Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 21
 
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors


Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast


Mailbox

Credentials and Platforms are Outlined For Candidates in Democratic Primary

(Six letters follow)

Sponsors, Volunteers, Attendees Thanked For Enable Inc.’s 20th Anniversary Gala

SHARON J.B. COPELAND
Executive Director
Enable, Inc.

Montgomery Historical Society Thanks Its Rocky Hill House Tour Participants

JACKIE WEITZNER
President
Van Harlingen Historical Society

In Seeking New Location, Café Owner Has YMCA-YWCA Trustees’ Support

DOODIE MEYER
Chair, YMCA-YWCA Joint Trustees

Neighborhood Volunteers Earn Thanks For Assistance in Filing Tax Appeals

NANCY GREEN
Lytle Street

Additional Reasons Given for Keeping Princeton’s Train to Princeton Junction

(Two letters follow)


Credentials and Platforms are Outlined For Candidates in Democratic Primary

To the Editor:

I write to encourage my fellow Princeton Borough residents to join me in supporting Jo Butler for Borough Council in the June 8 Democratic primary election.

I’ve known Jo for many years, dating to her involvement with the Council of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library, a strong public-private partnership that set the tone for her involvement in community affairs.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Jo at one of three information sessions on revaluation at the Princeton Public Library. Jo organized these sessions as a volunteer, and, together with library staff, helped about two dozen Borough and Township residents learn more about the revaluation process and the possible tax impact of their new assessments.

These one-on-one information sessions demonstrated that Jo shares my commitment to a Borough that is made stronger by its cultural and economic diversity, a place where all of us can continue to enjoy excellent public schools and first-rate municipal services without being taxed out of town.

Her background in finance, her work with public-private groups such as the Friends of the Library and the Citizens Finance Advisory Taskforce, and her overall compassion make her uniquely qualified to serve on Borough Council, where she will be an asset to all in our town.

TIM QUINN
Wilton Street

To the Editor: 

I’m sure my late husband, former Township mayor Jay Bleiman, would have welcomed the chance to work with Anne Neumann on Borough Council. Borough Democrats and independents should vote for her in the June 8 primary. 

Anne has an excellent grasp of details but can also synthesize them into workable plans for making the Borough a better place to live. As an example, she submitted three resolutions to Borough Council about our recent revaluation. Each resolution was designed to make a different aspect of the revaluation process more transparent. Drafting resolutions is a large part of an elected official’s job, and Anne has already proved herself in this area. 

This ability to fit in on Borough Council is undoubtedly due to Anne’s extensive municipal service, on both citizen committees and appointed commissions. She is ready for a seat on Borough Council; she wants to serve on Borough Council; and she has the knowledge and ability to serve exceptionally well on Borough Council. 

YVONNE BLEIMAN
Campbell Woods Way

To the Editor:

Princeton Borough and the state of New Jersey are in precarious fiscal condition. Average property taxes in the Borough increased 80 percent between 2000 and 2008. If that trend continues the typical homeowner will end up with a $26,000 property tax bill before Barack Obama leaves office.

Broad trends, unfortunately, are worsening. New Jersey had $103 billion in unfunded pensions and benefits in 2008. Health care costs are rising. The feeble economy increases costs and reduces tax revenue. Meanwhile, Governor Christie’s cuts inject immense uncertainty into local budgets.

Nonetheless, for the past two years Princeton Borough has managed to contain expenses, with no increase in property taxes and no increase in spending. Mayor, Council, and Administrator deserve great credit for this accomplishment. It is vital that local government continues to emphasize cost containment if Princeton is to retain its diversity and remain livable to citizens of ordinary means.

Jo Butler is running for one of two slots on the Borough Council in the Democratic primary on June 8. She brings a strong focus on fiscal prudence. I’ve worked extensively with her in the Citizen’s Financial Advisory Taskforce, a group she co-founded to find efficiencies and savings in local government, and have seen the organization, diligence, and imagination she brings to the process. I believe she will be highly effective on the Council and urge the Borough’s residents to vote for her on Tuesday.

