Princeton Township resident Tamera Matteo, a former business owner and PTO president, has announced that she will seek the Democratic Party endorsement to run for a seat on the governing body of the united Princeton.
“I am running for Princeton Council in the new consolidated Princeton, because I believe my broad experience as a long-time retail business owner in both the Borough and Township, and my involvement as an engaged community and parent volunteer, will allow me to bring a new and diverse perspective to Council,” Matteo said. “I am enthusiastic about sharing ideas and look forward to the opportunity to earn the support of my fellow Democrats during the endorsement process, and then hopefully the entire community in the general election.”
Matteo has lived in Princeton Township for 15 years. After graduating from the University of Denver, she worked as an advertising manager for the Ralph Lauren Home Collection. She was responsible for overseeing all brand communications, including advertising, promotional materials, packaging and a $7 million advertising budget.
In 1996, she opened an independent home and design store in Palmer Square. She expanded the store to larger location, and then expanded it again at the Princeton Shopping Center. Matteo says operating an independent retail business for over 10 years in Princeton gave her a deep understanding of the diverse needs of the community, including merchant services, business and property owners, and the importance of balancing parking and the transportation needs of residents.
Matteo says her experiences as an engaged parent in the schools, the recreation leagues, and youth organizations gives her a distinct advantage of understanding the needs of residents raising young families in Princeton, a group, she feels has been largely under-represented in the local government over the past 15 years.
She served as the PTO President of the John Witherspoon Middle School during the transition time when the 25-year veteran principal was retiring and a new principal was being hired, and says that experience gave her considerable insight in to how to honor the legacy of the old, while embracing the ideas of the new. That experience will be helpful in understanding positions and navigating needs of residents during the consolidation process, she said.
Matteo has also been active with Save Our Schools NJ and the Princeton Education Foundation, and says her experience with education organizations helped her understand school budgets, their impacts on municipal taxes, and the importance of balancing the needs of students with the limitations of taxpayers.
A member of the boards of the Corner House Foundation and the McCarter Theatre Gala, Matteo has volunteered with numerous community organizations, including Youth Concerns, Friends of the Library, Borough Merchants for Princeton (now PMA), Arts Council of Princeton, Community Park Pool Friends, JW School PTO, Princeton Educational Foundation, Save Our Schools NJ, and PI Day. In 2007, she was honored as the “Mercer County Volunteer of the Year” for her service as a court-appointed special advocate for CASA of Mercer County.