- 28-October – Observer-Tribune
EDITOR: My name is Molly Riley and I’m writing to encourage my fellow Harding citizens to vote for Amanda Richardson and Kate Barry.
Amanda and Kate have been my long-time friends, and would bring some much-needed perspective to the Harding Township Committee.
I grew up in Harding, just like Kate and Amanda, and we are part of a new generation who have decided to make a life in their hometown.
These past few years, I have attended many Harding Township Committee meetings, and I have been incredibly disappointed in the myopic thought process of the committee.
They preach keeping taxes low – although they have gone up recently for the vast majority of Harding residents – but they seldom spend much time on other pressing issues that affect the future of our community.
Even if taxes are low to the current residents relative to state averages, they are missing the bigger picture that Harding is not affordable for people like me who want to move back home.
Affordable housing requirements have been determined by the courts and yet the Township Committee has kicked the can down the road. I believe they should be proactively planning for this. Being thoughtful about long-term planning will allow us to continue to shape our community as we prefer, while we also offer affordable housing for people who need it and in areas deemed suitable.
Kate and Amanda understand the importance of being proactive and how essential thoughtful planning is for preserving Harding’s character, and also allowing for space for people like myself. It’s no secret that we as a town are reliant on volunteerism as the lifeblood of our community and keeping taxes notoriously low.
This works until there are no more young people able to settle in the town to take up the mantle of our volunteer organizations. I’ve seen this at events such as the Fire Department Auction fundraiser.
I’m often the youngest volunteer by many decades and the senior members are worried that there are fewer and fewer people coming up behind them to keep their services going.
Kate and Amanda can tackle these challenges with an understanding of Harding’s values and traditions and the needs of my generation. They have been endorsed by both the Morris County Young Democrats and the New Jersey Young Democrats in recognition of the plans they have to make sure younger people are included in the fabric of our community.
Besides not sowing the seeds for future generations to keep young people moving into the town and upholding these institutions, I’ve also been concerned by the lack of care for our public spaces, particularly Bayne Park. I have seen more and more litter at Bayne Park due and dead fish in the water likely from algae blooms.
This is also myopic thinking at work to keep spending in the town low even with a generous tax surpluses that is leaving Bayne Park less pristine than what I remember as a child. Considering that Kate and Amanda are both endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters -a nonpartisan organization that has open endorsements for anyone who applies- I trust that they are the best environmental candidates that will preserve the town for future generations.
Overall, electing Kate and Amanda to the Harding Township Committee would mean having candidates with the best understanding of Harding’s past and what Harding will need in the future.
It’s a vote for lifetime residents that understand Harding’s values, but with the skills and perspective to create the future that will keep our community thriving.
Youngs Road, Harding Township
- 26-Oct Observer-Tribune
EDITOR: Step up, get involved, pitch in. That’s what we ask of the next generation of Harding. We know their involvement is critical to maintaining the community we treasure and the low taxes we enjoy.
Amanda Richardson and Kate Barry have stepped up to serve our community. Between them, they have served on the Environmental Commission, Civic Association, Great Swamp Watershed Association, Rolling Knolls Superfund Cleanup Advisory Committee, and co-founded the Harding Mom’s Group and the Harding Democrats.
During the pandemic, they held fundraisers to send food from local restaurants to front-line workers, including our local police. They collected hundreds of pounds of food and thousands of dollars for nourish.NJ and Interfaith Food Pantry.
We would expect nothing less from these Harding natives. They were raised in a community that taught them to engage civilly with respect for others and to give back to their town.
While many have embraced Kate and Amanda and their willingness to serve on the Harding Township Committee, their opponents, unfortunately, have responded as if their sensible ideas to improve town government and proactively plan for the future were some existential threat to Harding.
No, Kate and Amanda are not socialists or communists or QaNon; they support Harding’s police and do not seek to defund them; they do not want to give away free stuff and spend your money like sailors; and they do not want to bring housing projects to Harding.
They want to maintain Harding’s beauty and low taxes, and to bring Harding forward to a future that looks a lot like the past – with some modern technology and fresh ideas to bring people together.
Vote for Amanda Richardson and Kate Barry, the moderate choice for Harding Township Committee.
Millbrook Road, Harding Township
- Oct. 25 – Observer-Tribune
EDITOR: Whoa, Chris Yates and Rita Chipperson!
Wait a minute before accusing your Democratic rivals of ”radical partisan politics,” words from your latest promotion piece.
Democratic candidates Amanda Richardson and Kate Barry participated in a cordial debate this fall with their counterparts. They discussed appropriate ways to repair Dicksons Mill Road bridge. They also proposed live streaming Township Committee hearings for ease in tracking timely issues within the township. Far from left-wing or radical. Rather, logical and reasonable.
Apparently, the Republicans think that Richardson and Barry are ”far left” because of an endorsement by the NJ Working Families Alliance (NJWFA)Am. That’s not how it works. Last time I looked NJWFA supports a $15 minimum wage, an issue that resonates with a majority of Americans nationally.
Richardson and Barry are from this community. They mirror constituents’ views. No one benefits from pointing fingers or affixing false labels on the competition. As the late congressman Elijah Cummings said, “We can do better than this.”
By casting a vote for Richardson and Barry, we will elect two outstanding candidates. Let’s keep the discourse civil. Let’s be willing to embrace new ideas.
Hemlock Lane, Harding Township
- Oct 23, 2020 Observer-Tribune
EDITOR: I am writing in response to Ms. (Victoria) Kao’s recent letter. Kate Barry and Amanda Richardson grew up in Harding, steeped in the tradition of civil discourse and honest debate. Toxic labeling and stereotyping have no place in our community.
Kate and Amanda have laid out their views on local issues—they are hardly the radical progressives Ms. Kao makes them out to be. Rather, they are committed to maintaining low taxes, acting as good public stewards of our money and land, and improving the ways in which people of the town learn about issues and support our community organizations.
The school issues raised in Ms. Kao’s letter are within the purview of the Harding Township Board of Education, not the Township Committee, the body on which Amanda and Kate seek to serve.
That said, you can rest assured that our candidates – one of whom attended Harding School and the other of whom who will send her son there soon – know what a gem it is. There are candidates for the Board of Education on this ballot—those are the votes that are relevant to your concerns about the school.
Neither Kate and Amanda, nor Chris Yates and Rita Chipperson, are running for state office in Trenton.
Again, I encourage to vote for the candidates running for state office if you are displeased with the decisions made at that level of government. Indeed, during the Meet the Candidates forum with the candidates for Township Committee, the Republican candidates spent much of their time talking about all the ways they wanted to fight against Trenton, rather than the ways they wanted to fight for Harding.
Kate and Amanda support maintaining a strong sense of community within Harding, and encourage open and honest communication between the residents and their elected officials. They understand that our township is made up of individuals with diverse ideas and opinions, and would like to see those views represented both in the Township Committee itself, as well as in the many boards and committees whose members are appointed by the Township Committee.
I voted for Kate Barry and Amanda Richardson for Township Committee, and I urge you to do so as well.
Millbrook Road, Harding Township