Tewksbury Township Committeeman announced his bid to seek the open seat of retiring Hunterdon County Freeholder Rob Walton. Van Doren stated, “I want to thank Rob for his dedication, commitment and service to the citizens of Hunterdon County.”
Van Doren was first elected to the Township Committee in 1996 and was inducted into the NJ Elected Officials Hall of Fame in February having just completed 20 years of continuous service. Van Doren said he would promote a fiscally conservative platform aimed at keeping Hunterdon County affordable for young families and seniors on a fixed income. “I have had the honor to serve the residents of Tewksbury Township as one of five elected officials and I now believe it is time to apply my experience, knowledge and ability to work with others to the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders.”
“Hunterdon County is a great place to live and work, but working together with the Freeholders we can make it even better,” said Van Doren. He pledged to take a hard look at the issues that come before the Board, most importantly listening to all sides. “The Freeholders have done a tremendous job of holding the line on taxes and spending increases, reducing County debt and maintaining important services. I can bring my extensive municipal experience to continue that hard work.”
During his time on the Township Committee he:
- Spearheaded the Township’s first Farmland Preservation Program, securing over $ 14 million in State and Federal preservation funding to preserve 1,000 acres of farmland;
- Maintained a stable Municipal tax-rate for 5 consecutive years; flat budgets for the last 7 years;
- Reduced debt by adopting pay as you go capital plans without new borrowing;
- Reformed municipal government operations to streamline services to the public, including:
- Combined Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board into a combined Land Use Board;
- Implemented an ethics and decorum policy for all volunteers on Township Boards, Committees and Commissions to require public be treated respectfully;
- Reduced number of Boards and Committees to ensure those in place provided meaningful support and assistance to the public.
- Supported shared services agreements with neighboring municipalities (Califon Boro, Lebanon Township, Lebanon Boro, Town of Clinton for public works, construction code, and tax assessment services;
- Worked with multiple landowners and non-profit organizations to preserve over 2,000 acres of Tewksbury farmland and open space;
- Supported the construction of new and improved athletic fields for baseball and soccer;
- Opposed assaults on the Township’s land use ordinances via JCP&L’s plans for a substation within the Fairmount Historic District and a private heliport.
Van Doren currently serves as a member of the Hunterdon County Agricultural Development Board, where he has also been the Township liaison for the past 20 years and served 20 years on the Hunterdon County Shade Tree Commission until 2015. He currently serves as President of the Tewksbury Historical Society, Treasurer and Director for the New Jersey Planning Officials and is a member of the NJ League of Municipalities Legislative Committee on Land Use.
Van Doren’s professional background includes an M.S. in Management from Steven’s Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Chemistry from Trenton State College. He is presently employed full-time at Merck & Co., Inc. in Rahway, NJ as a Project Safety Engineer.