there is much more work to be done. Colin is the right person to continue these efforts!

Therefore, This November, I strongly urge my fellow residents to re-elect Colin Hickey to the Township Committee where I know he will continue to make local government work for Bedminster residents and businesses.

DAWN MARCH
Bedminster Township

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Hickey brings ‘knowledge, dedication and skill’ to Bedminster

Sep 14, 2020

EDITOR: Bedminster is truly special and unique with its rural character and charm, low taxes and high quality of life.

But to attain and maintain what has become the standard in Bedminster takes skill, dedication, knowledge and experience. Along with Mayor Larry Jacobs and the Township Committee, Committeeman Colin Hickey has proven his keen ability to continue to successfully and conscientiously represent Bedminster.

I have had the pleasure of serving with Colin and he truly cares about Bedminster and its residents. Colin rises to any challenge, working hard each day to serve Bedminster and all of its residents. Colin meets each of these challenges with enthusiasm, and often a sense of humor.

Quick witted and understanding, he is able to form the relationships necessary across our communities to share ideas and efforts. Colin is a team player, but also always willing to work independently with a resident to help solve issues that may arise.

He has been a devoted resident for many years, volunteering for Bedminster as well as serving as your committeeman. He is fiscally conservative and responsible, always looking for creative ways to save taxpayer dollars.

The yearly budget process is very detailed and during this process and all year long, Colin applies his sharp business acumen to be sure to analyze expenditures and always searching for a way to keep spending low, but also to be sure to preserve the very valued and important services for Bedminster residents.

This year certainly has been a challenging one, but Colin, along with Mayor Jacobs and the committee, has worked extremely hard to protect the residents and to keep Bedminster the special and unique place that it is.

On Nov. 3 to ensure the continued success of Bedminster, please vote to re-elect Committeeman Colin Hickey for his tried and true experience, knowledge, dedication and skill.

STACI SANTUCCI
Bedminster Township

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Colin Hickey is ‘all in’ for Bedminster

September 14, 2020

EDITOR: This fall, I look forward to voting to re-elect Colin Hickey to the Bedminster Township Committee. 

During the past year – my first on the Township Committee – I have had the privilege of working alongside Colin and observing how he ably represents and serves Bedminster residents. Colin shows by his example that the role of Township Committee member goes far beyond attending Monday night meetings.

Evidence of Colin’s dedication and commitment is clear by the hours that he spends supporting our residents. Every day of each week, Colin rolls up his sleeves to help bring about great activities, e.g., family movie night, and services such as online tax payment options for Bedminster residents to enjoy.

From organizing and staffing the Bedminster pop-up food pantry five days a week for 10 weeks to directing traffic on Saturdays at the farmers’ market, to serving on the Land Use Board and as the Township Committee liaison to the recreation board and multiple committees, Colin is “all in.”

On an ongoing basis, when residents reach out with concerns and questions on a variety of topics such as COVID-19 testing, power outages or vote-by-mail instructions, Colin researches and publishes the answers for all to see.

To make certain that all of this important information reaches as many people as possible, Colin widely shares information via social media, the township website, fliers and public meetings. Of course, the Monday evening Bedminster Township Committee meetings are where we conduct official township business.

Colin’s professionalism, business savvy and comprehension of sensitive and complex topics result in a fair assessment of each decision that we face. His thoughtful and balanced viewpoints show that he is always looking out for the best interests of Bedminster residents.

We all win when local government works for you. I encourage you to join me in voting for Colin Hickey, an experienced leader with a stellar track record of serving Bedminster residents, for Township Committee.

GINA FERNANDEZ
Bedminster Township

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.

LETTER: Colin Hickey Has Earned My Vote in Bedminster

September 9, 2020

Federal election campaigns often dominate major headlines. Yet, flying under the radar, many local races can shape the outcome of important decisions made closer to home. In Bedminster Township, Colin Hickey’s re-election to Township Committee is good for the town and residents.

Colin Hickey has earned my vote.

