I’m Anna M. Evans, and I’m proud to announce that, along with Natalie Schneider, I am running for election to Hainesport Township Committee in November. I’ve lived in the Sage Run development of Hainesport for sixteen years, and my two daughters went through Hainesport School K-8. (You or your kids may know them—Becky Evans is now a freshman at Penn State, and Lorna Evans is a Junior at RV.) You’ve probably seen me out and about walking one of my dogs—Sammy, my nine-year-old Golden Retriever, and Piper, my choc ‘n tan Miniature Schnauzer. I’m a Democrat who believes in treating people fairly and giving everyone a voice. I fear that for too long now the Township Committee has ignored the voices of the Democrats and Independents who make up two thirds of Hainesport’s registered voters.
There hasn’t been a Democrat or Independent on the Township Committee for twenty-five years. The five incumbents are all Republican men with terms of service of six to twenty years. They will tell you that it doesn’t matter, that party politics are irrelevant at the local level, and that the Township is running smoothly with property taxes lower than many surrounding towns, so why change anything? Well, Hainesport should have property taxes lower than the surrounding towns, since it is home to only around 6000 people, and doesn’t have a police department, a paid fire service, or a high school. In reality, when compared to similarly sized and serviced New Jersey townships, Hainesport’s property taxes are only average, and have been increasing at a greater rate than they should have been—up 16% since 2009 compared to 10-12% for those surrounding towns.
One of the reasons Hainesport’s taxes aren’t lower is that 5% of the annual municipal budget goes to give generous health benefits packages to those five part time elected committee members. The committee has been solely responsible for making changes to the Employee Handbook which resulted in extending expensive health benefits to elected officials who would not otherwise have had them. If there had been a Democrat or Independent voice on the Township Committee this would not have been permitted to happen without public debate.
The Committee Members clearly acted in their own self-interest in this matter, which makes you wonder what else they may have decided to do in their own self-interest. Are all roads in Hainesport maintained to the same standards? Which areas receive first snow plowing? Are all the sewer lines of equivalent construction? Are all recreational activities equally prioritized? If you vote Evans and Schneider for Hainesport 2016, you can be sure we will act in the interests of all the people of Hainesport, invite input and communicate openly about important decisions, and provide the checks and balances the Committee has lacked for too long.
Hainesport is a great little town and I am delighted to be in a position where I can give back by offering myself for public service. Vote Evans and Schneider onto the committee and we will do our best to make sure that is reflected in both your services and your property taxes.