Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 21
 
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
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Council Candidate’s Accomplishments Included Helping Unite Supporters of Clinton and Obama

Dan Preston
Moore Street
PCDO Municipal Chair

Borough Councilman Endorses Wilkes And Crumiller for Council in Primary

ROGER MARTINDELL
Borough Councilman
Prospect Avenue

Contested Race for Borough Council “Critical” For Democrats, According to PCDO President

DAVID E. COHEN
Terhune Road
PCDO President

Borough Resident Asserts That Council Candidate Will Bring a “Fresh and Independent Perspective”

Jo Butler
Hibben Road

Borough Council Candidate Outlines Positions On Property Taxes, Police, and the Status Quo

Jenny Crumiller
Library Place

Pedestrian-Bicycle Committee Thanks Be Green & Be Seen Rally Participants

YAN BENNETT
DAVID COHEN
LAURIE HARMON
JANET HEROUX
STEVE KRUSE
BETSY MARSHALL
Princeton Joint Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee

Student Candidate for Borough Council Is a Municipal Consolidation Advocate

MENDY FISCH
Fitzrandolph Road


Council Candidate’s Accomplishments Included Helping Unite Supporters of Clinton and Obama

To the Editor:

Jenny Crumiller has been my friend, neighbor and fellow activist for 18 years. We first worked together in the 1990s on neighborhood preservation issues, and later to protest the impending war in Iraq. Long before it was fashionable, Jenny exemplified a “yes we can” attitude with natural talent as a community organizer. Not only does she step forward to do whatever is needed to serve the public good, she inspires others to substitute action for mere words (I speak from experience).

Jenny does not hesitate to challenge the conventional wisdom and to propose new, better ways to accomplish community goals. As president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization for three years, she fostered broad participation and a larger, more active membership. She is also a uniter, and played a critical role in bringing supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama together last year once the outcome was clear. I know she will play a similar uniting role as Princeton Borough and Township work together on issues of consolidation and other issues of mutual benefit.

Jenny will be a tremendous asset to Princeton Borough Council, and I urge voters to support her in the Democratic Primary election on Tuesday, June 2nd.

Dan Preston
Moore Street
PCDO Municipal Chair

Borough Councilman Endorses Wilkes And Crumiller for Council in Primary

To the Editor:

Princeton Borough primary voters have two gifts to consider, and they would do well to embrace them both in the voting booth on June 2.

Kevin Wilkes, an architect and planner, is an exceptionally talented candidate for Borough Council — thoughtful, hardworking, personable. He has demonstrated a unique ability to forge consensus on Council, a talent that particularly recommends him.

Kevin has performed exceedingly well in his one year on Council, working on a wide variety of initiatives, including holding municipal taxes to a zero percent increase, seeking more governing body oversight of Borough police, re-zoning the Stanworth neighborhood to improve chances for older Princetonians to age in place, and challenging Princeton University to contribute more to the Borough annual operating fund and to develop the proposed arts and transportation neighborhood in a town-friendly manner.

A Princeton University graduate, Kevin is particularly well suited to help the community in negotiations with the University, the town’s largest landowner, developer, employer, taxpayer, and non-taxpayer.

Jenny Crumiller, who has yet to serve on Council, was president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization and in that capacity earned her stripes as an energetic and forward-thinking liberal activist. She has demonstrated an inclination to challenge conventional wisdom in Borough Hall, a good thing for all Princetonians.

The financial stress on municipal government and local taxpayers challenges Princeton Borough as it has never been challenged before. These two fine candidates for local office offer experience and fresh ideas at the same time.

ROGER MARTINDELL
Borough Councilman
Prospect Avenue

Contested Race for Borough Council “Critical” For Democrats, According to PCDO President

To the Editor:

With our primary elections just around the corner, on Tuesday, June 2, I wanted to remind all Princeton residents that, contrary to common belief, primary elections in Princeton are often critically important in selection of our elected officials, and never more so than this year. Given the recent dominance of the Democratic Party in local politics, whoever wins the Democratic Primary is almost guaranteed to be the ultimate winner in November’s general election. So if you are going to stay home for one of the two contests (which I would, of course, strongly discourage) stay home in November, not on Tuesday.