Roger Martindell is also running for Borough Council, where he has served for many years, consistently pushing for cost effective solutions, shared services with Princeton Township, and new sources of non-tax revenue. I urge citizens interested in keeping Princeton affordable to return him to office.

Like most Princeton residents I’m willing to pay a bit more in taxes for better public services and a better quality of life; however, taxes doubling every eight years isn’t in my budget. Both Jo and Roger are sensitive to what makes Princeton special and will work to preserve and build on it, while ensuring that escalating taxes do not drive the most vulnerable from our community. Please vote on June 8.

NICK KARP
Boudinot Street

To the Editor:

The June 8 Primary gives Princeton Borough voters the opportunity to support Anne Neumann for Borough Council. We know Anne to be smart and clear thinking, a problem solver, a person who thinks out of the box, and unusually articulate.

She dares to speak forcefully on issues she cares deeply about and which are in the Princeton community’s best interests. These include property tax relief, a greener Princeton, neighborhood preservation, and support of local merchants.

The polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8. Please join us in voting for Anne Neumann for Borough Council.

GLORIA AND JOHN BORDEN
Madison Street

SHIRLEY SATTERFIELD
Quarry Street

MINNIE and ERIC CRAIG
Witherspoon Street

BETSY and MELLICK BELSHAW
Boudinot Street

MARIANNE GREY
Patton Avenue

SHELDON STURGESS and TATIANA POPOVA
Cameron Court

CONNIE and WEN FONG
Allison Road

To the Editor:

I seek re-election to the Princeton Borough Council, and I request the community’s support in the June 8 Democratic primary election.

My platform includes minimizing the municipal tax burden. Years ago, I successfully pressed to create the Borough’s long-term debt management plan. Ever since, I have led the Council toward setting (low) annual tax rate goals. These initiatives are paying off. Last year we had no municipal tax increase. This year we will have no municipal tax increase. Given the recession and profligacy in New Jersey government generally, two successive years of no tax increases testify to my solid commitment to be frugal with our tax dollars.

How to continue to minimize the tax burden? First, cut expense, such as by privatizing the municipal garage and fostering more shared services with the Township, including police, public works, and parks. Second, find non-tax sources of revenue, such as increased contributions from non-profits to offset the cost of providing them with such municipal services as police and fire protection.

My platform also includes making Borough government more responsive to residents, whether by holding Borough Hall accountable for the misdeeds and excessive compensation of police, demanding better and more transparent planning and accounting for such capital expenses as the downtown redevelopment project, or requiring local landlords to treat tenants appropriately.

Tax money belongs first to those who pay it, and only second to those who receive it. For that reason, I have been known to say “no” when others have said “yes” to please a special interest. I make no apologies for doing so. In the long run, a politician’s tendency to please by saying “yes” too often leads to sloppy thinking, unnecessarily raises the cost of government, and invites government into issues where it does not belong.

We have two other very good candidates for Borough Council running this year, Jo Butler and Anne Waldron Neumann. I hope that we will listen to what they have to say about improving our community and weigh their candidacies carefully.

I thank the voters for the opportunity to work for all Borough residents in the past, and I hope I will have the opportunity to continue that work in the future.

ROGER MARTINDELL
Borough Council Candidate
Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge my fellow Princetonians to vote for Jo Butler, candidate for Princeton Borough Council, in the primary election on June 8. I have been privileged to work with Jo on several volunteer efforts in our community and have seen firsthand her keen intellect and problem-solving skills in action.

