By David Goldfarb
Having served on the Borough Council for 21 years and on the Consolidation and Shared Services Study Commission for the past 15 months, I question the reasoning behind the commission’s recommendation to consolidate.
Should we consolidate to save taxes? Borough residents would save more by sharing police services than by following the commission’s plan to consolidate. In either case, the total projected savings would reduce Borough property tax bills by less than one-and-a-half percent; that reduction would come only after several years of transition.
Should we consolidate to eliminate squabbling? Disagreements between the borough and the township kept the public library downtown and produced a less expensive and more attractive design for the community pool complex.
Should we consolidate because we’re all the same? Most Borough residents paid more for smaller homes because they place a higher value on living near the center of town than most of their counterparts in the township. The Township has more than twice as many voters as the Borough. Who is more likely to be sensitive to the issues that affect the success of the downtown?
Should we consolidate to improve the delivery of services? The commission claims that the services now delivered to borough residents would be maintained in a consolidated community but only garbage pickup would be extended to the former township. How would elected officials in a consolidated Princeton explain to residents that brush is picked up every two weeks on Westcott Road but only four times a year on Brookstone Drive? Services must either be extended at a higher cost or reduced for current Borough residents.
Please vote “No” on November 8. I believe that the entire town will be better without consolidation. I am confident that the Borough will be better without it.
David Goldfarb is a member of the Princeton Borough Council and the Consolidation and Shared Services Study Commission.