Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 42
 
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
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Borough Council Candidate Outlines Platform on Consolidation and Taxes

LINDA SIPPRELLE
Nassau Street

Immunocontraceptive Vaccine Offers Non-Lethal Alternative to Deer Cull

BILL LAZNOVSKY
Mandon Court

Watershed Association Urges Passage of November Environmental Measure

JENNIFER COFFEY
Policy Director
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association


Borough Council Candidate Outlines Platform on Consolidation and Taxes

To the Editor:

Princeton Borough voters who are happy with the way Borough Council determines their property taxes, Princeton University’s contribution to the civic budget and its proposed “arts neighborhood,” fees and regulations imposed on local businesses, and indecision on consolidation, should not vote for me for Borough Council.

If, however, they want a Council member who has demonstrated leadership and consensus building skills as a community activist and successful U.S. State Department official, who will take an important first step to reduce Borough expenses by refusing salary and pension and health benefits, they may wish to vote for me.

I will approach consolidation with an open mind and will not jump to conclusions or make assumptions. I will propose a Borough Consolidation Commission made up of residents and officials to develop an effective consolidation plan, making clear the pros and cons. I will then leave it to voters to decide whether consolidation makes economic sense. In the meantime, I will work with Borough Council and Township Committee to merge the police and public works departments which would result in substantial savings to both municipalities.

I am very appreciative of the opportunity offered by Princeton University to attend lectures and artistic, musical, and athletic events. I do believe, however, that the University’s property tax exemption disadvantages Borough property owners. Princeton University has indicated its willingness to address this issue with local officials, but Borough officials have failed to engage.

I would propose the University set aside a yearly “head tax” of $300 per student for transfer to the Borough. With approximately 7500 students, the amount each year would be about $2,250,000. These funds would partially offset costs incurred by the Borough for road and sewer maintenance, emergency medical care, and police and fire department protection resulting from the University student population and visitors.

I would give priority to consideration of the potential effects of the proposed University “arts district,” including increased traffic on major thoroughfares and diversion of traffic to neighborhood streets.

I will meet regularly with local merchants in order to learn how I can support their businesses and the Borough downtown. I will inform merchants of pending measures to be considered by the Council which would impact local business and seek their input before such measures are adopted.

In conclusion, if elected, I will devote all my time and effort to improving the quality of life of all Borough residents in all neighborhoods.

LINDA SIPPRELLE
Nassau Street

Immunocontraceptive Vaccine Offers Non-Lethal Alternative to Deer Cull

To the Editor:

Princeton Township residents in general and taxpayers in particular should be outraged that our elected officials have budgeted over $100,000 this year to fund their deer-killing campaign. What was promised to be a five-year deer management program is now in its tenth year, with no end in sight. This winter White Buffalo, Inc., will once again inflict suffering and death on the town’s remaining deer. Many in Princeton had hoped that with the long-overdue dismantling of the “Marchand Machine,” saner heads would prevail and adopt humane, non-lethal alternatives to the slaughter.

According to the EPA, a new and effective immunocontraceptive vaccine, GonaCon, or GnRH, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was recently approved and registered for non-lethal deer and wildlife management. This drug has been in research and development for almost two decades and has been successfully tested in several states. No longer can Princeton residents and officials claim that there is no alternative to killing to control deer populations.

I urge everyone to contact Mayor Miller and demand the utilization of this new vaccine and finally put an end to the deer massacre. Princeton should lead the way and become the model for innovative and responsible wildlife management.

BILL LAZNOVSKY
Mandon Court

Watershed Association Urges Passage of November Environmental Measure

To the Editor:

Are clean water and open spaces important to you? How about protecting our farmland and natural resources? If so, join me in taking action on November 3 to protect our water and environment for future generations.

A “yes” vote on public question No. 1 on Election Day will ensure that open space, farmland, and historic preservation continues in our state. New Jersey’s only state ballot question this year asks voters to renew the Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT). Through the GSPT, New Jersey has invested more than $2 billion to preserve parks and recreational and natural areas, water sources, farmland, and historic sites.

The GSPT is successful because it matches funds from county and local open space funds. Today all GSPT funds have been allocated. Without support from New Jersey voters to renew it, land preservation in New Jersey will virtually stop.

Yes, financial times are tough, but that is the reason we need to make smart investments in our future now. Land preservation in New Jersey is a wise investment. It is good for our health and our wallets.

Preservation protects our clean drinking water sources from pollution and the higher cost of treatment needed if contaminated. It supports our agricultural and tourism industries. And in the most populated state in the nation, our open spaces also provide respite, recreation, and beauty through natural hiking and wildlife areas, baseball fields, and views of wide-open farms.

On Election Day, I urge a “yes” vote on the ballot question, titled “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Act of 2009.” A “yes” vote would allow the state to bond for up to $400 million, which would cost approximately $10 annually per household. A recent analysis found that this initiative would protect approximately 73,500 acres of land and yield $10 in economic value for every $1 invested.

For more than 50 years, New Jersey voters have supported land preservation. Our prior investments have made significant strides in protecting our clean drinking water, supporting agriculture and tourism, and providing recreation opportunities. There is, however, much more to do to protect and preserve those special places in our community.

JENNIFER COFFEY
Policy Director
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

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