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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.

LETTER: Hickey called ‘a proven leader’ in Bedminster

EDITOR: Certainly, we live in interesting times.

COVID-19 has upset many of the normal proceedings in our country, not the least of which is our process of electing our leadership at all levels of government.

I am not going to offer my opinion on the safety and accuracy of mail in ballots vs. the actual polls. However, I do feel that the worst thing any U.S. citizen can do is refrain from voting at all.

The second worst thing would be to blindly vote along party lines without considering the individual candidates running for office. Does that candidate have the integrity, experience and dedication to serve all constituents in the office that he/she was elected?

In Bedminster, the clear choice is Colin Hickey for Township Committee. Colin has served on the Bedminster Township Committee for over three years and has repeatedly gone above and beyond for all Bedminster residents.

Most recently, when many people were initially displaced from their jobs due to COVID and struggling to provide for their families, Colin initiated and manned the Bedminster pop-up food pantry, which provided food and other necessities for over 650 area families.

When Bedminster was experiencing frequent power outages over the past few years, Colin brought JCP&L representatives to the town to answer residents complaints and formed a working group with several of the homeowner associations in The Hills to develop system improvements and reduce the outages.

This year, Colin has been championing the fight against New Jersey American Water, which has filed to raise water rates. If left unchallenged, this would result in an almost $100 per year increase to the average user.

Colin is dedicated to this town and I invite all Bedminster residents to visit his website www.colinhickey.com, to learn more about him.

In closing, please carefully consider the candidates you are electing, especially at the local level. For a proven leader with integrity, please be sure to vote for Colin Hickey.

JAMES H. CHRISTIE
Bedminster Township

Note:  This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News on August 4, 2020.

Bernardsville News: Incumbent Hickey endorsed by Bedminster Republicans

BEDMINSTER TWP. – The Bedminster Republican Municipal Committee has endorsed incumbent Colin Hickey for Township Committee.

Hickey is running for his second, three-year term. He was first appointed to complete an unexpired term in 2017, and was then elected to a full term in November of that year.

A township resident for 28 years, first residing in Stone Run, he now lives in the Clucas Brook neighborhood with his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Taylor.

A businessman who specializes in start-ups and the tech sector, Hickey first served on the Environmental Commission, where he later became chairman. In 2017, he was named to an advisory panel convened to assist the Land Use Board with its master plan re-examination.

In a press release, the Republican Municipal Committee said Hickey “has been the voice for smart growth, advocating for initiatives that temper size and scale while improving ratables to keep property taxes low.

“He has teamed with Mayor Larry Jacobs to encourage AT&T’s long-term viability in Bedminster, while exploring potential alternatives to ensure the campus remains a vital technology hub,’’ it said. “He has worked tirelessly to make JCP&L more responsive to power outages in The Hills, and is now championing the recently formed Public Utilities Committee to improve service reliability and combat rate increases.’’

Hickey is the committee’s primary liaison to the township Board of Health, Board of Education and Recreation and Technology committees. He also serves on the Land Use Board.

“His constant attention to budget details underlies his ongoing efforts to make local government more efficient and responsive to the residents,’’ the press release said.

His campaign, it continues, “will focus on his passions – keeping Bedminster’s property taxes low, improving the community’s quality of life and making local government work for the taxpayers.’’

“Colin is uniquely qualified to lead Bedminster,’’ said RMC Chairman Steve Parker, a former township mayor. “His business acumen and dedication to the community will ensure that Bedminster continues to lead Somerset County in low taxes and a high quality of life.”

The five-member Township Committee is currently all Republican. The Democratic Party has yet to announce its candidate this year.

The primary election in New Jersey is on Tuesday, June 2.

This article originally appeared in the Bernardsville News on March 6, 2020.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Candidate Screening

The Bedminster Republican Municipal Committee will hold their primary candidate screening on February 26 at 6:30pm in the Clarence Dillon Public Library, Lamington Road and US Hwy 206. There is one seat on the Bedminster Township Committee for nomination for the 2020 general election. If interested in screening as a candidate or running for the 2020-2022 Republican Municipal Committee, contact Chairman Steve Parker at info@bedminstergop.org

LETTER: Bedminster mayor: Stevinson and Fernandez are ‘champions for our residents’

EDITOR: Good local government relies on great teamwork. In Bedminster, the proof of that is reflected in having the lowest tax rate in Somerset County, in the accolades that the town received from New Jersey Monthly and in the tremendous community pride that is shared by Bedminster residents.