I have gotten to know Jo through our work together at the Princeton Public Library, having served in different capacities on the Friends Council and the Foundation Board during the last decade. Her commitment to the library and its crucial role in our community mirrors her larger understanding of Princeton’s unique character and her grasp of local issues. As we find ourselves in the midst of a challenging economic climate, it is essential to have people like Jo who are committed to cost-savings and program efficiency in all areas of the budget, while insisting on quality-of-life standards so important to our citizens. Jo understands the importance of making Princeton an affordable community for all its residents. She supports the study of consolidation and the practical benefits that can be achieved by shared services with the Township and the County. Most importantly, as a founding member of the Citizens Finance Advisory Taskforce, she is committed to making the budget more transparent and accessible, thus encouraging greater input and participation by our citizens.

I hope Princeton Borough residents will examine the issues between now and the election and vote for Jo Butler on June 8. She will provide the informed guidance that is required at this critical time.

MARGARET GRIFFIN
Battle Road

Sponsors, Volunteers, Attendees Thanked For Enable Inc.’s 20th Anniversary Gala

To the Editor:

We would like to thank everyone who helped to make Enable, Inc.’s 20 Year Celebration Gala a success. The event, held on Saturday, May 8, celebrated 20 years of assisting individuals with disabilities to live full and independent lives in local communities. Enable has grown through the years and now annually offers a variety of community based programs that promote inclusion and the best possible quality of life for over 450 persons with disabilities and their families.

One of the highlights of the gala was the opportunity to acknowledge and honor those who have been involved with Enable and have contributed to our success. Honorees represented founders, consumers, families, volunteers, staff, donors, and current and past board members. They included Kathleen Bagley, Maureen O’Malley Baus, the Barry Black Family, Diana Brownback, consumers from Enable’s first group home, Sharon Copeland, Wendy Crook (posthumous), founding board members (represented by Kevin Lilly), Bob Hearne, Janssen, JusticeworX, Martial Arts with Heart, the McGowan Family, Lois Miller, Ginger and Tony Morogiello, Matt O’Malley, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Audrey Wisotsky, and Susie Worrall.

The event was a successful fund-raiser thanks to our sponsors and advertisers. Platinum sponsors were Bloomberg LP and Kevin and Kathy Lilly. Gold sponsors included the Baus Foundation, the Boyle Family Foundation, Hovione LLC, Janssen Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., O’Malley Family Trust, and Pepper Hamilton LLP. Joseph Zawistowski was our supporting sponsor and Kathleen and Paul Bagley were silver sponsors. Bronze sponsors included Glenmede Trust Co., The Mercadien Group, Ruth and John Sayer, and Stark & Stark. We are also grateful for the many local businesses that donated auction items.

I thank our hard working Gala Committee chaired by Jocelyn Collier of East Windsor. They delivered an enchanting evening using a Chinese New Year’s theme for the food, entertainment, and spectacular decorations. And last but not least, our thanks to those who attended. Community support made this event a terrific success and their on-going support enriches the lives of those we serve. Thank you.

SHARON J.B. COPELAND
Executive Director
Enable, Inc.

Montgomery Historical Society Thanks Its Rocky Hill House Tour Participants

To the Editor:

The Board of Trustees of the Van Harlingen Historical Society would like to thank the gracious homeowners and churches who participated in our May in “Old” Montgomery Tour of Historic Homes in Rocky Hill on May 8. Preparing a home for the public to view is time consuming to say the least, and we are grateful to the participating homeowners for opening their lovely houses for our benefit.

Similarly, staff and members of the First Reformed Church of Rocky Hill, Trinity Church of Rocky Hill, and St. Elizabeth’s Russian Orthodox Church could not have been more helpful and gracious in opening their beautiful sanctuaries for our tour. These church congregations are wonderful participants in caring for our community.

In addition, we would like to thank local businesses, whose advertising in our program is so important for our financial success; Rocky Hill Inn Eatery Tavern for opening for lunch for our event; and Robinson’s Fine Candies for again selling tickets.

Last but not least, we thank our docents, many of whom sacrifice their time for every tour. They are a remarkable group of women. And thank you to those who attended May in “Old” Montgomery and helped in financially supporting the work of our society.

Montgomery and Rocky Hill have deep roots going back centuries, and Van Harlingen Historical Society strives to preserve that important heritage. We are always happy to have new members and participants. For more information, visit www.vanharlingen.org or call (908) 874-4820.

