Kitchen advocates for more Ward 1 resources

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Franklin Ward 1 Councilman Mark R. Kitchen recently continued his call for Ward 1 to receive treatment equal to the city’s five other wards in terms of resources and amenities.

In comments made during the Franklin City Council’s May 13 meeting, Kitchen called for equality in the context of road development and maintenance while also making a point to thank city staff for the responsiveness it has shown when called upon.

Alluding to an earlier discussion in the meeting, Kitchen said, “I’m glad we’ve touched on equality tonight, because I’m going to give a shoutout for the Public Works Department for always being there when I called them for cracks in the pavement, grass growing up through the street, sinkholes, stuff like that. But three years ago I promised my Ward’s people equality of resources, and I’m doing it again to try and obtain equal resources for Ward 1. Since then we’ve been helped by Public Works many times.

“The citizens of Ward 1 and I are requesting once again for equal treatment as far as resources and amenities in our section of Hunterdale,” he said. “I’ve been told by citizens and council persons alike that it’s all about need, but we need the same things that all the other wards have.”

He said, “I’ve been told we don’t need streetlights, we don’t need surveillance cameras, we don’t need curbs and gutters.

“Currently there is one portion of one street in Ward 1 which borders Ward 6 with freshly paved asphalt covering it, and that’s the lower end of Crescent Drive,” he said. “There are parts of two streets in Ward 1 with curbs and gutters — Crescent Drive and Fairview Drive.

Then he drew a direct comparison with three other wards in the city, though he made clear he did not intend to offend anyone.

“Meanwhile, there are 17 streets in Wards 3, 4 and 5 with freshly paved streets, curbs and gutters, so I want us to be serious about equality,” he said.

Kitchen offered further comment on May 14 when he added, “The city put down over 28 tons of asphalt paving. I don’t know where it all went, but I know where it didn’t.”