Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) shared,
Gov. Murphy vetoed bi-partisan legislation that would have provided $30 million in funding specifically to help the struggling restaurant industry.
This was meant to help the struggling industry from the time and money they wasted when the Governor abruptly delayed the reopening of indoor dining in July.
Election Day is here! But remember we are still in the midst of a pandemic.A little can go a long way for those in need.
As we move closer to Election Day, we want to remind everyone that there are people in need in our community. Earlier this month we had the opportunity to work with Qcrew Cares and support the Flemington Area Food Pantry. Hunterdon County is a great place to live thanks to strong Republican leadership at all levels throughout the County.
Freeholder Director Van Doren stated: "The Freeholders’ priority concern has been to make testing available for more categories of people, particularly those whose jobs put them in close contact with others and those who have had contacts with positive COVID cases.
Under the amended agreement with Hunterdon Medical Group, in addition to those exhibiting symptoms, the expanded program will now allow testing appointments for first responders, teachers, and other essential workers without the need for a doctor’s prescription."
In this week's 'Director's Report'; Freeholder Director Shaun C. Van Doren elaborated on the success and importance of Hunterdon County's jail consolidation with Warren County.
With over $600,000 in savings for taxpayers; The Director stated:
"This kind of exceptional work done by the County’s Constitutional Officers and Department Directors, to consistently seek out and implement operations that are effective and efficient, is the reason the county has kept its fiscal house in order.”
Like many of you, I had the unfortunate task today of reading a particularly shameful and insulting public statement from Flemington Mayor Betsy Driver. (Provided below for reference)
While I don’t quite know where to begin, I do know where to end: Mayor Driver, you should resign and you should do it now. Your statement is antithetical to the principles of representative democracy. It is further proof that you do not represent the people of Flemington, the character of Hunterdon County, and the values of at least a part of the Democrat party. While I trust Republicans agree with me, I also call on Freeholder Candidate Heller and all current Flemington candidates to join me and many others in a bipartisan call for Mayor Driver's immediate resignation.
This election will soon pass and the business of governing will and should again become the focus of our elected officials. And painting over blue lines with orange monsters is no way to govern. It is time for Betsy Driver to resign.
Hunterdon GOP Chair
Hunterdon County Freeholders Call On Governor Murphy To Use Executive Authority To Stop 22.5% Gas Tax Increase
During the September 15th Hunterdon County Freeholder Board meeting, Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren and Freeholder John E. Lanza called on Governor Phil Murphy to use the executive authority he used to shut down the state’s economy to halt the 9.3 cents per gallon gas tax increase scheduled for October 1st.
Lanza stated, “The gas tax will go up again, this time by 22.5%, from 41 to 50 cents per gallon, on October 1st, and it will be ruinous to residents, commuters and businesses at a time it can be least afforded. The tax hike will increase costs on already struggling businesses here in the county and throughout the state, at a time when many businesses are barely hanging on. The Governor can stop it, if he wants to.”
Van Doren said, “It seems incongruent that the Governor can use his extraordinary powers due to the public health emergency to stop the economy in its tracks, but now cannot stop a gas tax increase that will so negatively impact residents and businesses.”
Hunterdon County Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren recently submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) comments on Penn East’s proposed amendment to build the pipeline in two phases, citing environmental and economic concerns, calling for a re-examination the draft ‘Environmental Assessment’ (EA) that declares a finding of no significant impact.
Van Doren stated, “FERC needs to take the draft EA back to the drawing board. Using the draft Assessment to declare a finding of ‘no significant impact’ is inaccurate and a disservice to the public. There is no mention in the EA of the affect on residential property rights, preserved farmland, and protected environmental assets and resources.”
Newly Elected Hunterdon County Republican Chairman Gabe Plumer stated,
“Every year since Democrat Phil Murphy has become Governor, aid to most of Hunterdon County's school districts has been cut, while he continues to increase aid in his more favored communities around the state. This unfairness causes higher property taxes and hurts school children in Hunterdon County.”
“This year he has proposed $2.6 million in cuts to twenty Hunterdon school districts, while planning to borrow $4 billion to support other budget schemes,” Plumer said in the strategy document. “The Governor has targeted Hunterdon County and voters need to send him a very clear, very strong message that we are not going to take it, by voting Republican – for Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren, in the November 3rd election.”
Hunterdon County Freeholders Continue to Press for CARES Act Funding & Demand Lawmakers Restore $2.6 million in Planned Cuts from 20 School Districts
On the CARES Act:
A recent freeholder discussion on steps for the state government to reimburse Hunterdon County for COVID-19 pandemic-related costs turned into a discussion on the countywide economic outlook and the future of COVID-19 testing, with associated expenses, for an area of western New Jersey which did not qualify for allocations of federal CARES Act funding in spring due to being among a dozen counties statewide with populations of under 500,000.
On School District Funding Cuts:
Hunterdon County freeholders are calling for the restoration of $2.6 million in state education aid cuts to the 20 school districts in the county impacted by Gov. Phil Murphy’s new proposed budget, though the budget calls for the state to spend the same amount on all K-12 schools as it did in the 2019-2020 school year.
