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A Marked Man

Our columnist takes a closer look at Democratic council candidate Mark Hines—where he (and his running mates) stand on the issues, and how he feels about his detractors.

Our neighborhood has changed dramatically in the last few years, as houses have sold and younger families have moved in. The cul-de-sacs are once again filled with wagons, toys, tricycles and the sounds of children playing. The joyous sounds of unstructured playtime drift my way in the late afternoon, reminding me of when my boys were young, shooting hoops out front or organizing the other kids for a pre-dusk game of "jail break."  

Games from my childhood are lost now: Mother May I?, Freeze Tag, Red Light/Green Light, even Jacks and jump rope have been stashed in the past. One game lives on, though: rock, paper, scissors. I was thinking about this the other day, reminding myself that paper covers rock, rock trumps scissors, scissors cut paper, and so on, because no matter how many times I've played that game, I have to repeat that mantra over and over again to remember what does what and to which.

This simple game popped into my mind last week when thinking about the upcoming town council race: Does beauty trump experience, or does age trump beauty? Does youthful exuberance top a willingness to serve? I sat down with Mark Hines recently, to get a feel for the Democratic ticket, and to find out why he has taken a lot of heat over the campaign to save Open Space funds for, well, open space.

It wasn't until I started writing for Patch in 2011 that I began attending town council meetings. Greg Newcomer has been a mustachioed presence "in the cheap seats" for 18 years, Mark Hines for at least five. From the outset, Mark and Greg were both very vocal about the use (or abuse) of Open Space funds. Although council rescinded the resolution to use that money for the fields project, it is important to note the Democrats were the ones who fought that hard and unpopular battle from the beginning.

Mark Hines has taken it on the chin from many anonymous commenters on Patch, so I felt it was important to find out why. Why is he running? Why has he been singled out as being divisive? How can he and the Democrats help fix what is ailing Moorestown?  

Mark Hines and his lovely wife Elizabeth Endres have lived with their two children in Moorestown for 17 years. Both are food scientists from the Midwest who came east for their careers and decided Moorestown was the perfect place to raise their young family. Both Mark and Elizabeth are activists. They are involved in their church, they're active at Sunnybrook, route: {:controller=>"listings", :action=>"show", :id=>"sunnybrook-swim-club"} --> and Mark sits on the board of MEND. When they didn't like where town council was going with its stubborn campaign to use Open Space funds for field improvements, they created , which was then . We have specific plans for Main Street, as well as Lenola. We would love to have a 'Main Street manager,' someone whose job it is to create a climate conducive to growth," Mark said. "We're thinking that maybe could be used to salary a Main Street manager for a two-year contract. There has to be a pro-business attitude and

Coach September 18, 2012 at 02:49 AM
I voted against Hines 4 years ago, and this time I will do so again with much more certainty and much more disdain for this man.
kristen babcock September 18, 2012 at 03:14 AM
CFM, Greg is a great man and will certainly bring nothing but good to town council if elected. I disagree with you in calling Mark Hines divisive. Maybe you don't know him personally as I do and that is why you say that. Mark would also bring nothing but good to town council. I hope the voters will take the time to see that. He has my vote.
Townie September 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Coach / Kristen, Disdain.....great man.... The truth is most likely somewhere in between....
Bill September 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM
The guy doesn't even understand the legal use of an ordinance he voted on as a citizen. How many times did we read, "it's not what we thought we were voting for" ( in regards to the Open Space Recreation, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund) . Why would anyone want him on town council ?
HD September 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I would want him on town council because of his management/leadership skills, ability to get things accomplished, dedication to improving Moorestown, and fiscal responsibility. I know Mark and he would always act ethically and with integrity. He is a very good choice for town council. I hope he wins.

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