EDITORIAL: Our endorsements for Somerset Hills towns (Bernardsville News)

In Bedminster, two Democrats, Denise King and Jacob Caplan, are seeking to break up the all-Republican Township Committee this year. They are running against incumbent Larry Jacobs and his Republican running mate, Renee Mareski.

The Democrats are voicing a familiar theme, claiming that the majority of township residents who live in The Hills development are being under served.

The argument has been a cornerstone of the local Democratic Party for years, but doesn’t seem to have gained much traction.

That’s probably because it lacks validity. There have been several committee members who’ve either lived in The Hills while in office or resided there before serving.

Trying to motivate Hills residents makes sense politically for the Democrats. But it would also be political suicide to ignore this large population, and we don’t think the Republicans have made that mistake.

In fact, one of the two Republican candidates, Mareski, is a resident of The Hills, while the other, Jacobs, had previously lived in the development.

Caplan in particular has advocated a plan to form a “working group’’ of representatives from the of various Hills homeowners associations to study the pooling of resources for shared service contracts for possible savings.

The concept sounds good on paper. We’re not convinced, however, that the idea is of interest to the various Hills leaders who’ve been working to serve their respective communities, or whether it may not have already been tried to some extent over the years.

The Democrats are seeking a ‘’voice’’ on the committee. But in recent years we have found the committee to be open and considerate to all residents, regardless of their address.

Jacobs has been an integral part of the governing body, and we suspect may take on a larger role in the future with the retirement of Mayor Steve Parker at the end of the year. An environmental attorney and 22-year township resident, Jacobs is a proven, smart leader. We see no reason why he should be replaced.

Mareski is making her first bid for office but has been an active volunteer who currently serves as chair of the Environmental Commission. She is a longtime township resident as well who also serves on her homeowner association in The Hills.

The Republicans are part of a solid team that runs an efficient and responsive government. We support their election on Nov. 6.

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