Dear Borough Voters:
As the election nears, I am writing to ask for your support and to correct recent misimpressions about my position on consolidation. My position has been and remains that the issue is one for each Borough voter to decide.
Please be assured that I am not engaged in secret efforts to oppose consolidation. If I were advocating a vote against consolidation, I would do so openly. Anyone who knows me knows this. At the same time, when asked by members of POHB, the group opposing consolidation, I have freely shared my questions and my thoughts about additional lines of research. I made no effort to conceal my communications to POHB. Indeed, I was well aware that their email list includes one or more of my opponent’s supporters.
I believe in openness. I believe there should be a balanced debate. I believe strongly that voters should have a chance to hear both sides. On the few occasions when supporters of consolidation have asked me for my views or for advice, I have given it. The detailed work that has been done by the Consolidation Commission has provided a wealth of information to help the public understand the case for consolidation, and I appreciate the care and clarity with which the information has been shared. The opposition has been conducting its own research. This is healthy and important to the overall debate. If elected, I will be a Mayor for all Borough residents whether or not they supported consolidation.
The decision about a change in our municipal boundaries is complicated. I regret that, for some, the issue has become divisive. It touches upon voting power, upon longstanding institutional arrangements and civic identity, and upon views about how to deliver governmental services most efficiently. I have consistently said that voters need to inform themselves and make up their own minds based on how they weigh the competing factors at stake.
I would consider it unfair for me to attempt to influence the debate based on a political calculation as to which position better suits my candidacy. I do not think that a position on consolidation should be a headline issue in the mayoral race or a litmus test for which candidate is better equipped to lead the Borough after the consolidation question has been decided. If elected on November 8, I shall be Mayor either for a transitional year or for a regular term. In either case, my concerns about the vision for our future, our goals, and the values that inform the policies I will promote will be in the interests of the Borough.
I recognize that many Democrats, including my running mates, are active advocates for consolidation, and I respect their position. I know also that they respect mine. If we consolidate, I will work for a smooth transition that will position us to achieve the anticipated savings and retain service delivery, while ensuring Princeton’s sustainability as an inclusive and affordable community. If we do not, I will strive for an amicable and efficient working relationship with the Township, and I will work to increase efficiencies through aggressive management of shared services and exploration of other opportunities for cost-effective delivery of services. In either case, I will be a Mayor whose policies and appointments will reflect democratic principles.
My commitment to openness includes a willingness to engage in public discourse. Anyone who has observed my participation on the Planning Board over the past decade can attest to that. If anyone would like to see me debate my Republican opponent, they can easily do so by viewing the online video of the well-attended League of Women Voters debate. (https://vimeo.com/29450562) Although I am sorry to have missed a recent student-sponsored debate on campus, I felt obligated to attend a critical Township Committee meeting on intermunicipal planning issues–the Arts Transit Ordinance and the MOU–that relate to my responsibilities as a member of the Regional Planning Board. Regardless, I have been in touch with many Princeton University students since the beginning of the school year and have discussed a wide range of issues at student meetings on campus. As an alumna of the University, I of course believe that students should be well informed and empowered to contribute to our community.
For those of you who, for whatever reason, may be undecided or considering voting for my Republican opponent, I ask for your support. This is a critical election. Whatever the outcome of the consolidation vote, I hope that as progressive thinkers, you can recognize that choosing a Republican Mayor will have reverberations far beyond Princeton’s borders. My candidacy stands for the same issues of fairness, equality of opportunity, and receptiveness to diversity that are at the core of the national political debate. My candidacy also stands for a philosophy that supports the role of government in regulating land use, in encouraging historic preservation and conservation, and in promoting equitable tax policies. My opponent has been representing herself as a non-partisan candidate, but in fact she is highly partisan as is evidenced by the support she gave last year to Congressman Rush Holt’s Republican opponent.
The Democratic Party has assembled a strong slate of candidates in the Borough, the Township, the County, and in the 16th Legislative District. I urge that you support us all. For those who would like to meet me and our Democratic team before the election, please come to a coffee on Saturday morning, November 5, between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. at 187 Library Place. If you would like additional information about my positions, please go to my website at www. yinamooreformayor.com. Thank you.
Yina Moore, Democratic Candidate for Borough Mayor