What impresses me most is his dedication to the community. When the COVID lockdown struck Bedminster, Colin created the Pop-Up food pantry at town hall and was among those who manned it daily for ten weeks. This food pantry directly helped hundreds of families in a time of need. You’ll also see him volunteering his Saturdays at the Farmers Market directing traffic.

At town hall, he’s a leading advocate for residents. When he chaired the Environmental Commission, his business-minded approach was clear. More recently, as a Township Committeeman, Colin has helped maintain the town’s low tax rates and promoted the best interests of residents. Specifically, he has resisted efforts by the local water utility to raise prices, addressed persistent power outages, helped control engine braking noise on Route 206, and introduced measures to streamline some of the town’s operations (website design, tax collection, recreational facilities, etc). As co-author of the town’s current Master Plan Report, Colin showed he’s not afraid of detailed work and gained notable insight into township activities.  In short, he holds himself accountable, focuses on doing what’s right for residents and fights for a healthy and safe Bedminster.  

Experience and dedication are a winning combination. In Colin’s case, that’s true in spades. Colin Hickey has made a tangible difference to Bedminster’s residents. At a time when partisan federal politics can be polarizing, it’s refreshing to see a local candidate who’s right for ALL residents.  

To me, the choice is clear: vote to re-elect Colin Hickey to the Township Committee.

John B. Coates
Bedminster Township

This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in TAPinto Somerset Hills.

LETTER: Colin Hickey ‘the best candidate to represent Bedminster’

EDITOR: Three years ago, I wrote a letter in support of Colin Hickey for Bedminster Township Committee and I could not be more pleased with the job he has done.

Being on the Township Committee is a huge time commitment, but Colin seems to enjoy every aspect of the job. He helped implement Bedminster’s new website, spends every Saturday at the Bedminster Farmers Market directing traffic, answers residents’ questions on social media, sits on a variety of committees and helped distribute food to our residents during the COVID-19 crisis – and those are just the things I know about.

We are lucky to have such a talented neighbor willing to put so much of his own time into making our town the best place to live.

So, while we may have differing opinions on who is best suited to lead our country, there is no doubt in my mind that Colin Hickey is the best candidate to represent Bedminster.

TIM WALTER
Bedminster Township

Note:  This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News on September 7, 2020.

LETTER: Former Bedminster Mayor Endorses Colin Hickey for Township Committee

EDITOR: Here are some of the reasons why I will be voting to re-elect Colin Hickey to the Bedminster Township Committee.

After Colin heard from many Bedminster residents who were unhappy with the levels of service and lack of communication from JCP&L, New Jersey American Water, and other utility service providers, Colin became their voice and successfully opened channels of communication.

Speaking on behalf of residents, he addressed specific issues with each company, negotiated improvements, and kept the public informed by communicating via public meetings, the Township website, and social media. Colin’s efforts are moving the needle in the right direction and Bedminster residents continue to benefit from his dogged persistence.

In addition to his advocacy, Committeeman Hickey ably represents the fiscal interests of Bedminster taxpayers. Each year, as the Township Committee works on the next year’s budget, Colin examines the proposed expenses line by line looking for ways to keep costs low and community services first-rate. As the current crisis unfolded, he argued for additional budget reductions and the extension of taxpayer grace periods.

Beyond his Township Committee role, Colin also serves as a volunteer. For families impacted by the pandemic, he created the Bedminster Pop-up Food Pantry and devoted his mornings to food collection, sanitizing, sorting, and distribution every weekday for ten weeks. Many of you know Colin from his volunteer position at the Bedminster Farmers’ Market — directing traffic in and out of the busy parking lot.

Colin’s actions clearly speak for themselves. His advocacy for residents, fiscal stewardship, and volunteerism have all demonstrated that he is the right choice for Bedminster Township.

Whether by mail, lockbox, or provisional ballot on November 3rd, vote for Colin Hickey for Bedminster Township Committee.

Joe Metelski

Editor’s Note: Joe Metelski is a former Mayor of Bedminster Township.  This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in TAPinto Somerset Hills on August 29, 2020.