Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
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Vol. LXV, No. 45
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
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Township and Borough to Consolidate

Ellen Gilbert

It’s a wrap. Residents of both Princetons have chosen to consolidate. The breakdown in the vote was 1,238 for and 828 against in the Borough; and 3,542 for and 604 against in the Township. (Numbers at press time are unofficial.)

Consolidation Commission Chair Anton Lahnston’s observations last summer about the Commission’s research and eventual endorsement of consolidation could well be said about the interval since then: “It was not an easy process,” 

The question of whether or not to consolidate the Borough and the Township has a long history in Princeton. An online search of the word “consolidation” among the digitized back issues of Town Topics at the Princeton Public Library yields about 209 items for 1946 to 1956 alone. Attempts to consolidate have occurred just about every ten years since 1953.

“A lot of passion and emotion surrounding different points of view,” observed Mr. Lahnston last summer, and this was borne out up until Election Day. As spokesperson for “Save Our Borough,” Borough resident Alexi Assmuss issued almost daily postings describing what she saw as negatives. These included a diminished identity for the downtown area, lapses in police coverage, and unseen financial costs. 

At the same time, proponents of consolidation, like Township Committee member and former mayor Bernie Miller, and current Township Mayor Chad Goerner used as many opportunities as arose, from joint municipal meetings to letters to the editor, to extol the positive impact they believe consolidation will have. While one Borough mayoral candidate, Republican Jill Jachera, endorsed consolidation, the other, Democrat Yina Moore said that it was up to the voters to decide. And so they did.

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