There is a contested race for Borough Council this year, and many readers may have seen the recent news stories reporting that one of the candidates, a Princeton University undergraduate, has induced over 400, and perhaps up to 600, fellow students to request absentee ballots for the primary. While this is a legitimate electioneering strategy, members of the community must ask themselves whether they want to let these students dictate the outcome of the election. If we have only the usual level of turnout from the community on primary election day, this could very well be the result.

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), at our March meeting, heard from all the candidates and endorsed Jenny Crumiller for a seat on the Council. We also supported incumbent Kevin Wilkes for a position in the column. We feel these two candidates have the experience and judgment to best serve the community, and will bring the most balanced perspective on issues which affect both the Municipality and the University.

If you live in the Borough and would like to have an impact on this important race, you need not be a registered Democrat; registered independents, too, can just show up at the polls on Election Day, change their party affiliation then and there, and become eligible to vote. I strongly encourage all Borough residents to take their civic responsibility especially seriously this year, and turn out to vote on June 2.

DAVID E. COHEN
Terhune Road
PCDO President

Borough Resident Asserts That Council Candidate Will Bring a “Fresh and Independent Perspective”

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support for Jenny Crumiller for Princeton Borough Council. I have known Jenny personally for eight years and had the privilege of serving on the Princeton Community Democratic Organization Executive Board under her leadership as President of the organization. I believe Jenny will bring a fresh and independent perspective to the Council.

As president of the PCDO, Jenny brought transparency and increased participation to the organization. She demonstrated that she was more than willing to do the difficult and tedious work behind the scenes that moved the PCDO forward in a deliberate and thoughtful fashion. Jenny used her skills in technology to improve and expand communication. Our town is facing formidable challenges on many fronts — with our tax burden, our town/gown relations, and possible consolidation with the Township. The good news is that Princeton has a surfeit of talent, and Jenny has shown herself to be the sort of leader who not only welcomes, but can also manage, the input of others. As co-chair for the Princeton Obama Headquarters, she, along with Princeton Township resident Liz Lempert, created a volunteer-funded and volunteer-run headquarters that drew thousands of volunteers.

Jenny will bring her strong work ethic and expertise to fight for fiscal responsibility. She understands the burden increasing taxes places on all citizens, especially our seniors. Jenny supports taking advantage of the state incentives to study consolidation as a way to hold the line on taxes, improve services and think more broadly about the future of our community. She will expand the use of technology to increase communication with and participation by citizens of the Borough. She will support efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the municipal government. Jenny is committed to reviving the Public Safety Committee as a first step in addressing recent problems in the police department.

Jenny is the only candidate to win the endorsement of the PCDO. I urge you to vote for Jenny on June 2.

Jo Butler
Hibben Road

Borough Council Candidate Outlines Positions On Property Taxes, Police, and the Status Quo

To the Editor:

I would like to ask Borough Democrats for your vote in next Tuesday’s primary election on June 2. Elected president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization in 2006, I challenged the existing leadership by promoting competition and participation. In a town where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-1, it should be a given that democratic competition within the party is essential for good government.

After leading the PCDO for three years, building it into the largest and most active Democratic club in the state, the 400-plus member organization has given me their vote of confidence as the only Borough Council candidate they endorsed.

I now hope to spend my time and energy improving our Borough government. While working to create a more open, vibrant and participatory government, my main concerns are about rising property taxes, the issues with our police force, and I believe we owe it to taxpayers to study increased shared services and consolidation of governments.

I will use my time and energy to challenge the status quo, for the benefit of Princeton Borough. For example, I question the long-standing practice of giving automatic “cost of living” raises to Borough employees every year as well as larger pension-boosting raises for employees planning to retire, even during a severe economic downturn when the cost of living has not risen. Similarly, I question asking families who are struggling to make ends meet to pay for such things as expense-paid trips for Borough employees and elected officials to Atlantic City and other such trips for Borough employees. Many budget items like these are little-discussed and virtually hidden from the public by keeping the line-item budget on a paper copy that must be viewed in person at the Borough Hall, or copied on paper for a steep price.

For more information about my campaign, please visit my website www.jennycrumiller.com, or call me at 924-2545. I would be happy to talk with you.

