Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 10
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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Trotman Will Not Seek Reelection

Dilshanie Perera

After 26 years of serving the Borough as a Council member, Council President, and now as Mayor, Mildred Trotman will not seek reelection this year. “I just think it’s time,” she said of her decision while noting that “I certainly want to stay involved there are still issues about which I care deeply.”

Ms. Trotman will continue in her capacity as Mayor of Princeton Borough through the end of this year. She announced her decision at Saturday’s meeting of the Executive Board of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), a move that surprised members who had expected her to run for another term.

PCDO President Dan Preston said that the organization has decided to postpone its annual endorsement meeting, in which it selects the Democratic candidates to endorse in the June primaries. The new date for the meeting is Sunday, April 3, and all voting members of PCDO are allowed to cast their ballots for their candidates. The deadline for joining PCDO or paying the annual membership fee is Sunday, March 20.

“We have this two-week wide open window if other candidates are interested,” Mr. Preston added, urging those seeking to run for the Mayor’s seat to contact him at dan@princetondems.org.

Borough Council member David Goldfarb has expressed his interest in running for Mayor. Following Ms. Trotman’s announcement, he said he had been encouraged to do so by his colleagues on Council. “I am willing to do the job, and I am confident I can do a good job.”

“I certainly have a broad-based knowledge of the issues that face the Borough,” Mr. Goldfarb said of his 20-year tenure on Council. “I always tell people that what makes serving [the public] interesting is that we haven’t solved all of the problems yet.”

Characterizing the two areas in which he has been most effective as overseeing Borough finances and “bringing in as many divergent points of view into the process as people are willing to share,” Mr. Goldfarb described the Borough as having “a much more participatory approach among ourselves and the way in which we involve community members.”

“We want to send a consistent message that we value opinions from our residents. We invite their participation Many people from divergent backgrounds have information that we don’t have and can add significantly to the process,” he added.

Mr. Goldfarb said that Ms. Trotman “has done a terrific job, particularly being willing to reach out to the community.”

“I’ve known Mildred for a very long time,” Mr. Goldfarb observed, “for all of my 20 years [on Council] and six or seven before I became a member of Council.”

Between now and the primaries, both Mr. Goldfarb and Ms. Trotman will continue their work with the Consolidation and Shared Services Study Commission, which Mr. Goldfarb noted has recently doubled its meeting schedule. He anticipated that they will be “immersed in April and May” with considering the report from the consultants.

“There are overriding issues as well, even if CGR [the consultants] believe that substantial savings can be achieved, which is an open question there still may be reasons as to why it is not wise to consolidate. Money is important, but it is not everything,” Mr. Goldfarb said.

Ms. Trotman agreed that she will ask the necessary questions before forming an opinion on consolidation. And whether the towns combine or not, she noted that the key municipal issues she will be engaged in would still be of relevance. They include affordable housing, the relationship between the community and Princeton University, the preservation of neighborhoods, and the quality of services given to the residents. “And there are always new issues on the horizon,” she added.

Mayor since 2005, Ms. Trotman has been serving the public ever since she moved to Princeton. She first became involved in volunteer work in the school district before joining the PTO for eight years. “I was also a member of the joint Civil Rights Commission, serving as a member, secretary, vice chair, and then chair,” she added.

“At the time I was serving as chair, Barbara Sigmund, then Mayor of Princeton Borough, asked me if I was interested in running for office. I said no. So she asked again the next year, and I said no. But she finally wore me down,” Ms. Trotman said, laughing. “I said yes in 1984.”

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