January 31, 2018

Howard, Liverman Won’t Run In Next Council Election, But New Names Enter Race

By Anne Levin

Barely a day after Princeton Council members Heather Howard and Lance Liverman revealed that they will not run for re-election, two people have announced their candidacy. Eve Niedergang and Dwaine Williamson, both active in the local Democratic party, have declared their intentions to enter the race.

The terms of Howard and Liverman end at the end of December.

“It has been such an honor to work with my Council colleagues, with Mayor Liz Lempert, and with many dedicated staff and volunteers to serve the people of Princeton,” wrote Howard in a statement announcing her decision. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished on Council: we’ve made Princeton a more welcoming community, promoted the health of our residents, and created a single police force that is recognized statewide for its progressive practices. I hope we have demonstrated that progressive government can be responsive and effective. While I will be focusing on other work and family commitments, I hope to continue to stay involved and to find ways to support the efforts of our elected officials and many engaged citizens working to keep Princeton vibrant and sustainable.”

In a phone conversation on Tuesday, Howard reiterated her plans to remain active. “I see this as a hiatus, not an end to my involvement,” she said. “Maybe later on in life, I’ll get back involved. It’s been a really exciting ride. Being able to dig deep on some of the issues I care about like policing practices, health promotion, and being a welcoming community, has been such an honor. But all of this is bittersweet.”

Howard recently served on the health care committee of Gov. Phil Murphy’s transition team. The director of state health and value strategies and advancing coverage in states at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, she previously served in the administration of Gov. John Corzine. She has been a member of Princeton’s governing body since 2011.

Liverman said he was stepping down “with a humble and gracious heart Й. My decision to not run is a personal decision. I have been so honored to have served the residents of Princeton for 15 years,” he said. “My love and admiration for all the residents of this great town is
unwavering. I will miss working with the most caring and respectful mayor and Council. I was also able to serve such a long period of time because of the continued support of the Princeton employees. What an amazing group of individuals! I am lucky Princeton has such a great talent pool. I will continue to do whatever is needed to keep Princeton a welcoming and loving town.”

A Princeton native, Liverman owns a real estate investment firm. He has served on the governing body for four terms. “I’ve been an elected official for 15 years, and 13 years before that on boards and commissions,” he said. “I’m 55 years old and I’m just looking to do something different. I attended the funerals of three close friends last year, and I realize, if you’re going to do something new, do it while you can.”

Liverman said he might move to North Carolina, where he has extended family, at some point. But his youngest daughter is only in seventh grade, and the family wouldn’t relocate while she is still in school. Once an owner of a Trenton-based publication called The Nubian News, he enjoys writing and said he has thought about tackling fiction in the future.

Niedergang has lived in Princeton for more than 25 years and has been involved in local issues since co-chairing the Riverside School PTO. She was on the board of the Friends of Princeton Public Library and has been active in the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), where she is on the executive board. She is currently on the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee, for which she is District 18 committeewoman. She works for the Stony-Brook Millstone Watershed Association.

“Over the last decade, I’ve worked hard for progressive candidates to represent Princeton at the municipal, state, and federal levels,” she wrote in a statement of her candidacy. “I am ready to work just as hard as a member of Princeton Council. I know there will be difficult decisions to make to retain Princeton’s diversity, move towards sustainability, and keep municipal taxes down. I don’t shy away from making such decisions and I am looking forward to digging into the key issues facing the municipality.”

Williamson is an attorney and has lived in Princeton since 1998. He has served on the Princeton Planning Board, as District 22 committeeman on the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee, and as first vice president of the PCDO.

“These experiences have given me the opportunity to promote the progressive policies that have made our town such a wonderful place to live,” he said. “Princeton is a town with many successes and advantages. Yet, many challenges persist. I seek the opportunity to work beside the great public servants who serve us by bringing to the table ideas to work toward solutions. I support good and effective stewardship over public funds, an environment where all children thrive and are encouraged to reach their full potential, smart growth to maintain the integrity and character of our neighborhoods, and an amicable and just partnership with our University neighbor.”