Jonathan Lee, Candidate for Rocky Hill Borough Council
By Flora Xia | April 7, 2022
Veteran IT manager Jonathan Lee, who was sworn into the Rocky Hill Borough Council in January to fill an unexpired term, has filed a petition with the Somerset County Clerk's office to fill one of two slots to represent the Democratic Party in the November General Election.
Mayor Bob Uhrik had approached Lee to fill an open position after Councilwoman Rasheeda Pretto–D resigned, leaving a vacancy. “I really like living in Rocky Hill, and I thought since I’m retired, it’s a good way to give back to the community,” Lee told The Montgomery News.
Lee graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a master’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in English. “It’s a good combination,” he says. “Most IT people have a problem with communication, so having a background in English helped me a lot.”
Lee worked in IT management for 30 years. He last worked as a senior project manager at Bed Bath & Beyond's corporate headquarters in Union before retirement.
Prior to his appointment as a borough councilman, Lee frequently attended council meetings. For several years, he also served as a Rocky Hill reporter for The Montgomery News.
During the January reorganization meeting, Lee was appointed chairman of the Public Safety & Emergency Services Committee, which is involved with NJ State Police (which serves as the police entity for Rocky Hill); the Franklin Township Police Department (which oversees traffic enforcement in Rocky Hill), the Rocky Hill Fire Company, and the Rocky Hill EMS. Currently, Rocky Hill does not have its own police force. Lee says he hopes to “get more transparency from the police about what they’re doing to support the borough.”
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Lee is also a member of the Rocky Hill Borough Administration, Records & Communications Committee, which he believes is a good fit because he says he can bring his knowledge and IT experience to many of the projects, such as infrastructure.
One of the main improvements currently taking place in Rocky Hill is replacing old infrastructure to comply with current demands. “There’s a new regulation,” Lee explains. “The level of PFAS chemicals has to be really low, and we’re slightly over the required amount. We probably have to put in new infrastructure to remediate that.”
Outside of the council, Lee also keeps bees. In search of a hobby that would “satisfy [his] sweet tooth,” Lee turned to beekeeping. “I find things related to nature and the outdoors interesting, so it seemed like the logical thing to do.”
Over the summer, he sold 300 pounds of honey at the Hopewell Farmers Market. “I’m hoping to expand that this year,” he adds.
Lee lives on Toth Lane with his wife, Barbara A. Preston, who is editor of The Montgomery News.
Lee says he is most interested in serving on Rocky Hill Borough Council because, "It’s a very small borough, so it seems like everyone needs to get involved.”