To the Editor:
To those interested in the future of Communiversity and whether to impose a fee on those attending, here’s some advice: go back to the event’s original purpose, keep it simple, and keep it free.
Communiversity was conceived as a celebration of University and community relations, fueled in particular by an appreciation of the arts and the spirit of non-profit community enterprises.
Today, it’s increasingly becoming a marketing tool for car dealers, banks, realtors, and non-local vendors, drawing tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Princeton, threatening to turn a special local day into merely another regional commercial platform.
While Princeton Council candidates might consider charging an attendance fee to offset Communiversity’s cost to local taxpayers, such a fee will lead to more government regulation and expense, and continue to drive away local participation and eclipse of the underlying purpose of the event.
Charging visitors to Communiversity is not only impractical; it would speed the unfortunate commercial tilt that the event has taken.
It would be wiser to simply pare down the effort to something closer to its earlier conception –- a celebration of the arts and non-profits –- and keep it free.
Mr. Martindell is a former longtime Princeton Borough Council member.