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) stated,
"The budget proposed today by Governor Murphy is big on spending and political agenda, but comes up small on affordability and common sense.
I wish we heard more in the way of helping people who are struggling financially during this pandemic. There are many residents in our state who are in a tough spot right now because the Governor is not focusing on getting people back to work and helping improve their personal budgets.
This spending proposal won’t make life any easier for residents who are having difficulties making ends meet.
With eight new taxes that would cost more than $1 billion, and $4 billion in borrowing to fund out-of-control spending initiatives, it is clear taxpayers can give up hopes for a more affordable New Jersey.”
Assemblyman Erik Peterson Slams Governor Murphy for Allowing NJ Unauthorized Immigrants to Attain Professional and Occupational Licenses
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) stated,
"In 2018 Gov. Murphy allowed illegal immigrants to qualify for taxpayer-funded college financial aid.
In 2019 Gov. Murphy granted illegal immigrants driver's licenses.
In 2020 Gov. Murphy gave illegal immigrants professional licenses.
Over 1.3 million people in New Jersey are unemployed due to Gov. Murphy's lockdown. Many are facing financial struggles and some have still not received their promised unemployment benefits.
For the Governor to sign this legislation allowing illegal immigrants to directly to take the jobs of our neighbors, friends and family who are citizens or here legally is wrong. The Governor and the Democrats in the Legislature that voted for this legislation, like the Mayor of Portland are encouraging and rewarding lawlessness. Shameful.
For those of you who sat quietly while low skilled workers lost their jobs to illegal immigrants now, with this new law, illegal immigrants can now take your job as a CPA, doctor, nurse, lawyer etc.
Is this the New Jersey you want for your family?
I voted against this legislation as rewarding lawlessness leads to the anarchy we are witnessing in Portland. This is the path of lawlessness that Governor Murphy and the Democrats are running to catch up on."
Senator Mike Doherty to Speak at Hunterdon County 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony Alongside Freeholder Shaun Van Doren and Sheriff Fred Brown
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), Freeholder Shaun Van Doren, Sheriff Fred W. Brown, law enforcement officials, and first responders from around the county will convene at the annual Hunterdon County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony, at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, on the Historic Courthouse steps on Main Street in Flemington.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony and is advised to wear face coverings.
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23)
Assemblyman Peterson has expressed disdain over the Governor's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the reopening of gyms at 25% capacity, Assemblyman Peterson calls for the reopening of indoor dining as well.
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) stated,
“I’d like for Governor Murphy to explain how he can unilaterally modify or suspend a host of statutes without legislative approval. In my estimation as a legislator who believes in the separation of powers, the governor simply doesn’t have that authority to rewrite or ignore laws as he sees fit, even if his intentions are sincere. Like dozens of other efforts that the legislative and executive branches have collaborated on since March to improve New Jersey’s ability to respond to COVID-19, any changes to our elections that conflict with existing statutory law must be accomplished through the regular legislative process. Anything less would reduce the confidence of many New Jerseyans that our elections are being conducted in a fair manner that protects their vote.”
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) stated,
"The mail box is not the ballot box,” said Senator Kip Bateman. “Voting, in person voting, is the centerpiece of our freedom, but in Murphy’s New Jersey, residents cannot go to the polls this fall for a presidential election and vote in person. That baseless decision shuns tradition and defies our American rights, chipping away at the essence of our democracy. This is an overreach by a Governor using the pandemic as a license to rewrite our laws. Residents can’t stand in line a few minutes to cast their vote, yet they are forced to line up for hours in overcrowded Motor Vehicle Agencies to renew paperwork or register a car. This action isn’t about health risks, it’s about ideology. Men and women of all colors shed blood, sweat and tears to fight for the right to vote, and that sacred right is being adulterated by this order that exposes the entire election process to the flaws and vulnerabilities of voting by mail. Our residents should be voting in person, unless they choose the mail-in alternative."
Hunterdon County’s Freeholders have released a letter sent today to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) calling for accountability equally from both Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and the BPU for the utility’s failure to live up to the BPU’s 2018 Order on Reliability and Security, and the state agency’s failure to monitor JCP&L’s performance.
Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren stated, "Our residents are angry and frustrated. JCP&L’s communications performance, with residents and businesses, and most particularly with county and local emergency response personnel, failed to meet the standards established by the BPU’s July 2018 Order, which was entered in response to the March 2018 windstorm.”
Freeholder Deputy Director Sue Soloway stated, "“It has been eight years since Hurricane Sandy and over two years since the July 2018 BPU Order and in this latest storm Hunterdon County residents have seen very little in reliability or security from JCP&L, and the BPU must own up to its’ responsibility for this failure.”
Van Doren and Soloway wrote in the letter to BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso, ‘The BPU has a responsibility to ensure that the utility improvements that have been ordered, and for which ratepayers are charged, are followed through on. That apparently has not happened. The public demands accountability equally from both JCP&L and the BPU.’