JACKIE WEITZNER
President
Van Harlingen Historical Society

In Seeking New Location, Café Owner Has YMCA-YWCA Trustees’ Support

To the Editor:

The YMCA-YWCA Joint Trustees continue to support Da De Toro in her effort to find a new home for her flourishing business on our premises, Da’s Café. It has become so successful that it has outgrown our permitted zoning, which allows for a café to provide for our staff and membership only.

While we have tried to extend the Café lease to provide hours and language in keeping with our zoning, Da has determined that these conditions would curtail her growth. Da’s Café will remain open at our facility through the term of her lease, July 30, 2010. We will help Da communicate her new location once that has been established.

DOODIE MEYER
Chair, YMCA-YWCA Joint Trustees

Neighborhood Volunteers Earn Thanks For Assistance in Filing Tax Appeals

To the Editor:

I want to thank Jackie Swain for her leadership in calling on our neighborhood to appeal unfair tax assessments, and to Mt. Pisgah Church for providing residents a place to file an appeal. Most of all I want to thank Jim Firestone for the assistance he gave each one of us. Sometimes the wait to speak individually with Jim took some time, but everyone was patient. When a resident spoke with Jim about the new tax assessment, he asked the right questions and had the answers to ours. Jim also drove around the neighborhood to compare houses and lots — with or without driveways, basements, and attics; and duplexes owned by a single person or with each side owned separately. Jim’s knowledge of Princeton’s real estate market is amazing.

Lastly, I want to thank the residents who volunteered to help their neighbors fill out the actual appeal form. Ms. Swain told me that approximately 80 separate appeals were filed on May 14. Now all we can do is wait.

NANCY GREEN
Lytle Street

Additional Reasons Given for Keeping Princeton’s Train to Princeton Junction

To the Editor:

It has been reported that some 4,500 people have signed a petition to keep the Dinky Princeton-Princeton Junction train. Besides so many arguments supporting that position, I respectfully note there are two I have yet to read about.

One is about weather. The Dinky lets waiting passengers in Princeton and Princeton Junction stand under cover so that bad weather doesn’t drench them from head to toe. How wonderful to have a bus pull up in front of sopping wet passengers throughout Princeton because they have no cover. Tempers will rise.

The second problem is about those with disabilities who may be unable to manage bus steps. The Dinky at both ends has easy access with platforms and trains having level access. Besides possible weather delays en route, add another possible delay for disabled persons to board a bus.

If these 4,500 people are really serious, I suggest they consult an attorney knowledgeable about disabled persons’ rights and consider legal action.

HERB HOBLER
Skillman

To the Editor:

Aside from the sentimental and nostalgic pain that Princeton would suffer if it were to lose the beloved Dinky, and the hardship the University plans to inflict on those of us who walk to the Dinky station (by moving it nearly 500 feet further away), there is one practical circumstance which questions the wisdom of those changes. It is now a few years since the NJ Transit Station “Newark International Airport” was built, from which point the AirTrain takes you to the different terminals. Each day hundreds of passengers travel with their luggage by train to Newark International Airport, pulling suitcases on wheels into the Dinky and at the Junction out of the Dinky, where ramps let you avoid the stairs to the underpass and the New York platform. I have often used this fast and convenient service in order to fly overseas.

However, it is extremely awkward and difficult to drag one’s suitcases up the narrow, steep, and curved steps of a bus. Occasionally I have been faced with this task when, due to some mechanical failure, the Dinky was replaced by a bus. I would not have had the strength to lift my luggage into the aisle of the bus, had not some kind soul helped me in and out again. Even so it was a nightmare. A bus will never be level with the street.

I implore New Jersey Transit not to force all these problems on its faithful customers, only because an insurance executive decided to make a large donation to the University.

GERDA PANOFSKY
Battle Road

For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.

Return to Top | Go to Obituaries


Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.