Jenny Crumiller was named president of the Princeton Council at the governing body’s annual reorganization meeting on Wednesday night.
The council members, who decided behind the scenes last month who would be named president, voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint Crumiller, who has served on the governing body for the consolidated Princeton for the last four years and previously served on the Princeton Borough Council.
Newcomer Tim Quinn was sworn in as the newest member of the six-member council, which is all Democratic.
Mayor Liz Lempert was sworn in by New Jersey Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker for a second four-year term.
Princeton has a borough form of government. Technically, the borough form is a “weak mayor and strong council” form, though some local governments in practice do not function as the state statute intends. In the borough form of government, the mayor retains all general law authority, presides over council meetings and can vote in the case of a tie. The mayor appoints, with the advice and consent of council, all subordinate officers of the municipality. The council is the legislative body of the borough. All executive responsibilities not placed in the office of the mayor by general law or the borough law remain with the council. Like the other traditional forms, a borough may appoint an administrator and delegate all or a portion of the executive responsibilities to him/her. The council may also adopt an administrative code, prescribing how the council shall perform it duties. As of 2006, 218 New Jersey municipalities operate under this form.
About 70 people attended the reorganization meeting at the municipal building.
Lempert brought up the presidential election a few times during a lengthy speech and said the council was dedicated locally to “protecting progressive values” and protecting immigrants. She cited the creation of two new commissions — a youth advisory commission for high school students and a civil rights commission — as two major accomplishments, and also praised the changes to the town’s zoning codes.
Councilman Bernie Miller, who announced he would not seek another term on the governing body after this year, called on the council to move forward with proposals to update the town’s public works facilities. He also voiced support for two solar panel projects — one on River Road this spring and a proposed second project on the roof of the municipal garage on Spring Street.
Crumiller echoed his comments regarding the need to build new public works facilities, adding that two other top priorities should be curing the “low-level crime epidemic” of speeding in Princeton and keeping houses residential rather than turning them into offices.Councilman Lance Liverman praised the creation of the civil rights commission and claimed the town has “the best youth leadership programs in the country.”
Councilwoman Jo Butler praised the police department for its work under difficult circumstances over the last year. She also applauded the work of the recreation department and Princeton Special Sports, a group that serves children and teens with special needs in the Princeton area.
Butler added that the town should partner with other communities when possible on important local, state and national issues, but also cautioned against empty rhetoric. “We need to be honest about where we can have an impact,” she said.
Quinn said one of his goals would be to help make Princeton a cycling-friendly town.
Officials thanked outgoing Councilman Patrick Simon for his work on the council.
About 70 people, including town staff and county officials, attended the meeting, which was followed by a reception sponsored by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization.