Letters to the Editor: Voting, Consolidation, and Thank You From a Mayoral Candidate

Yes, You Can Vote for a Candidate from Another Party

To the Editor:

As a long-time poll worker in Princeton, I’ve noted that there is one question voters frequently ask. The question is, “Can I vote for a candidate who is not a member of the party in which I’m registered?”

The answer is that in the primary election such as the one that took place on June 7, a voter can vote only for a candidate of the party in which he is registered. If a voter is “unaffiliated,” he or she must declare at the polling station a party affiliation and can vote only for that party’s candidates.

At the general election, however, such as the one which will take place Nov. 8, when a voter enters the polling booth he or she will see the names of all candidates for all contested positions from the various political parties listed in columns by party affiliation. The voter can then, if he or she chooses, “cross over” to vote for his/her preferred candidate from any listed political party for a particular position. The only stipulation is that the voter can vote for only one candidate for each position.

Linda Sipprelle
Poll Worker, District 9
Princeton Borough

Consolidation Savings a Myth

Dear Editor:

The real myth in the Consolidation debate is the belief that combining the municipalities will save us money.  This myth is promulgated by every pro-consolidation advocate except the mayor of the township.  To his credit, the mayor has repeatedly stated that, after transition costs (now publicly estimated to be $1.7 million), there may be NO net savings.  He is a member of the Consolidation Commission with the credentials (CFP, CIMA) to make that claim authoritatively.

Supporting evidence surfaced during the Oct. 26  meeting of the Commission, when it was publicly revealed that the original estimate by municipal employees of the transition costs of IT (computers and communications) substantially exceeded $1,000,000, but that amount had been reduced by the Commission to below $200,000 on the advice of the consultant, on the basis that the State had previously rejected another municipal merger reimbursement application because it deemed the cost too high. Thus our $1.7 million cost estimate, which includes only the reduced amount, may be substantially understated – by well over $800,000 in the IT category alone. And the reimbursement amount we receive will be much less than 20% of the actual transition costs, even if our leaders can convince the State to pay it.

We have been deceived by false promises before.  For example, the Borough garage was presented to us as a money-making venture. But with debt service, insurance, and all other costs included, it is losing money.  The politicians, however, report a profit by commingling the garage loss with parking meter income.  The difference between parking meter income and reported income is a garage subsidy which we would receive if the garage did not exist or were privately owned.

If consolidated, our government leaders will try to hide any loss, as they did with the parking garage.  However, if they are unable to conceal it, they will blame it on “inflation”, “deflation”, “unexpected transition costs”, or any other handy excuse.  Only the prospective mayor, the current Township mayor, need not resort to such subterfuge, because he has already warned us of this possibility.  In either case, we cannot expect our taxes to decrease during the 5-year transition period.

If controlling the cost of living in Princeton is important to you and you believe the warnings of the Township mayor, as I do, you should also vote NO on consolidation.

Ronald Nielsen
Princeton Borough

An Honor Campaigning for Borough Mayor

Dear Fellow Princetonians:

It has been an incredible honor over these last many months to campaign for the office of Mayor of Princeton Borough. In my discussions with residents and students in town and on campus, I am again reminded of the reason I chose Princeton to be my home. We are a breathtakingly diverse, scenic, bustling, and imaginative community and I consider it a privilege to live here. But, through my campaign, I have become even more deeply concerned that our community is threatened with a broad array of challenges that threaten the sustainability of our unique quality of life.

I am running for Mayor to fight for Princeton’s future. I believe our community deserves a government which represents the best of who we are. I believe a mayor should have an open door policy to hear and deliberate every reasonable point of view. I believe a mayor should have the vision and experience to solve problems proactively. I believe a mayor should seek to build bridges and not moats between our various constituencies. I believe a mayor should behave with a standard of professionalism that reflects well on the community.

Despite attacks on me by desperate political operatives, attempting to distract voters from the plain fact that this is a race about Princeton and not about party label, I am proud to have run a positive issue-based campaign that has united Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters. I pledge to each of you to bring an unwavering commitment to doing right for our Princeton if I have the privilege to serve as your Mayor.

Jill Jachera
Candidate for Princeton Borough Mayor