Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 46
 
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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Philanthropic Education Organization Grateful for Successful Fund-Raiser

DEBORAH ROLDAN
Foulet Drive

November 4 Election Offers Argument for Borough/Township Consolidation

DUDLEY SIPPRELLE
Nassau Street


Philanthropic Education Organization Grateful for Successful Fund-Raiser

To the Editor:

The Philanthropic Education Organization Chapter AE of Princeton wishes to thank the community for its support in the success of our recent garage sale to fund women’s education. Thanks to your generosity we raised $3,100.

Over the past 150 years, P.E.O. has given $179 million in grants, scholarships, and loans to over 77,000 women. P.E.O. International has five philanthropy funds. The Program for Continuing Education Fund gives scholarships to women returning to school after two years or more away from college; the P.E.O. Scholar Awards are given to women in graduate school in the U.S. and Canada; the International Peace Scholar Fund gives scholarships to international scholars in graduate programs; and the Educational Loan Fund gives low interest loans to women during their final two years of undergraduate study. P.E.O. also owns Cottey College, a women’s junior college in Missouri, where over 8,000 have graduated. More than 90 percent of Cottey’s students receive financial assistance for their education.

For more information, visit www.peointernational.org.

DEBORAH ROLDAN
Foulet Drive

November 4 Election Offers Argument for Borough/Township Consolidation

To The Editor:

Congratulations to the Princeton Democratic organization for its get-out-the-vote effort in last Tuesday’s general election. Voter registration and turnout were records for Princeton Borough. Together with local enthusiasm for the mantra of “change,” the outcome was an Obama tsunami that swept away opposition candidates up and down the ballot, myself included.

Nevertheless, 1100 Borough voters across the political spectrum looked beyond the hype to support my candidacy. To those voters who demonstrated the intellectual courage to go against the Princeton political grain and support the good government issues I championed, I wish to express my sincere appreciation.

The supreme irony of this election locally is that while many Princeton voters were swept up in the euphoria of “change,” they will not see any change at Borough Hall. The one-party political apparatus will offer only more of the same: higher property taxes, closed-door government, choking traffic, and unchecked University expansion.

My political opponent, Kevin Wilkes, justified rising property taxes on the grounds that the cost of living in Princeton is high. He got it backwards. The cost of living in the Borough is high because property taxes are high. And property taxes are high because spendthrift Borough officials are imprudent guardians of the public purse. Not surprisingly, landlords raise rents and business owners raise prices to make ends meet.

The turnout of university students for this election reached record numbers. Nearly one-third of Borough voters are now university students. While it is heartening that students are enthusiastic about participatory democracy, the implication for Borough taxpayers is also profound. University students constitute a predictable voting bloc that helps perpetuate the status quo political power structure in the Borough. They do not, however, pay property taxes although they use Borough services. Tax-exempt Princeton University refuses to pay anywhere near a proportional monetary offset to the Borough on the students’ behalf.

The local political power elites have again proven that they can steamroll political opposition. They also continue to demonstrate that they cannot provide good governance at a reasonable cost to the taxpayers. Further, they have allowed Borough taxpayers to become the tail wagged by the Princeton Tiger.

The current situation presents another argument for Borough/Township consolidation. The university student vote would be represented at a more proportional level, the amount of tax-exempt property would be smaller, and, presumably, a larger Princeton municipality would be more effective and exhibit more backbone in dealing with the University.

DUDLEY SIPPRELLE
Nassau Street

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