Citing the need to maintain the quality of life and the small-town character that has drawn residents to Princeton, Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller announced her re-election campaign kickoff yesterday.
Crumiller, who served on the former Princeton Borough Council and supported consolidation, is seeking her second three-year term on the six-member, all Democrat governing body.
In her first term on the consolidated Princeton Council, she has served on the planning board, the information technology committee, the ordinance harmonization committee, the traffic and transportation committee, and the public works committee.
“I have done my best to make our new government inclusive and transparent, and to look for cost savings without diluting the quality of services,” she said. ” There is more to be done, I know what needs to be done, and this is why I am seeking reelection.”
She and her husband Jonathan have lived in Princeton for 25 years, and are the parents of three adult children, all of whom attended the Princeton Regional schools. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University.
Crumiller says developer-driven growth and the loss of affordable homes through teardowns as a major problem for Princeton.
“Princeton residents value our small town quality of life and our diversity,” she said. “It is a major challenge to figure out how we shape our land-use polices so that we can preserve the character of existing neighborhoods and prevent the continuing loss of smaller, more affordable homes.”
Taxes and affordability must be top priorities, she said, adding that the Princeton Council controls only about 23 percent of residents’ property tax bills (the schools receive about 50 percent and the county 27 percent). She said she looks for cost savings wherever she can and will continue to work to minimize increases in the municipality’s portion of tax bill.
Crumiller listed increased traffic and speeding on local roads as “another issue that affects all of us who want to live in a walkable and bikeable town.”
She pointed to her work with the engineering staff and community members to improve pedestrian and bike safety and with the police department to prevent speeding.
Crumiller said she has also worked to make sure that local government is transparent. She initiated new policies to air planning board and zoning board meetings on community access television. She also successfully advocated for the publication of monthly police reports that include statistics for traffic stops and use-of-force incidents by gender and race. As a member of the town’s information technology committee, she has been working on a new website for the town.
According to Crumiller, the work of harmonizing the ordinances of the former Borough and Township has been one of the most complex challenges of consolidation.
“We have made good progress,” she said. “But the work is still ongoing, most particularly the work with the land use ordinances…Land use rules are really important because they have concrete effects on neighborhood character and on affordability. We have to study these carefully to get it right.”
Crumiller serves on a subcommittee that has been meeting regularly to review the body of ordinances and recommend changes.
Walter Bliss, a former School Board member whom she met while working on the Bill Bradley campaign, is serving as her campaign chair. Her treasurer is Peter Lindenfeld, a founding member of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization.
Crumiller will face at least three other Democrats in the June primary. Voters will choose two council members this year. Residents Tim Quinn, Letitia Fraga, and Anne Neumann have all announced that they will run in the Democratic primary.