After Goya's CEO, Robert Unanue, praised President Trump, there was a call for a boycott. HCFRW decided to "buy"cott and donated 450 pounds of Goya products to Flemington Area Food Pantry.
This bill authorizes the issuance of $5 billion in State general obligation bonds to be used in response to the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also authorizes the Governor to apply for and receive federal stimulus loans (of up to $9 billion) from the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF). The MLF funding would, according to the bill, be available to address State revenue shortfalls, and to create a “COVID-19 Local Government Unit Emergency Fund,” to be administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The bill also authorizes the issuance of refunding bonds, whenever better rates and terms are available, and emergency, short-term liquidity notes, to address temporary cash flow problems
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) stated, " Democrats just saddled our children with almost $10,000,000,000 in debt. The debt is for current expenses. Kind of like taking out a 35 year mortgage to pay your electric bill. Next will be the increase in everyone’s taxes to pay for this massive debt bill."
Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren stated, “Hunterdon County’s Freeholders have made significant fiscally conservative decisions to hold up our end during the health and economic crisis. The tax rate was held steady for the second year in a row, a no-debt capital improvement plan was approved for the sixth year in a row, and the County continues to provide substantial funds for emergency and public health pandemic response.
Now the Governor must hold up his end and distribute the federal funding designated to reimburse Counties, which has been available for over three months,”
The Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders are committed to providing assistance to the County's Veterans.
Freeholder Deputy Director Sue Soloway, the Board’s Veterans Liaison, stated, “Mr. Booth has been on the job and working throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, helping Veterans at a time when many resources may not have been available or accessible to our Veterans. He has been available to help Veterans remotely, but where it is absolutely essential, he has met at his office on Gauntt Place with Veterans. A plexiglass partition is in place and Rich and anyone he is meeting with must wear face coverings.”
If you or someone you know is in need of Veteran Services please contact Richard Booth at 908-788-1361, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. VA Customer Service can also be reached at 1-800-827-1000.
The Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders at their July 7th meeting approved preservation of two farms with cooperation from the Hunterdon Land Trust. It will be accomplished using both state and federal preservation funds which will add 75 more acres to the County’s Farmland Preservation inventory.
Freeholder Director Shaun C. Van Doren stated, " Preserving farmland in the County remains a front burner issue for the Freeholder Board. And finding funding partners to take on 100% of the costs is a real bonus for the taxpayers. These preservation projects add to the total of preserved farmland in the County beyond 34,000 acres."
Hunterdon County has preserved the second most farmland in New Jersey and has preserved the most farms of all the counties in the state.
This week, the Hunterdon County Elected officials collectively endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta.
Rik issued the following statement:
"I want to thank the Hunterdon County Elected officials for their unanimous endorsement! The endorsement of the Hunterdon County leadership is a big win for our campaign. I am proud to also have the endorsement of the Hunterdon County Republican Committee to share the ticket with President Trump and the outstanding local candidates throughout the County. I look forward to working together as I take on Cory Booker in the fall! Hunterdon County is a leader in the state for good governance, and that starts with the strong Republican leadership in the County"
Elected Officials from left to right:
Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren, Freeholder Deputy Director Susan Soloway, Freeholder John Lanza, Freeholder Matt Holt, Freeholder Zach Rich, County Clerk Mary Melfi, and Sheriff Fred Brown
"The Freeholder Board adopted the county’s 2020 Budget, freezing the county tax rate for the 2nd year in a row, at the May 19th Freeholder meeting. Holding the county tax rate frozen at the 2018 level again this year is a key part of the County’s plan for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic." Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren"
A big thank you to our amazing Board of Chosen Freeholders for continuing to keep the best interest of Hunterdon County residents at the heart of what it means to be a Hunterdon County Freeholder!
Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders, will be joining Warren and Sussex Counties' Freeholders in developing a regional reopening plan. The three Counties will develop an economic and public health plan on reopening businesses and submit the plan to Governor Murphy.
Freeholder Director Shaun C. Van Doren stated, “The public is aware that COVID-19 is contagious and can be dangerous. And they understand that precautions must be taken when visiting a business. Let's empower our businesses to develop the tools that both protect their customers’ health and give their customers the confidence that local businesses are safe to visit.”
Freeholder Van Doren has been leading ongoing meetings with Mayors in Hunterdon’s 26 municipalities on how municipal governments are handling COVID-19
"The psychological and economic consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to be devastating for many, further exacerbating risk factors for mental health related morbidity and mortality for our veteran community,” said Doherty (R-23). “This unprecedented crisis is a stressor for vulnerable veterans with mental health issues. COVID has the potential to worsen their overall health and put them at higher risk for suicide and other adverse outcomes, as well as for veterans who have no previous history of mental illness", Senator Mike Doherty says.
Tragically, women veterans are 250% more likely to commit suicide than civilian women.
“If you are a veteran experiencing emotional distress, please call the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 and press 1,” added Doherty. “If you are the family member or friend of a veteran, reach out to them during this time of social distancing. We can help heighten awareness and prevent the unthinkable for our veterans and their families".