March 21, 2012

PCDO to Endorse Mayor, Council Candidates

With an unprecedented number of registered members now on its rolls, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) has moved its Sunday, March 25 endorsement meeting from the Suzanne Patterson Center to the larger Jewish Center of Princeton. PCDO president Dan Preston says that the organization is expecting a huge turnout at the meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. and feature debates between candidates seeking PCDO endorsements.

More than 570 people have signed on as PCDO members so far, up from the usual 300 to 400, according to Mr. Preston. Members must be registered to vote in Princeton, and be registered as Democrats. Unaffiliated voters who join must affiliate as Democrats before being permitted to vote on the endorsements of mayoral and council candidates.

Vying for the mayoral endorsement are Borough Council member Kevin Wilkes and Township Committee member/Deputy Mayor Liz Lempert. Those running for Council are current Borough Mayor Yina Moore, Council members Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Roger Martindell and Heather Howard; Township Committee members Bernie Miller and Lance Liverman; and newcomers Tamera Matteo, Patrick Simon, and Scott Sillars, who is vice chairman of the Transition Task Force.

Mr. Martindell is also hosting a discussion and reception Saturday, March 25 from 4-6 p.m. at Dorothy’s Garden/House, 144 Patton Avenue, rain or shine. Mr. Martindell will lead a discussion about how people envision Princeton after consolidation takes effect on January 1, 2013. The public is invited, and other candidates are encouraged to join the presentation.

At the PCDO event, registration will begin at 6 p.m. with member check-in and ballot distribution. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Wilkes and Ms. Lempert will debate from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. The one-hour Council debate follows. Voting begins at 8:15 p.m. A presentation on the next steps after PCDO endorsement is at 8:30 p.m., during which time ballots will be counted. Endorsement results are estimated to be announced at 9 p.m.

A new rule adopted by the PCDO executive board mandates that ballots for the Council race must contain votes for a minimum of three candidates, up to a maximum of six, in order to be counted, or a vote of “no endorsement.”

In a letter to the editor of this issue of Town Topics, Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner urges the PCDO and Democrats to consider the three new faces on the ballot: Ms. Matteo, Mr. Sillars, and Mr. Simon. While those who have previously served on the governing bodies bring “important continuity and institutional knowledge” to the new council, the three newcomers “will not be encumbered in their decision-making by any past history of serving on one governing body or another,” he writes.