Planet Princeton

Letters: Butler Represents Interests of Princeton Residents

lettericonButler Asks Important Questions

Dear Editor:

I urge Princeton Democrats to support Jo Butler for reelection to the Princeton Council on June 3rd.

It is troubling to me that a slate has been created to oppose Jo.  No substantive reasons have been offered for this, and it is hard to resist the conclusion that Jo has ruffled feathers by asking questions instead of just ratifying whatever is put on the agenda.  This is disheartening since without real deliberations on Council those of us who are not insiders in the process will never have a real chance to have our views heard.

Especially in what is essentially a one party town, it is important to me that we have a diversity of opinions and viewpoints on the council.  I believe that cerebral and creative deliberations lead to better decisions than  “yes” votes favored by the slate.   Princeton will be better served by the candidate who will challenge assumptions, ask the hard questions, listen to the views of citiziens,  and insist on a truly collaborative process.
Jo Butler is that candidate.

Debra Lambo

Butler Represents Interests of Princeton Residents

To the Editor:

After various proposals to consolidate the two Princetons failed, it was said that the Berlin Wall would fall before Princeton was united, which turned out to be an accurate prediction. Finally, in the second decade of the 21st century, citizens voted to consolidate the two municipalities and adopted a borough form of government with the expectation of lively engagement.

Sadly, one year after the inauguration of One Princeton, the mayor and three council members made it clear, by endorsing another candidate, that they wanted to oust incumbent Councilwoman Princeton Jo Butler, who had also been a member of Princeton Borough Council.

Their reasons for this troublesome attempt to influence voters remain unclear. Vague references to increasing collegiality on Council are not much of an explanation since Jo Butler voted with the majority 97 percent of the time.

So, what were the reasons for this slap in the face that has resulted, not in increased collegiality, but in intense discord within the town and voters fearing that they would lose friendships over a municipal election?

Is it because Jo Butler stated in a Council meeting that she could not vote to approve contracts that none of the Council members had yet seen, thus putting taxpayer funds at risk?

Is it because Jo Butler insisted on a Conflict of Interest Policy reflecting state requirements that a member of council should recuse him- or herself from voting on matters in which he/she or a member of his/her family have a significant financial or personal interest? This is a particularly difficult issue in a town where many residents have ties to Princeton University. The university is a major financial force and developer; therefore, votes by a member of Council who is employed, or whose spouse is employed, by the university puts the town at a serious risk of time-consuming and expensive lawsuits that would be funded by taxpayers.

Is it because Jo Butler questioned the consistency of legal bills that were—as a result of her inquiries—reduced, thus saving taxpayers thousands of dollars?

Whatever the reason, we believe that representatives on Council should be chosen by the voters. We support Jo Butler because she has shown herself to be exceptionally competent, conscientious, and responsive to constituent concerns. She represents the interests of Princeton residents, not the narrow agenda of those who think that Council members should always agree.

There are three people running for two seats on Princeton Council. Make your voice heard. Vote in the primary on June 3 for Democrat Jo Butler, Princeton’s independent voice on Council.

Scotia W. MacRae
Richard S. Blofson

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Sandra J. Bierman

    Now, back to Jo Butler, I have put my opinions out. I know how intelligent, honest, progressive, hard worker, and independent thinker she is. She is serving the community and she reads the fine print, she respects her constituents’ views because this is for whom she is working. She asks questions. All what she wants is to really understand the issues in order to vote fairly. Is that wrong? Not in my book. In my book, Princeton has benefited during the time she has been part of the council. An even if small stuff such as the raise of the council salaries delays a vote, good for her and Jenny and Patrick,who want to keep their promise, to know how low the salaries are and run because they want to serve and not for the money (that would be ridiculous as it is ridiculous that the raise will attract others to run), that is being conscious and that is another good quality.

  • Sandra J. Bierman

    I applaud these letters, well written, articulate and accurate. Hopefully, people who vote could understand that if there is need of 2 votes, they DO NOT have to vote for the slate. I have a very valid question to Ms Nemeth and is asking her why she didn’t think she could run on her own and needed to be part of a ticket. So far, I hear “silence”. Unless it is a presidential tkt, I would never run as a slate, too much is in the mix and expectations on what I should do from those who had the clever idea would tie my hands, I would feel like a puppet, but well, this is how I feel…perhaps, for political animals it doesn’t matter. I have a brain of my own, I have principles, and a conscience, I couldn’t just follow the crowd just because.

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