Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 42
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
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Candidates Miller and Nemeth Share Concerns about Township

Ellen Gilbert

Democrats Bernie Miller and Sue Nemeth, who are both running unopposed for Princeton Township Committee seats, share many of the same concerns. In a recent interview they pointed out that while they are not running a “joint” campaign, their advertisements highlight common objectives. Ms. Nemeth, who moved here in 2000, is quick to enumerate three of their main goals: “Keeping Princeton affordable, promoting sustainability, and full municipal consolidation.” Their interest in sustainability extends to existing facilities, not just new ones, and keeping Princeton affordable means “keeping a lid on expenses” and creating a “long-term framework.”

“It’s a different environment now than last spring when we declared our candidacy,” observed Mr. Miller, who has lived in Princeton since 1959 and is running for his third term. “We’re now facing the possibility of cuts in state aid and reduced Township funding. We need to look at how and where we spend.” In lieu of increased taxes, he and first-time candidate Ms. Nemeth are interested in finding alternative sources of revenue, particularly in the form of payments from local non-profits that don’t pay taxes. Mr. Miller noted the presence of a number of non-profits in the area including, of course the University, which has made payments to the Borough, but not the Township. The two candidates suggested that such payments may be in order for the Township as well, in light of prospective University development there.


Ms. Nemeth is director of development and public relations specialist at the Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She serves as Township District One Committeewoman on the Mercer County Democratic Committee, and as an at-large member of the Executive Board of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Education Foundation.

An aeronautical engineer, Mr. Miller was a member of the core group that founded the RCA Astrospace Division, and was part of the team that developed the first meteorological satellite that was successfully launched in 1960. Mr Miller subsequently led the team that developed the successful Ranger lunar probe that took the first close up picture of the moon. He received the NASA Public Service Award for his leadership in the Ranger program. In the 1970s he was a member of the team that studied the feasibility of the initiative to consolidate Princeton Borough and Township, and worked on the economics of consolidation. In the 1980s he was a member of the Princeton Township Housing Board, and later a member of the Joint Cable TV Committee. As Chair of the Cable TV Committee he led the team that negotiated the new cable TV franchise with Patriot Media. In 2002 he was appointed to Township Committee to fill the unexpired term of Committeeman Steve Frakt, and was elected to a full three-year term in the general election in November 2002, re-elected in 2005, and has served as Deputy Mayor since 2004.

Valley Road >Building and Pool?

Mr. Miller, who had the opportunity to experience 95 degree summer temperatures inside the Valley Road Building before Township Hall was completed, is sympathetic to the Princeton Regional School’s desire to “get rid of paying the costs on the old part of the building.” As the Township Committee’s liaison to TV 30, which is housed in the building, he is hopeful that the site will remain community-oriented, although he acknowledges that “ultimately, the decision about what happens is the School’s.” Ms. Nemeth agreed that the “ball is in the School’s court,” but also expressed the hope that even as a “mixed-use” facility, its functions would be “compatible with education.”

Noting that his grandchildren now enjoy the same pool his children grew up with, Mr. Miller observed that the pool complex “is part of the glue that holds the community together.” While worrying that the images of prospective “water parks” shown at recent public meetings to discuss the future of the pool may have been “misleading,” both he and Ms. Nemeth laud the Recreation Department’s efforts to update the aging facility and ensure that it will remain open in coming seasons.

While not directly commenting on Princeton Future’s recent endorsement of the creation of new governing groups (like a parking authority) to expedite the solution of various local problems, Mr. Miller said that he regularly attends the group’s meetings and thinks it’s “great that people are talking.”

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