June 13, 2012

Lempert, Nemeth Picked for Selection Committee

Township Deputy Mayor Liz Lempert, who is a mayoral hopeful for the consolidated Princeton, and Committeewoman Sue Nemeth, will be the Township’s representatives on the Transition Task Force’s Personnel Selection Committee. The Committee will oversee the selection and placement of municipal employees after consolidation. It consists of members of both current governing bodies.

The names were announced at Monday evening’s Township Committee Meeting.

Acting on a recommendation from the Transition Task Force, Township Committee also approved the appointment of Barbara A. Lee, a former Rutgers University dean of the school of management and labor relations, as facilitator for the Selection Committee. Ms. Nemeth described Ms. Lee as “highly qualified” and “very much interested” in the position. Ms. Lempert cited the candidate’s years of residence in Princeton, and long-standing interest in serving the community.

In anticipation of consolidation, a proposal to reconcile the different levels of Open Space Tax currently collected by the municipalities was also approved on Monday. The rate, which was studied by the Joint Finance Committee, among other groups, recommends a blended rate of 1.7 cents per every $100 of assessed property value.

The Township currently collects 2 cents on every $100 of assessed property value; the Borough receives 1 cent. A reciprocal motion recommending the “neutral” rate will be presented to Borough Council for approval.

Attorney Ed Schmierer and Administrator Kathy Monzo led the discussion, noting that time is of some concern in order to get a referendum question about the Open Space Tax on the November ballot. On Committeeman Bernie Miller’s suggestion, it was agreed that there will be a brief explanation under the ballot listing to make it clear that this is not a “new” tax.

Ms. Monzo noted that revenue from the Open Space Tax not only enables the acquisition of properties, it provides for their preservation, development into parks and recreational areas, and improves debt service options.

Ms. Nemeth emphasized the importance of continuing to collect an Open Space Tax without a “lapse” that would endanger preservation and future acquisitions. She noted that on a recent Recreation Department survey, residents indicated that parks and trails were high on their list of this area’s assets.

Open Space President Wendy Mager lauded the proposal and cited the importance of giving voters opportunity the opportunity to participate in the decision.