December 18, 2019

Lifelong Princeton Resident Mark Freda To Run for Mayor

By Anne Levin

Mark Freda, president of the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad (PFARS) and a former member of Princeton Borough Council, will run for mayor of the town in the 2020 election. The 63-year-old lifelong Princeton resident made the announcement this week.

“My view on effective local government is simple: be open, be honest, be transparent, and communicate often,” he said in a press release. “I believe we can learn a great deal from the past.  But change will keep coming at us. We can ignore it, or we can work together to shape it. My civic experience in leadership roles puts me in an excellent position to act on this vision.”

Freda grew up on Erdman Avenue, attended Notre Dame High School, and graduated from the College of New Jersey with a degree in political science with an emphasis in public administration. He had been involved in local organizations since he was 18, including time with the Princeton Youth Employment Service and Princeton Area Jaycees.

Freda’s 13 years on the former Borough Council included five years as council president. He has been a volunteer firefighter with the Princeton Fire Department since 1974, and served as fire chief in 1989. He is currently on the board of Dorothea’s House, and co-chairs the Spirit of Princeton.

Before PFARS, Freda was a vice president of Goldman Sachs in New York, and also served as Princeton Borough’s director of emergency services, director New York headquarters site operations for Pfizer, and global head of facilities and real estate at Soros Fund Management.

“The goal of my campaign is true transparency and open government, promoting timely and clear two-way communication with Princeton residents on important decisions, and acting promptly on decisions once they are made,” he said. “Over the past several weeks, I’ve met with local residents and business leaders to gather feedback on issues impacting the future of Princeton. I look forward to continuing these important conversations.”

Mayor Liz Lempert said she remains undecided about whether she will run for a third term.

“For now I’m focused on the job I was elected to do,” she said. “The end of the
year is an especially busy time where we are pushing to wrap up projects from 2019 and set goals for 2020. This year we are also transitioning to new Council members and want to make sure they start the year prepared. The 2019 election just concluded. Typically the local campaign doesn’t start up until the new year. This is for good reason, as it allows everyone time to enjoy the holidays with their families before the next campaign begins.”