Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 38
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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Senior Transit Needs, Revaluation Issues, Under Council Scrutiny

Dilshanie Perera

In their annual reports to Borough Council last week, the Executive Directors of both the Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC) and Princeton Community Housing (PCH) cited the need for better transportation opportunities around town, particularly for senior citizens. During the meeting Councilman Roger Martindell advocated strategies for dealing with the effects and results of the recent revaluation.

Susan Hoskins, who heads PSRC, asked the Borough whether the center should make use of the municipal jitney more or less during the hours it is not in use. Moving a group of people from the Suzanne Patterson Center to another location and vice versa could facilitate their programming, she said.

Borough Administrator Bob Bruschi acknowledged that “there is clearly a need” for better transit opportunities around town, and observed that planning for a community shuttle that would integrate the routes of the Free B jitney shuttle, the University’s Tiger Transit system, and the New Jersey Transit bus and train options is underway.

Sandra Perschetti of PCH echoed the need for a sure means of transportation for the seniors at Elm Court and Harriet Bryan House, some of whom no longer drive on their own. “Our residents can’t wait … it has to be dependable,” she said of a potentially useful transit connection.

Councilman David Goldfarb agreed that “transportation is a glaring, unmet need” in this community. “If we can’t use the jitney during these off hours, then we shouldn’t be providing the money to fund the jitney at all,” he added.

During the next portion of the meeting, Mr. Martindell was accorded five minutes to explain his stance on what Council can do vis-a-vis the revaluation debate.

Having drafted three resolutions for Borough consideration, Mr. Martindell suggested reopening negotiations with Princeton University for a larger payment in lieu of taxes contribution, and requested that the Township join the Borough in discussing more shared services (as distinct from the analysis by the Consolidation Study Commission). His third suggestion was to appoint a Revaluation Study Commission to take a look at options “to reduce the effect of the revaluation on adversely affected Borough taxpayers.”

“None of these initiatives is a silver bullet, but they do address some concerns expressed on August 24,” Mr. Martindell said, referencing the Borough Council meeting in which members of the Princeton Fair Tax Committee and other residents pointed out what appeared to be systemic flaws within the reappraisal system.

The Borough’s attorney has been asked to review the legal avenues available to the municipality and citizens regarding the tax assessment.

A discussion of the Borough’s action on revaluation will be held at the upcoming open public Council meeting on Tuesday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall.

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