Tim Quinn, a former school board member for the Princeton Public Schools who is an employee at the town’s public library, announced today that he is seeking a seat on the Princeton governing body in the 2016 election.
Two three-year terms are up for grabs on the Council. Democratic incumbent Jenny Crumiller also said today that she will seek another term. Councilman Patrick Simon has not said yet whether he will run for a seat on the Princeton Council again or run for mayor.
In a letter announcing his campaign, Quinn, a Democrat, said he wants to build “a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable Princeton, where difference is celebrated and where all share in an abundance of municipal services and opportunities. In this stronger Princeton, newcomers will be embraced, and those, like me, who have lived here for a long time can continue to enjoy all our town has to offer.”
Quinn said he has “a great respect for all who serve their communities in any capacity,” including the current members of Council.
“In running, I seek to offer the voters of Princeton a choice, a different perspective on our community,” he said in his announcement letter. “When I decided against seeking a third term on the board of education, I said it was time for new voices to be heard. The same is true now for our Council. I think I have what Princeton values in its leadership: diversity of background, diversity of income and diversity of public service experience.”
Crumiller said more participation in government is a good thing when it comes to elections.
“I’m seeking another term on the council and I look forward to the election season,” she said. “I’ve heard Tim is running and I think that’s great – as I’ve often said, our democracy is sapped of vitality without competition. ”
Crumiller is completing her third year on the new council, having served for three years before that on former Borough Council.
“One of my main objectives continues to be protecting neighborhoods and preserving the character of our town. I believe that besides the University, our old-fashioned tree-lined streets and small town character are what makes Princeton Princeton,” she said.
Crumiller said she has organized a Neighborhood Planning Task Force that is working to make the planning and zoning process more transparent and to improve communication with the community and connect with neighborhood groups. The Council is also looking into a Historic District for the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood.
“We hope to look at other possible zoning solutions to address the problem of tear-downs and out-of-scale development,” she said. “Next year will be a productive and eventful year, and a campaign challenge will make it even more interactive and lively.”
Simon said is still very early in the 2016 election cycle when it comes to local politics. In the past, candidates for local office did not make announcements until January or February. The trend to announce earlier started last year with Lance Liverman and Heather Howard, and continues this year, with Mayor Liz Lempert announcing her reelection bid just after the November election.
“I see no need either to rush my own decision or to ramp up a campaign at this early stage,” Simon said. “Just putting my name out as a potential candidate for mayor has been a very positive experience, and I am grateful to everyone who has reached out to me to offer support. Even so, the Washington-style permanent campaign is a relatively recent import to Princeton politics, and frankly, I’d just as soon roll back the clock on that. The holidays are a time for all of us to focus on our families. I’ll make my decision by the end of January. There will be more than enough time to campaign for local office next year.”