Letters to the Editor on Borough Mayoral Race
Council President Wilkes Backs Fellow Dem. for Borough Mayor
To the Editor:
I am writing to give my wholehearted support to Yina Moore’s candidacy for Borough Mayor.
Yina has stellar credentials for the job of Borough Mayor, including eleven years on the Regional Planning Board. She was also a charter member of Princeton Future, and she and I worked together for many years on many challenging planning issues that face our community. I know her solutions are substantive, she comes to her work prepared, and she is committed to employing strategies that are designed to preserve Princeton’s history and its diversity. Yina’s vision for Princeton is inclusive, democratic and representative of us all – witness her accomplishments, while working with many differing viewpoints; she helped drive the community towards our successful Downtown Development and its centerpiece, Hinds Plaza, a space that used to be a nasty parking lot!
Yina and I are both graduates of Princeton University, and we share an abiding respect for the University’s significance in the life of the Borough. We also believe that the University and the Community can work together as equals toward common solutions to challenging problems that benefit us all. Yina will be a forceful and effective advocate for Borough interests with the University. On contentious issues, such as the Dinky relocation, she will advance solutions that reflect good public policy and common sense.
The campaign for Borough Mayor has been vigorous, and it is healthy that we have a real contest in this election. However, in the Mayoral race, Yina Moore is clearly the better qualified and more experienced candidate for the office. I will vote for her and I urge Borough voters to support her also. She is the right choice for Princeton and will best represent the Borough whatever the outcome of consolidation, which I also support. If we agree to unite our two towns, Yina will be an effective voice for our interests in the Borough as we remove this invisible but palpable wall of separation.
Kevin Wilkes, Princeton Borough Council President
Kornhauser: Moore Best Candidate for Princeton’s Challenges
To the Editor:
As a Township resident who has to drive everywhere, I probably should support the Republican candidate for Borough Mayor. Her policy positions exemplify the virtues embraced by Township officials: Endorse proposals that prefer drivers over walkers, appease the University in the hope of extracting more alms, and extol any plan that uses the word “arts” even ones whose unnecessary side-effects trample a community icon and wipes out a uniquely efficient and irreplaceable mass transit link to the Junction and the rest of the world with no justification other than imperial preference.
However, as a former member of the Regional Planning Board, a longtime resident of the Princeton community, and a life-long transportation scholar and entrepreneur, I urge Borough voters to support Yina Moore, the Democratic candidate. Yina is a substantive candidate with a deep knowledge of the community. She grew up here and has devoted countless volunteer hours to its well-being. She knows and understands the community. Her graduate MIT education and professional experience in the circulation, development and fiscal issues make her uniquely qualified to appropriately address the challenges we face. As for the University, her Princeton undergraduate education ingrained in her the fundamental instincts, perspectives and stature that will allow her to transform the University’s current paternal relationship with the Borough (… here this thing is what is good for you!) to one that is supportive and respectful ( … here, take this and use it to pay for what you need…).
Yina’s personality, humor, intellect and professional career exemplify what makes the Borough special. Yina does not come to us through a focus group. She is one of Princeton’s own and obviously not a scripted politician. She is a most substantive candidate who knows this community well, who values its history, warts and all, and who will do her damndest to keep Princeton from turning into just another privileged enclave.
Mr. Kornhauser is a Princeton Township resident and Princeton University Professor who directs the transportation program at the school.
Statement from PCDO Leadership on Borough Mayor’s Race
We believe voters deserve to know as much as possible about a candidate’s record, including professional experience and partisan activities, so that they can make a fully informed choice on November 8. This certainly pertains to the contest for Mayor of Princeton Borough, where the Republican candidate says the election should be “about Princeton and not about party label” and has complained about partisan “attacks.”
The fact is that Jill Jachera chose to run as a Republican when she could have run as a nonpartisan independent. Moreover, according to the latest report filed with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, as of October 11, 2011, her campaign had received $2,900 from the Princeton Borough Republican Committee. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Republicans are entitled to support their candidates as vigorously as Democrats support theirs. The PCDO, for example, recently contributed $2,000 to the joint campaign of Yina Moore for Mayor and Barbara Trelstad and Heather Howard for Borough Council.
Ms. Jachera’s own political contributions demonstrate a deep commitment to Republican Party values. Just last year, she gave the maximum allowable $4,800 to support Scott Sipprelle’s attempt to unseat our Democratic congressman Rush Holt.
If Ms. Jachera or her supporters believe it is unfair to identify her partisan record, we wonder what she is ashamed of. Our Democratic candidates are proud of what our party stands for, even if we sometimes disagree on issues and how best to advance our values. Rush Holt summarized those values in a recent statement of support for the Borough Democratic ticket:
“I support the Borough candidates who have worked for equality of opportunity, fairness for the middle class, and strengthening our diverse community: Yina Moore, Barbara Trelstad, and Heather Howard.” – Rush Holt
Ms. Jachera’s career focus has been consistent with her party’s efforts to weaken unions and dilute consumer protections. Her website points to her 23 years as “a successful advocate for my clients” and states that her “practice was devoted to the representation of management in employment matters” – most recently at a prominent law firm that is best known for helping employers curtail workers’ rights.
Ms. Jachera’s public involvement with local government prior to her candidacy appears to be limited to opposing the creation of a historic district that includes her home in the Western section of the Borough. Interestingly, most of the large individual donations to her campaign ($2,500 to $2,600 each) come from a few of her neighbors who also oppose historic designation.
Candidates should run on their records and justify their affiliations – not run away from them. The press also has an obligation to investigate the facts, not simply to report gossip. We believe that Yina Moore’s record is far more in step with the progressive Democratic values that most Princeton voters expect from a mayor: Accountable government, sensible budgets, fair taxation, strong public education, sustainability, affordable housing, worker and consumer rights, and public services for those who need them the most.
Dan Preston, President, Princeton Community Democratic Organization
Peter Wolanin, Chair, Princeton Borough Democratic Committee
Jon Durbin, Chair, Princeton Township Democratic Committee