Princeton Chamber Asks to Delay Application to Lease Kiosk
The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce has requesting that the Princeton Council table its application to lease the kiosk until a later date.
The Chamber still believes that kiosk upgrades are beneficial to the downtown community and is considering developing design changes and community partnerships to achieve this goal.
“The kiosks need to be upgraded. We continue to hear from the community that they are unsightly, disorganized and not achieving the goals that they were designed for,” said Peter Crowley, President and CEO of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, in a press release about the decision to postpone the vote on the plan. “We are asking for additional time before requesting final approval so we can make adjustments to the medium mix on the kiosk, which we are hopeful, will meet all of the community’s needs. We will continue to work with the municipality, the business, arts and local residents in a partnership approach so we can have a design that meets everyone’s needs.”
Listening to additional feedback and reevaluating the design is the next step for the project, Crowley said.
“We also want to further examine the costs of maintenance and upkeep and see if we can come up with a plan that reduces the cost to upgrade the kiosk and minimize the expected ongoing maintenance support,” Crowley said. “Our goal continues to be to develop a public – private partnership that does not have the taxpayers of Princeton responsible for funding the renovation costs. As a regional nonprofit organization it is very difficult for us to sustain a project like this alone without a way to fund it.”
Many residents oppose changing the kiosks, and don’t want the kiosks to include paid advertising. The Chamber argues that the kiosk upgrades will “enhance the Princeton experience” with additional room for information, maps and local cultural events.The Chamber is working on incorporating Council suggestions into the plan.
“Councilman Patrick Simon’s suggestion of an early release plan for both the lease and leaser was a unique approach and is an idea that we will incorporate into our discussion,” Crowley said. “We appreciate his, as well as many of the council’s suggestions for how the kiosk might be improved. We want the final design to be a partnership that works.”
The Chamber held a press conference to announce the delay. Planet Princeton was not invited because the Chamber has been unhappy with Planet Princeton’s coverage of the issue.
I may be cloistered, but I haven’t heard anyone in the community say that the kiosks are “unsightly, disorganized and not achieving the goals that they were designed for,”, quite the opposite. The kiosks are achieving precisely the goals they were designed for.
Apart from the Chamber of Commerce, I’ve heard no one in favor of suppressing free speech.
Maybe I’m just not listening to the “right” people.
Hmm. I had exactly the same thought as Kb Cash. I haven’t heard anyone in the community saying that the kiosks were what Mr. Crawley was saying.
Politicians have a knack for interpreting what they believe to be the truth.The same is true here. Chambers have little regard for the citizenry.
I agree with all. Just leave it be. Some things are just part of the town and do not need to be reinvented. All the people working on this…. move on to something important. some things do not need to be reinvented.
Roger Martindell and I opposed the Chamber of Commerce plan because it is unnecessary and a threat to free speech. We have precious few public places in Princeton that are not already private commercial domains and we need to preserve the kiosks as a rare but special means of community speech. And just as Planet Princeton was kept out of the Chamber’s press conference, other speakers, too, will ultimately be kept from kiosks under the control of local merchants. Our merchants are indeed valued and well-loved members of our community but speech belongs to the people, not private commercial groups.
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