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Vol. LXV, No. 44
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
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Four Candidates Will Vie For Two Township Seats

Ellen Gilbert

With the campaign season winding down, the four candidates for two seats on Township Committee, Democratic incumbents Bernie Miller and Sue Nemeth, and Republican challengers Mark Scheibner and Geoff Aton, were asked to talk about the issues that have emerged as their top priorities.

Ms. Nemeth, who is currently the Township’s Deputy Mayor, cut to the chase, immediately citing tax relief as her top priority. “To complement the steps we’ve already taken to streamline local government operations, I urge residents to support full municipal consolidation and back efforts to secure non-tax sources of revenue such as a long-term PILOT with Princeton University. A comprehensive, forward-looking approach to managing municipal finances offers our community the best hope of easing the burden on taxpayers without compromising the essential services that make Princeton a safe, diverse and desirable place to call home, study, and do business.”

“I believe that the most important issue facing the citizens and elected officials in the Township, and the Borough, is to hold the line against any future increases in municipal property tax so that we can maintain the diversity and quality of life that makes Princeton an attractive place in which to live, learn, and raise a family,” said Mr. Miller, a former Township Mayor.

Mr. Miller cited “three important things that we must do” to hold the line on tax increases. “First, as elected officials we must be cost conscious and cost effective in providing municipal government services. Second, we must work with the many not-for-profit institutions in our community to get them to be better citizens of Princeton by paying their fair share for the many municipal services that they use.”

Mr. Miller’s third directive was in keeping with his role as an unwavering proponent of consolidation. “Your elected officials and the Consolidation Study Commission have done their job by placing consolidation on the ballot,” said Mr. Miller, who was himself a member of the Consolidation Study Commission. “It is now up to the citizens of the Borough and the Township to do their job by voting to unite Princeton to give our neighborhoods now divided by the boundary between the Borough and Township a greater voice in municipal government, and to realize the financial benefits that can be gained by consolidation.”

Mr. Scheibner did not respond to two requests for comments for this article. Some of his positions may be viewed at http://ScheibnerforPrinceton.blogspot.com, and at http://allprinceton.com/content/township-candidates-forum, an archived copy of a earlier forum with the four candidates that was sponsored by Princeton Community TV, AllPrinceton and Princeton Area League of Women Voters.

Mr. Aton’s phone number is unlisted, and requests for contact information for him received no replies.

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