Letter to the Editor Regarding 1996 Merger Defeat

To the Editor:

It is clear that Mr. Wolanin of the group supporting the 2011 proposed merger of the Princetons is misinformed regarding the 1996 merger defeat.

In the August 9, 2011 article Princeton consolidation gets both sides active written by reporter Krystal Knapp, Mr. Wolanin is quoted as stating: “A lesson from what happened in 1996 is that while the consolidation commission did a really good job on the report, they didn’t have the resources or mandate to run a campaign in favor of the question. But there was a group actively running a campaign against it, and we lost…”

During the 1996 debate the grassroots organization Preserve Our Historic Borough (POHB) – “the group actively running a campaign against it” squared off with a well-organized group of residents led by Corrine Kyle who vehemently campaigned for and on behalf of the 1996 commission and despite spending nearly $17,000 in its attempt to thwart the efforts of POHB, failed in the polls.

I disagree with Mr. Wolanin’s implication that the 1996 consolidation study commission should have had a “… mandate to [run] a campaign in favor of the question.”  The mandate of any consolidation study commission is fact-finding.  The merits of the findings must stand the test of public scrutiny and debate.   In my opinion, campaigns directed by affected residents are the best outlet for such a civic debate.

Kate Warren

Preserve Our Historic Borough