Ask your local candidate a question.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Know the Candidates

John Lovell

Hardwick Township Committee

Local Government Experience:

Have you ever been elected or appointed to a local government position, or served on a local government board, committee, or as staff?

Local governments include cities, counties, public utility districts, school districts, fire protection districts, port districts, and more.


If yes, please describe:

1975 - 1978 East Windsor Township - Assistant to the Town Manager / Acting Director of Public Works
1978 - 1982 Hamilton Township - Township Admiistrator / Chief Financial Officer
1982 - 1998 Franklin Township - Township Manager / Director of Public Safety
1998 - 2014 Randolph Township - Township Manager
As a volunteer in Hardwick, I have served as a member on the Open Space Committee and Land Use Board
Elected to the Township Committee in 2020

Tell us about yourself and why you would be the best candidate to participate in governing the town/township?

I am a lifelong resident of New Jersey.

I believe that my years of experience as a leader in local government provide me with a unique foundation to serve and guide Hardwick.

My wife and I retired to Hardwick where our son and his family reside. With three generations of the Lovell family living in town, I feel a special resposibility to make Hardwick a better community for current and future residents.

My political aspirations begin and end in Hardwick and I will always place the best interests of the community ahead of all other considerations.

What are the top three challenges facing the town/township?

1. The residents of Hardwick choose to live here as the town affords a rural life style which is unique to much of the state. Preserving the rural character of Hardwick is a priority.

2. Fiscal stability, the provision of services and enhanced communictaion.

3. Maintenance of municipal infrastructure, most notably the townnship's road system, properties and structures.

How do you propose to address these challenges?

Hardwick must make every attempt to fulfill it's obligations under the affordable housing settlement approved by the courts. My colleagues on the Township Committee have supported efforts to promote housing rehabs including the assignment of additional funds and communiy outreach. This initiative must continue throughout the next two years to ensure that Hardwick continues to receive protections afforded under the settlement agreement.

Hardwick completed its outdated Open Space Plan and the Recreation/Open Space Inventory as required by Green Acres. An open space consultant has been brought on board to assist in preserving lands threatened by future development. This initiative is of vital imporatnce if the town is to reduce risks for large scale development.

Hardwick has a limited ratable base and therefore each expenditure must be scrutinized. In the last several years, the town has opted to enter into a number of interlocal government service agreements as opposed to employing staff when openings occur. This initiative has allowed the town to obtain seasoned professionals at the "top of their game" without paying a premium price.The arrangement with neighboring Blairstown has the added benefit of increasing accessability to part time staff professionals.

A new, lower cost, employee health benfits program was selected to provide long term economies.

My goal is to continue to look for and implement reforms that will improve services and minimize costs.

The town significantly upgraded its website and is embracing additional enhancements to improve upon communications. We look to contine sending out hard copy newsletters to resident to keep citizens informed.

Government is often proficient at building new infrastructure but does a poor job maintaining and preserving those investments. The Town Committee has prioritized the maintenance of exisitng infrastructure and physical assets.

Federal dollars received through the American Rescue Plan Act have been invested in repairs and renovations to town facilities, updating technology supporting the municipal operations and capital funding for our emegency service providers.

Bottom line is that the prioities set during my first term in office will continue to be my prioirites in the future.

How do you plan to involve the residents in the decision-making process?

Throughout my career in local government, I believed that the best leaders were those who listened to the citizens. All Hardwick residents regardless of their political persuasion or outlook on the community are welcomed to provide advice.

I will consider your input and will be exceptionally appreciative that you took the time to share your insights.

Hardwick looks to enhance communictaions to keep citizens informed whether it is by mailings, the municipal website or the upcoming RAVE system.

Most importantly, I encourage citizens to attend meetings at the Municipal Building with the knowlege that I will always be respectful and friendly with an emphasis on making it clear that we are all working towards finding mutually acceptible solutions.

What will be your priorities for representing this town/township?

Excellence in governance and pride in public service are the foundation for my priorities. Preserving Hardwick's rural character is at the top of my list.

Recruiting a new generation of volunteers to serve their community is high on my list. Maintain and project a team approach with my fellow committee members, township staff and the citizens we serve.

What else do you want to share that would convince voters you are the right candidate for the future of the town/township?

Hardwick is a wonderful town to live in and raise a family.

I was honored to be elected in 2020 and I believe that I have played an important role in moving the town forward over the past three years. I look upon my service as giving back to my community as a grateful resident and caretaker.

I appreciate your trust in me and will do my best to continue to earn your support.