van Vulpen vying to replace Hunter on county council
The race to replace Keith Hunter has its first candidate.
With the warden of Cumberland County announcing he will not reoffer in Cumberland County’s District 3 in October, Joe van Vulpen has decided he will run to replace the longtime councilor.
“Having spent my whole life in Cumberland County and the last 35 in Warren, the opportunity to give back to the community and the county is something I want to do,” said van Vulpen. “I have many acquaintances in District 3, worked side by side with community groups, been a longtime member of the Truemanville Fire Department, supported my children in 4-H and local activities. I would like to work within council to further my support for these initiatives and many more.”
Van Vulpen, who formerly operated Jomar Farms in Warren, said land use is something that’s very important to him. He has worked with the county and the Cumberland County Federation of Agriculture on landuse bylaws and environmental issues.
He would like to see the county work to make it easier for farmers to rekindle activity on much of the farmland that has been abandoned over the years.
“We have an abundance of available farmland, yet we see more and more roads with land that’s no longer being farmed, growing weeks and alders,” he said. “It’s sad to see the deterioration of what’s very usable land. We need to work with various farm organizations and governments to reverse this trend.”
Land that can’t be saved, or is too far from active farming areas, could be planted as timber plots to strengthen the lumber industry for future generations.
And while amalgamation is a word that’s likely to come up during the campaign, van Vulpen said he doesn’t have an opinion on a political union with Amherst. He wants to see the two municipalities look for ways to share services to streamline costs.
“While this has been addressed in a couple of communities, we must move forward to continue the process for the benefit of the taxpayers of the county,” he said. “It may be in further sharing of services or a future look at further amalgam- ation procedures. Studies are required to search out whether this can be done with other towns, when it can be done and how it should be done in the best interests of all concerned.” He also wants to see Amherst and the county work more closely together on economic and industrial development, saying that’s good for one is good for the other. He also supports green energy whether it be tidal development, wind generation or solar power.
Van Vulpen also believes playgrounds, school gyms and activity areas should be encouraged in all parts of the county along with support for organizations like 4-H, soccer fields and playground committees. Seniors recreation programs should also be further developed in the more rural areas of the county.
He said the county has done a good job upgrading its fire infrastructure in recent years with new equipment and several new fire halls. He hopes to see this continued through the county’s fire safety co-ordinator while working to recruit new members for each of the rural departments.