June 12, 2019

Mayor Responds to Letter From PCTV Show Producer

Dear Ms. Chopra:

Thank you for contacting us regarding Princeton Community TV, and thank you for producing programming for the station.

The municipality appreciates the work of Princeton Community TV. Princeton is fortunate to have many community nonprofits doing important work, but these groups are funded privately, not by taxpayer dollars. Likewise, Princeton Community TV should be supporting itself through private fundraising. The decision to cut taxpayer support has also been driven in part by the change in the world of broadcasting. There are now ample ways for video producers to easily share their work that do not incur cost to taxpayers. This may be why nearly every other municipality in the state of New Jersey stopped funding their public access stations years ago. In fact, Princeton is relatively unique in having diverted our franchise fees to fund cable access programming instead of using it for much-needed tax relief. The truth is that many of the volunteers and TV producers at Princeton Community TV reside in municipalities that do not fund their own stations. These volunteers are demanding funding from Princeton taxpayers while they themselves benefit from tax relief provided by their own towns. This seems unfair.

For years, the municipality has encouraged Princeton Community TV to expand its private fundraising efforts. While we support the work of the station, we can no longer afford to support it financially.

Mayor Liz Lempert