Council candidate cites his record

Here’s a representative list of activities in which I have engaged while dealing with recent tax issues and the 2010 revaluation:
– I initiated the program of no municipal tax increase that is now in its second year.
– I led the council’s successful program to assert control over the police department when the department’s mishandling of disciplinary matters caused the borough to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to suspended officers.
– I cast many votes against popular spending measures approved by the council, including, for example: voting against creating a police captaincy (because it is an unnecessary position) and voting against the Harrison Street Park redevelopment (because, while the park needed redevelopment, the council did not publicly discuss the half-million dollar budget or the plans).
– I joined my council colleagues in slowing the effort to reconstruct the Community Park Pool with the goal of reducing the $6.1 million price tag, and I have conditioned my vote in favor of the reconstruction on the pledge of $2 million in private funds to the project, thereby substantially reducing the cost to the taxpayer.
Regarding revaluation, I successfully demanded that the appraisal company follow protocols in providing information to taxpayers; I met with the county tax assessor to investigate the accuracy of the appraisal company’s work; and I persuaded my council colleagues to ask the Borough Attorney to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the borough’s legal options in challenging and dealing with the effects of revaluation. The attorney’s report will be discussed at council on Sept. 28.
Also to be considered by council on Sept. 28, I recently introduced resolutions to create a revaluation study commission to determine the accuracy of the recent revaluation and consider programs to mitigate its effects, to re-open negotiations with Princeton University on its contribution to the borough’s annual operating fund, and to require borough staff to explore more shared services with surrounding municipalities and counties.
No, Roland Foster Miller’s broadside against local incumbents, based as it is on tax issues, cannot be laid at my door.
It’s easy to try to tarnish those involved in local government as uncaring of the "oppressed" and thereby attempt to ride displeasure with the recent tax revaluation into office. But in the case of this incumbent, to do so would be to simply disregard the facts.
Roger Martindell Member, Princeton Borough Council
Mr. Martindell is a Democratic candidate for re-election to the Princeton Borough Council.
False statements demean congressman’s office
To the editor:
I’ve met Rush Holt and had thought him a decent guy. I had never faulted him for falsely touting himself as a rocket scientist as I considered it harmless exaggeration.
However, false statements Mr. Holt has been making about his opponent for Congress, e.g., that he is against women receiving equal pay for equal work, are demeaning to the office Mr. Holt holds.
Tom Meagher Lawrence
Holt a perfect fit as congressman
To the editor:
Over the 12 years that Rush Holt has been the congressman for the 12th District of New Jersey, I have come to realize that he is a near perfect fit to my vision of an ideal congressman.
He is focused on doing his best to represent all of the people in his district. He is not beholden to any particular group of supporters, or companies, or organizations.
I have the sense that he approaches each issue as a scientist, which he is, trying to understand what action will do the best job for all his constituents and for the country. I also have the sense that other members of congress respect his analytical capabilities, and look to him to help them understand the complex problems facing congress.
Let me mention just a few of his efforts. He has been very active supporting veterans by forcing the Defense Department to provide support and vital services as they re-enter civilian life. He has supported measures to increase security at our ports and borders. He is active in efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. e is an active supporter of Einstein’s Alley, an organization devoted to encouraging the establishment of entrepreneurial companies in his district. He voted to strengthen Medicare and close the prescription drug donut hole. He has supported increases in the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work.
From my understanding of the positions of Scott Sipprelle, Mr. Holt’s opponent in this year’s election, Mr. Sipprelle is determined to undo many of the things that Mr. Holt has supported that benefit large numbers of people in the 12th District.
Voters in the 12th district need to re-elect Rush Holt, so he can continue to represent all of us.
Jack Tomlinson Princeton
Vital to find a way to save the Dinky
To the editor:
With the recent work stoppage on the new Hudson River Tunnel we have a real reminder of the tremendous importance that the State of New Jersey has placed on rail for the state’s economic future. For years, in spite of tight finances, New Jersey Transit has shown its belief in the potential economic importance of the Dinky by continuing to support it. Princeton should do whatever it can now to grow its unique connection to the Mainline.
Proposals to shorten the Dinky line or asphalt the right-of-way for a BTR (Bus Rapid Transit) have all the appearances of throwing this asset away. With parking at Princeton Junction mostly reserved for West Windsor residents, if we continue to make it hard for Princeton residents to commute we will soon find that commuters no longer choose to reside in Princeton. Without easy train access, we could also find that as congestion increases in central New Jersey our access to various economic and cultural benefits of the New York corridor will be reduced.
What we need is a parking structure located at the existing Dinky station. Right now there are approximately 195 parking spaces in the Wawa parking lot, of which about 65 percent are reserved for Princeton University commuter parking. Only 24 percent of the spaces are available to the general public.
If this parking area was to be tripled with a parking structure this would give the community almost 400 more parking spaces right next to the station. The garage could be further enhanced by an "easy pass" system and if the Wawa building could be demolished, maybe a new Wawa could be inserted into the garage.
This would give us a larger site for structured parking. With ample landscaping, a design could be developed to reduce its mass and respond to the stone construction of the Dinky station. And with some adjustments to the university’s proposed Arts and Transit District Master Plan it could provide parking in its off-hours for McCarter Theatre and the university’s new performing arts center, or even be located under the new center.
The existing, currently full, university parking garage (Lot 7 garage), which has been proposed by the university for Dinky parking if the station were to be relocated, could continue its existing usage by the university. This new parking garage could be jointly financed by revenue bonds issued by a consortium of the beneficiaries, Princeton Borough, Princeton Township, Princeton University and New Jersey Transit.
Once the parking problem for the Dinky has been solved, the idea of developing a newer, quieter rail connection to the Mainline would have a lot of merit. With the new parking garage paying for itself, the Dinky could be providing a significant new revenue stream to NJ Transit. This could eventually help finance a higher tech rail system that would draw more passengers and enhance the town’s future.
With the Princeton Regional Planning Board expected to take up the university’s proposals this fall, it is vital that we all communicate our concerns to our elected officials and the Regional Planning Board. In spite of suggestions to the contrary, nothing has been decided – yet.
Kip Cherry Princeton
Community generosity fills kids backpacks
To the editor:
On behalf of the Princeton Human Services Commission and the local youth that we serve, we would like to thank all of the donors to the 1st Annual Back Packs/School Supplies Drive.
We believe that every child should start the school year with fresh notebooks, pointy pencils and a bag to tote them around in. That is why we turned to the community for help. We focused our efforts on children entering grades K-5. The response from the community was nothing short of amazing.
Thanks to the generosity of the Princeton community, 35 youngsters from economically disadvantaged families received backpacks filled with school supplies. So generous was the outpouring that we were able to donate more than 20 book bags, lunch bags and school supplies to the students who participate in the Princeton Young Achievers’ After School Program.
A big thank you to the community-minded folks all across Princeton for helping us to help others. We could not do our work without your support.
Anastasia R. Mann, Chair Princeton Human Services Commission
Cynthia Mendez, Executive Director Princeton Human Services