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Marchand Confirms Bid for Re-election

Matthew Hersh

In announcing her decision to seek re-election to the Township Committee, Mayor Phyllis Marchand, a Democrat, remarked on the amount of change that has occurred in the community since she was elected to the Committee in 1987.

"It's certainly a changed community, we have much more traffic," she quipped at the Princeton Community Democratic Organization's "Meet the Candidates Night" on Sunday.

On a night where candidates from the Borough sought to seek the nod from Princeton Community Democratic Organization in an often embittered debate, Mayor Marchand and her running mate, Lance Liverman, played a more subdued role throughout the evening.

Mr. Liverman is contending for the seat that will be vacated by Committeewomen Karen "Casey" Hegener when her term expires in January 2005.

Mayor Marchand and Mr. Liverman are both Democrats in a Democratic stronghold with no foreseeable opponents, since neither is contested in the party primary vote in June.

The last non-Democrat to sit on Township Committee was Lawrence Glasberg, whose most recent term ended in 1994.

Both candidates stressed the importance of creating a more livable environment, and working toward keeping Princeton affordable so that its seniors can remain.

"I am really proud," Mayor Marchand said, "that the Township has its first age-restricted community coming on board. She expressed regret that the senior housing ordinance recently passed by Committee could not have come sooner.

"We've worked really hard to keep seniors [in town], but many couldn't wait long enough and had to move," she said.

The Mayor also vowed to work with the state to enable a municipality's right to enact ordinances to ban smoking in public places. State mandates currently do not allow a municipality to take such measures.

"Municipalities should have that right for the health and safety of its residents," she said. In addressing the Committee's accomplishments, Mayor Marchand said she would like to continue serving on the Township governing body to see out proposed and current projects.

"There is still important work to be done," Mayor Marchand said. "We are almost at the point of complete build-out in the town and the direction we take in the next few years will be critical to the long-term health and vibrancy of our community."

She referred to the Township's recent open-space acquisitions including the Coventry Farm, the former Winant Farm, and Greenway Meadows Park.

She also noted progress in discussions among the New Jersey Department of Transportation, West Windsor Township, Plainsboro Township, Princeton University, the Sarnoff Center, Eden Institute, and the Princetons regarding the so-called Millstone Bypass.

"[It has] been a difficult issue, and we will work with the other communities involved to be sure that the alignment that has been set is the one that is going to be built," she said.

The proposed $65 million dollar road realignment, which has been in the works since the early 1980s, has been the subject of much discussion among the municipalities and land owners along the Penns Neck portion of Route 1. The Sierra Club, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed have also been involved to ensure the stabilization of the delicate ecological environment that exists along the nearby Millstone River.

The new DOT proposal removes traffic lights at Washington Road, Fisher Place, and Harrison Street at Route 1. Washington and Harrison would be connected to Route 1 by frontage roads.

Mayor Marchand has served on several positions in Township government, including as Police Commissioner, a current member of the Princeton Regional Planning Board, and chair of the Tax and Finance Committee. She also serves on the board of the Princeton Public Library, is a member of the Mercer Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction, an honorary board member of McCarter Theater, and a member of the New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board.

Mayor Marchand is a past president of New Jersey League of Municipalities, and the New Jersey Association of Elected Women Officials.

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