April 3, 2019

Lambros Will Bring New Skills, Competence to Princeton Council

To the Editor:

Michelle Pirone Lambros brings a new perspective to Princeton Council. One of her many strengths is her focus on Princeton’s economic development. She has been a business owner/operator herself, and has just finished up on a promotional program for Restaurant Week (March 10-17). She also has been representing the Merchants Association on Princeton’s Economic Development Committee. She is very aware of the challenges our merchants face as they carve out niches where a physical presence in Princeton makes sense. She has innovative ideas for growing downtown retail sales, while enhancing the valuation of commercial property as a percentage of Princeton’s tax base. She is interested in working with Princeton University to understand better how its development plans will benefit Princeton’s downtown and tax base, and where joint development opportunities might exist. She is also well aware of the challenges of our new parking system and has been exploring possible ways to make it serve the community better.

She also understands land use and issues of neighborhood character, and is on the Zoning Board. She sees new opportunities to craft zoning variance agreements that better enhance both the project and the surrounding neighborhood. She also favors defining form-based neighborhood zoning that supports the individual character and specific features of each of the 12 or so neighborhood zones. In addition, she is very aware of the pervasive concerns about teardowns and feels that we need to develop incentives that encourage renovation over teardowns, with the additional requirement that neighbors must be notified prior to proceeding with a teardown.

And she understands the challenges that cultural and economic diversity face in our community, having grown up in Princeton’s Italian community, which has felt the impact of climbing tax burdens. Her grandfather was a founder of the Italian Sportsmen’s Club on Terhune Road, whose membership now largely lives outside of Princeton, while maintaining its cultural and social center in town.

Michelle spent her early childhood in Princeton, so she has deep roots. And now with two children at Princeton High School and her oldest at Boston University, she is also aware of the challenges facing Princeton Public Schools.  She looks forward to having a role in shaping the town as it moves forward. She’s canny about the development issues that matter and she’s got the financial training to guide the solutions. We need someone who brings new skills and competence to the Council. We need Michelle Lambros!

Kip Cherry
Dempsey Avenue