Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcome, FOHOS!

Get used to seeing the initials FOHOS - Friends of Hillsborough Open Space. As a result of the Township Committee passing Ordinance 2013-17 regarding the diversion of 20% of our Open Space Trust Fund money from the purchase of land, a group of residents formed FOHOS. Here is their press release:

Formation of Friends Of Hillsborough Open Space (FOHOS)
Announces Opposition to November Ballot Question

August 26, 2013

A group of concerned Hillsborough citizens recently met and agreed to the formation of a new, non-partisan, grassroots organization, the Friends of Hillsborough Open Space (FOHOS). FOHOS's mission is to build a community wide volunteer group dedicated to assisting the Township in supporting the preservation and stewardship of open space lands in order to maintain Hillsborough's semi-rural character.

In 1995 Hillsborough voters overwhelmingly passed, by a margin of over 62% of the vote, a ballot question to establish an Open Space Tax that would be reserved solely for protecting farmlands from development and for the acquisition of undeveloped lands as open space. Recently, the Hillsborough Township Committee passed an ordinance that places a question on the November ballot that, if approved by the voters, would authorize the Committee to divert up to 20% of the Open Space Tax collected each year to uses other than preservation. This was done despite significant resident opposition expressed at the meeting at which the ordinance was adopted.

FOHOS opposes the diversion of any of the Open Space Tax funds away from the originally authorized use of protecting and preserving additional open space lands. Approximately $1.5 million dollars is collected each year for the Open Space Trust Fund. Of this amount, about half goes towards paying down the debt incurred from previous open space purchases. The proposed 20% diversion would leave only 30% of the money collected each year ($450,000) for new preservation efforts. Considering the high cost of property in central New Jersey and that matching funds from the state Green Acres program are currently no longer available, FOHOS strongly believes that every dollar of locally collected funds should be dedicated only for preservation. Money Magazine's recent acknowledgment of Hillsborough as one of the best places to live in America was based largely on the township's efforts to maintain a balance between new development and preservation of the semi-rural character of the community – a process that should continue.

FOHOS will be holding a meeting to discuss in more detail the history of the open space program, the economic and environmental benefits of open space, and the reasons why the diversion of open space tax dollars is a bad idea for Hillsborough. The time and place for the meeting will be announced shortly. All Hillsborough residents are strongly encouraged to attend and become members of FOHOS. Additionally, they may visit the FOHOS Facebook page located at or email FOHOS at

Please follow their Facebook page.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rotary Fair Week 2013: Making The Magic Happen

The 2013 Hillsborough Rotary Fair runs through Sunday. The HNJJ crew would like to recognize the volunteers - the Rotarians and their friends and family - who make it happen...
Thanks for the memories.
For more information on the Hillsborough Rotary Club and the Fair, including the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Raffle, go here.
Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford and George Mariasz.