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Crumiller, Freda Interested In Joe O'Neill's Council Seat

Candace Braun

Two new Borough residents have stepped up to the plate and shown an interest in Joe O'Neill's Council seat which will be vacated when the Councilman becomes Borough mayor in January. Jenny Crumiller of Library Place and Mark Freda of Fisher Avenue have both announced an interest in filling the unexpired term.

Both candidates will have the opportunity to express their interest in the seat at an open public meeting, to be held by the Princeton Democratic Committee on Sunday, December 14, in the Suzanne Patterson Senior Center at 7:30 p.m. At that time the committee will choose three candidates to recommend to the Council.

Ms. Crumiller is a homemaker who received a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University. She has lived in the Borough for two years, following the ten years she resided in the Township. She is wife to Jon Crumiller, and mother to three children, aged 21, 20, and 16. "I have worked in the community as a volunteer in church and my children's schools, but direct participation in our democracy is what I enjoy and find most fulfilling," she said.

Ms. Crumiller has been involved in many different community groups, including a neighborhood group on Moore Street that worked together to scale back and beautify Princeton Medical Center's concrete parking garage expansion. She also worked against the hospital's efforts to re-zone Harris Road for non-residential use.

The Borough resident has also worked on various political campaigns on the local and national level, including aiding Township School Board member Walter Bliss with his campaign. She also assisted Reed Gusciora's bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor, which he lost to Mr. O'Neill. In addition, Ms. Crumiller worked on Bill Bradley's campaign during the last presidential election. Currently she is supporting Howard Dean for presidential nomination, for whom she recently held a fundraiser in her home.

Ms. Crumiller is an active board member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, supporting the fund's work in civil rights and education on behalf of African-Americans and Hispanics. She was also on the committee that worked to pass the resolution against the Patriot Act in the Borough, and is now working to pass a similar resolution in the state.

Ms. Crumiller looks on the downtown redevelopment project unfavorably. However, she said she feels that now that construction has begun, she would like to work on moving forward and continuing to push forward issues, such as lowering Borough taxes. She would also like to encourage more timely repair of sidewalks in the municipality, she said.

Mark Freda is a lifelong member of the Princeton community. He attended the College of New Jersey, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in political science with an emphasis on political administration. Currently, he is vice president of Goldman Sachs and Co., where he has worked since 1983. Mr. Freda is married to Beth Ogilvie-Freda, and has two children, aged eight and five.

The Borough resident held a position on Borough Council from 1986 to 1999, and said he would like to find his way back into Borough government again. He was police commissioner and chairman of the Public Safety Committee from 1988 to 1999, and worked on the Public Works committee at the same time. Mr. Freda also served on the personnel committee from 1986 to 1999, as well as served as the Council representative to Princeton Housing Authority.

Mr. Freda was a council representative to Borough Affordable Housing Board from 1990 to 1996, and served as Council president five times.

Other areas of community involvement include being a member of the Princeton Fire Department since 1974, and a member of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad since 1976. He is also currently a member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Mr. Freda is against the downtown redevelopment project, and says if he is chosen to replace Mr. O'Neill, he will raise questions in Council meetings on how to curtail the costs of the project. Because Mr. Freda works for a financial company, he must first submit regulatory paperwork before he can officially state himself as a candidate for the position on Council.

Along with Mr. Freda and Ms. Crumiller, Andrew Koontz, chairman of the Princeton Democratic Committee and 11-year member of the community, also recently voiced his interest in the Council seat. Mr. Koontz has been chairman of the Borough's Democratic Committee for six years, and president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization for three years.

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