Miller Has a Long History of Supporting Consolidation
Letter to the Editor:
With all the hype about new beginnings and fresh ideas, Princeton voters choosing a government for their newly merged town may want to ask themselves: But, why are we doing all this?
No one can answer that question quite as well as Bernie Miller, a former Mayor of Princeton Township, who is following through the consolidation process from beginning to end.
He first started as an ally of Jay Bleiman, then mayor of the Township, on the 1977 Consolidation Study Commission. Bernie has stayed active ever since. He’s been a Township Councilman, a member of the most recent Consolidation Commission, and now one of the elected officials on the Transition Task Force.
He’s the chair of the Facilities Subcommittee, where I watch him sensitively balancing multiple interests as we physically bring staff together from separate departments and agencies into new collaborative relationships. Bernie’s even-handedness is making a difference.
In the midst of all that might seem new, there’s a place for institutional memory and balance. Vote June 5 to keep Bernie Miller on the new town council.
Marvin Reed, Former Mayor, Princeton Borough
Crumiller Made Local Democratic Party More Democratic
To the Editor:
As a lifelong Democrat, I’m supporting Jenny Crumiller for the new Princeton Council. For over 20 years, Jenny has selflessly served our community from being a room parent at Community Park School to serving on the current Borough Council. In her spare time (wherever she finds it) she is Vice-chair of the local committee of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Jenny never seeks the limelight; she just gets the job done.
Jenny was a founding member of Unite Princeton and worked tirelessly to bring about the consolidation of the Township and Borough, a goal that had eluded Princeton’s leadership for several decades. As a taxpayer, I appreciate the reduction in government expense without decreasing services to the public. As a civil rights lawyer, I appreciate her efforts to ensure that the savings come from elimination of redundancies, not using consolidation as an opportunity to cut the pay and benefits of municipal employees.
Jenny also led the effort to make the local Democratic Party more democratic. When I became a committeeman eight years ago, the party leadership simply gave me the position. The people in my district had no voice in the decision. Jenny worked hard to increase participation and give anyone interested in serving an equal chance. Ironically, this good deed has not gone unpunished. Some of those who liked things the old way now oppose her candidacy.
Public servants like Jenny don’t come along every day. We need to keep her in office.
Crumiller Will Preserve Princeton as Affordable Community
I am writing to support Jenny Crumiller’s candidacy for the new Council in the upcoming primary. Jenny has worked collaboratively behind the scenes for many years to involve more citizens in local politics. The success of consolidation, the recent years of zero tax increases in the Borough, and our highly competitive Democratic primary all bear witness to this work.
Jenny’s commitment to open government is matched by her aversion to telling her own story. Few know that she is a tech whiz and that she and Jon have a blended name. Few know that she supported herself after high school with a factory job and service work, that she funded her early college years with Pell grants, and that that she finished her degree at Rutgers (Phi Beta Kappa) while raising three children and handling a full complement of civic activities. Jenny has not forgotten what it means to live on a shoestring, and she can be counted on to bring that perspective to spending proposals that may add to the tax burden.
Jenny’s interest in preserving Princeton as an affordable community with excellent public schools and a small town atmosphere is well-known. I first met her 20 years ago at a meeting in a Moore Street living room to discuss the hospital’s plan to raze four houses on Harris Road to make way for a bigger parking garage. The Township Zoning Board had approved the plan after a brief hearing. Notice was sent only to residents living within two hundred feet. The one Harris Road homeowner who objected was not fluent in English and was no match for the hospital attorney. Everyone saw the unfairness. Everyone saw the threat to the fabric of a neighborhood at the core of our public school system. However, some argued that the cause was lost or too costly or unpopular to fight.
Not Jenny. She helped lead a grueling neighborhood struggle to change the outcome, and the outcome was eventually changed. Three houses were spared, the garage was pulled back with a modified design, and Harris Road was preserved as a residential street. The experience led Jenny to municipal politics where she has worked consistently to ensure that citizens are informed of proposals that will affect them, that the decision-making process is fair, and that development projects are vetted intelligently.
Space does not permit me to go into the particulars of all of the help Jenny has given over her years in Princeton to organizations and people who have sought advice or assistance. When Jenny serves on a Board, she is more than a name on a letterhead. She gives her all. I urge you to support her on June 5.
Matteo a Collaborative Leader
Tamera Matteo is a newcomer to politics but a familiar face among the community organizations in town. The president of the John Witherspoon Middle School PTO, a CASA volunteer, a Corner House Foundation board member, and a volunteer for McCarter Theatre, to name just a few of her community leadership roles, Tamera has a stellar reputation among those who have worked with her. She’s a good listener who solicits input from a diverse community; she’s a collaborative leader who builds consensus; she is results-oriented. She brings a professional approach and a customer-service perspective, borne of her decade-long ownership of a local retail business, to all that she does.
We have worked alongside Tamera on the John Witherspoon (JW) Middle School PTO, and strongly support her for the new Council. She brings the experience, temperament, perspective and commitment that the new Princeton needs and deserves.
As JW’s PTO president, she was a wonderful bridge between the leadership of a principal who had headed the school for over 30 years, and a new principal who had to quickly learn the lay of the land. She was able to make even better the many positive aspects of JW. The highlights of her tenure as PTO president include:
- Turning a negative PTO cash balance into a $20,000 surplus;
- Assisting parents in developing the first JW swim club;
- Being appointed by the District to participate in the Principal search committee for JW;
- Redesigning the JW spiritwear to make it more appealing to the kids, thereby improving school spirit, and helping to raise more funds; and,
- Finding an equivalent in quality/less expensive Washington, DC tour for the 8th graders.
Tamera’s ability to improve both the tangibles, such as cash balance and sports offerings, as well as the intangibles, such as school spirit, bodes well for her future success as a member of the Princeton Council. For this reason, we (see signatures below), enthusiastically endorse her candidacy for Princeton Council.
Elizabeth Collier, Susan Kanter, Roxanne List, Leah McDonald, Joan Morelli, Lucy Quach Saengtawesin, Elizabeth Samios, AnaMaria Silva, Jeanette Timmons, and Diana Traquina
Democratic Slate Represents a Mix of Talent
There are a dozen reasons I am supporting the six candidates for Council endorsed by the Democratic Committees of the Borough and Township. The first six reasons are the candidates themselves. Each has a record of extraordinary leadership and service, an in-depth knowledge of local government, and the seasoned judgment needed to meet the challenges ahead.
The other six reasons these candidates deserve our support:
1. they are determined to deliver the savings and the efficient and responsive government promised by consolidation;
2. they will defend our time-tested commitments to diversity, affordable housing and the preservation of our neighborhoods;
3. they will protect open space and the environment and the sustainability of our community through growth management;
4. they will work as a team by reaching across the old municipal boundaries to ensure that our new government is truly representative of the entire community;
5. they will strive to maintain an effective working relationship with Princeton University as a respected partner in shaping our community; and
6. they have the confidence of grassroots Democratic committee people who know them best.
Please vote for Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Patrick Simon, Bernie Miller, Jenny Crumiller and Jo Butler. They are six strong individuals who also represent a mix of talent and experience best able to lead the new Princeton.