Jenny Crumiller
Library Place

Pedestrian-Bicycle Committee Thanks Be Green & Be Seen Rally Participants

To the Editor:

On Sunday, May 17, the plaza at the public library was filled with families and individuals who have figured out that walking and biking is a great way to get around our beautiful but ever more congested town. They were there for the second annual Be Green & Be Seen rally to support a more walkable, bikeable, and sustainable Princeton.

The newly formed Princeton Joint Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee sponsored the event and we were thrilled that Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman and Township Deputy Mayor Chad Goerner read a proclamation at the event declaring the many health and environmental benefits of walking and biking.

Several helpful 4th, 5th, and 6th graders distributed surveys on behalf of Sustainable Princeton at the rally — a map of town — so people could sketch in gaps in the network of sidewalks and bikeways throughout town. Sustainable Princeton will be compiling the surveys, along with many others they collected at Communiversity. The ped-bike committee will use this information to guide our two municipalities in planning and prioritizing improvements to the sidewalk and bikeway network.

A fun family bike ride around town to the school gardens preceded the rally this year. The Princeton FreeWheelers provided marshals for the ride. The Hammer Foundation returned to promote awareness of the importance of wearing helmets while cycling to prevent head injury. Princeton Tour Company donated a walking tour of the historic Nassau Presbyterian Cemetery during the event. The Bent Spoon served ice cream donated by Gab Carbone and Matt Errico, the bicycling owners of the business. And staff from the library and the Township Police really helped out.

Adding pulse to the event, the high school jazz group An Evening Comet Quintet played throughout the afternoon. The musicians gave their time as community service. They are Senyo Agawu, Will DiMaggio, Matt Flotteron, Theo Lebeaux, and Carl Mitchell.

So we thank the many folks who helped and participated. We also invite everyone in the community to join with us in devising ways to make walking and biking in and around Princeton safer and even more convenient. We’re at pjpbac.blogspot.com.

YAN BENNETT
DAVID COHEN
LAURIE HARMON
JANET HEROUX
STEVE KRUSE
BETSY MARSHALL
Princeton Joint Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee

Student Candidate for Borough Council Is a Municipal Consolidation Advocate

To the Editor:

This coming Tuesday, June 2, Borough Democrats will elect two members to run for Borough Council. Why should they vote for me?

Over the last year, in my capacity as a reporter on The Daily Princetonian, I covered the meetings of the Borough Council. Covering those meetings convinced me that I could play a positive role in identifying and resolving key issues facing our Borough, where I have been a resident for 20 years.

Please see my website, www.mendyfisch.org, for an in-depth look at my platform. I want to briefly discuss three of the most important issues in my campaign: municipal consolidation, student representation on the Council, and senior housing.

It is time to reinvestigate Borough/Township consolidation and bring it to a revote. Real economic stability in the Borough cannot take place until we achieve the economies of scale afforded by consolidation. The 1996 Report on Consolidation concluded that the average Borough resident’s tax burden would decline by 17 percent if consolidation were approved. The current budget crunch in the Borough as well as the passage of the Local Option Municipal Consolidation Act gives us a unique opening to take action. The fact that the issue has not been placed on the ballot since 1996 suggests that current Council members have not moved as quickly as they should have on this issue.

Second, as a sophomore at the University, I understand that we need to implement more sensible policies relating to students. Students may be transitory residents of the Borough, but other students with similar issues invariably replace them. One issue that is currently of vital importance to students is the implementation of a “good Samaritan” amnesty policy for those seeking medical help after suffering from alcohol poisoning. The current practice of questioning those brought to the Medical Center is dangerous to residents because it dissuades them from seeking the medical help they need. Studies of amnesty policies in other University towns show that they make it more likely that residents will seek medical help, but do not lead to an increase in drinking.

Third, senior citizens and retirees on fixed incomes should not be priced out of the community by increases in property taxes and the cost of living. Affordable housing for senior citizens should be a priority of the Council, and should be encouraged through zoning regulations and incentives to developers.

When you go to vote, please keep in mind that the presence of one student on a six-person Council will not upset any town-gown balance, but will make that Council as a group appropriately diverse, and therefore more nimble, more wise, and more dynamic in its handling of the issues that confront all residents.

MENDY FISCH
Fitzrandolph Road

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

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