The success that we experience is in large part due to the trust that the Township Committee members have in each other, even when we don’t always agree on specifics.

As a Committeeman, Doug Stevinson exhibits the same teamwork that he teaches as a youth basketball coach. Working with the other Township Committee members and staff, he has overseen the improvements to our parks and public facilities, restructured our employee personnel policies, assured that our contracts remain cost-effective and made certain that our at-risk seniors were being provided with safe living conditions.

Doug has been with me throughout this last year of police contract negotiations and his legal acumen was critical to Bedminster arriving at a fair disposition with our police. And, of course, budget season means all hands on deck, and that is when Doug is a fullthroated advocate for Bedminster taxpayers making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely.

Over the past several months, Gina Fernandez has attended Township Committee meetings taking notes and studying up on the issues, including the operation of the municipal budget.

Anyone familiar with Bedminster PTO’s Spring Fling can attest to her preparation, leadership and organizational skills. As a school teacher, she is certainly accustomed to preparing daily lesson plans and exhibiting subject matter expertise. I see that she is taking that same diligence as a candidate and I have no doubt she will do the same as a Bedminster Township Committeewoman. Fernandez has established her credentials as a strong team member and will be a terrific asset to the Township Committee.

In the coming years, the committee will again be faced with tough budget and contract negotiations. I hope that Bedminster voters will join me in voting Doug Stevinson and Gina Fernandez for the Township Committee team. They are both champions for our residents who will work tirelessly to keep Bedminster the envy of Somerset County – low taxes, great services and an exceptional quality of life.

LARRY JACOBS
Mayor
Bedminster Township

LETTER: Stevinson, Fernandez ‘will put Bedminster taxpayers first’

EDITOR: Don’t you want someone to really listen to you, have your best interests at heart and be fully vested in the community in which you live?

I do, and the more I learned about, and have gotten to know, Doug Stevinson and Gina Fernandez, they are just that and exactly the right people to lead our wonderful town of Bedminster.

Serving in his third year on the Township Committee, Doug has helped reduced spending and delivered a budget, which has kept Bedminster taxes among the lowest in Somerset County. Two years ago, the budget remained flat with a zero tax increase from 2017 to 2018. This year, the total appropriations for 2019 decreased from 2018.

He is the committee liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, police, fire and department of public works – well respected and has established relationships to get things done. Active in our community, having served on the Land Use Board, Recreational Committee, Far Hills Little League and Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House, he brings insights to how the town operates and can negotiate and implement favorable policies for us.

Gina, bringing a fresh voice and a fresh perspective as an educator and public school volunteer, offers new and practical ideas from her proven leadership in fund-raising – raising over $100,000 for Bedminster School, teaching, community service and advocacy on behalf of parents.

She has done her homework on the budget and township regulations; she cares about the well-being of your children, serving parent teacher organizations and chair of Bernards High Project Graduation; and she brings passion to children’s causes. She founded an after school club, the Hispanic Heritage Club. Her energy is boundless and her commitment ongoing.

Together, Doug and Gina will adopt annual budgets below the rate of inflation, support commercial enterprises and equestrian activities to lessen residential tax burdens and negotiate new shared services arrangements to continue fiscal responsibility. They will put taxpayers first.

They will enhance our quality of life by expanding recreational facilities, preserving Bedminister’s rural heritage, and advocating for the revitalization of Pluckemin Park. They plan to strengthen youth activities, co-sponsor educational community programs with Bedminster School and Environmental Commission, and reform land use regulations to encourage homeowner reinvestment, growth and prosperity.

I’ve joined them on neighborhood walks, and the eagerness to hear residents’ needs, concerns and desires is sincere. While walking in District 8, which is affordable housing, Gina conversed in Spanish with residents to ensure she and Doug heard their opinions. They are inclusive, respect diversity and will represent everyone.

I trust Doug Stevinson and Gina Fernandez to understand my needs and put all of the people of Bedminster first. That’s why I’m voting for them; please do the same on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

ALICIA BERKOWITZ
The Hills
Bedminster Township