Candidates Weigh In on Issues
The issues raised in the 2003 race for Township Committee
have highlighted a remarkable year for Princeton Township. From
deer, to transportation, to taxes, the Township has faced issues
that directly impact the every day lives of its residents.
the retirement of Democratic Committeeman Leonard E.A. Godfrey,
three candidates have stepped forward to fill his place: Bill
Hearon, Democrat; Colin Vonvorys, Republican; and Victor Fedoras,
Old Athenian Democracy Party.
All three candidates have
said they feel there are voices that are not being heard in municipal
government, and they all agreed on the issues that need attention.
However, how those issues are interpreted vary among the candidates.
All three candidates have expressed concern that the voice
of Township residents should be heard more clearly and that the
Committee's actions should ultimately reflect their needs.
Vonvorys said that Republican party affiliation will enable him
to speak for a demographic that, he feels, is not heard in the
Township. If elected, Mr. Vonvorys said that communication between
residents and the Committee will be improved and he will implement
public forums, and devote "whole evenings for exchange of
Mr. Hearon, who has made the
achievement of "participatory government" a central
theme in his campaign has said that he wants "to operate
by meeting with individuals and groups of the community."
He added that he would like to "get people engaged in all
aspects of the Township."
Mr. Fedorov believes in an
ancient Athenian brand of democracy that achieves representative
government through a "rotating basis in a large assembly."
He said that he hopes to bring his philosophies forth so Township
residents can have a stronger hand in municipal government.
In addition to his emphasis on "participatory
government," Mr. Hearon has focused on transportation as
another central theme to his candidacy. He is involved in a citizen
consolidation effort that brings the 12 different transportation
services in the Township together into a comprehensive system.
As a president of Community Without Walls, a senior group that
works to keep seniors active in the community, Mr. Hearon has
said that a shuttle system would be instrumental for an active
Mr. Hearon also believes that more solutions
would be available for transportation issues if the Committee
were to deal with the problems in a regional manner. He cited
Harrison Street's straight connection from Route 206 to Route
1, and it's traffic impact on Montgomery, Princeton, and West
"I want to operate by meeting with individuals
and groups of the community, and go wherever there is a concern,"
he said. Mr. Hearon has also said that the possible relocation
of the Princeton Medical Center will be an issue within the next
"This is going to be a big deal in the
next five years," he said. "What are we going to do
with the space if they move?"
Mr. Vonvorys welcomes
the "burden" of being Republican in a Democratic voting
district. He has said that the fiscal conservative mentality that
comes with his party affiliation represents a voice in Princeton
not heard on the Committee. He said that while he recognizes the
Township's AAA bond rating, property taxes in the Township have
risen by 50 percent in the last seven years. He cited a $71 million
debt as a result of the Township being "fiscally irresponsible."
He said that his views would add diversity to an otherwise all-Democratic
"I've got new ideas that can offer different
viewpoints on the committee," Mr. Vonvory's said. He added
that the prospect of dealing with an all-Democratic Committee
poses a challenge that he will "welcome."
Vonvorys said that a measure of Princeton's future success is
based on its ability to work with surrounding municipalities.
He mentioned the deer hunting issue in relation to this philosophy.
He said Township would have been better served if there had been
a comprehensive, multi-municipal plan in dealing with the deer
Mr. Vonvorys also stressed the importance of a
branch library at the Princeton Shopping Center. He speculated
on the possibility of a county library, saying that Princeton
is the only town in the Mercer County that does not receive county
Mr. Vonvorys also expressed the need for
a youth recreational center in the Township.
Old Athenian Democracy Party
Mr. Fedorov has
stressed the importance of responsible construction and traffic
alleviation throughout his candidacy. He emphasized the need to
change the driving-friendly lifestyle, saying that Princeton is
accessible by walking and biking. He cited the importance of a
branch library location as a way to keep people from driving into
the Borough for library use.
Mr. Fedorov's campaign has
also been underlined by a unique party affiliation. He has formed
the Old Athenian Democracy Party in the belief that all residents
need to represent the community. He says that this "nice,
fresh approach" can lead to referenda on issues that the
"I am for term limits, increasing the
number of council people, and decreasing the term lengths so as
to get more people participating and communicating," he said.