Niedergang ready to tackle difficult issues

To the Editor:

As a Princeton resident and local businessman, the upcoming Council race really matters to me.  I have known Eve Niedergang for more than a decade and she is someone who I deeply admire. I consider her a champion of progressive causes and a person who is guided by a strong moral compass. By now, you may know of her tireless work at the Princeton Public Library and various other community organizations and at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. Her commitment to volunteerism seems limitless, an important characteristic in a municipal representative. When she announced her candidacy, we met to discuss her mission as councilwoman and the thing that impressed me most is her willingness to lead. Eve will be thoughtful and thorough in her decision making and will firmly lead our community in the right direction.

The businesses that I own with my brother, Tay River Builders and Willard Brothers Woodcutters, do much of their work in Princeton. We focus on reducing our town’s carbon footprint by building or renovating homes to make them energy efficient.  We are interested in innovative types of housing, like micro and accessory dwelling units, that will encourage economic diversity and can allow people from a range of incomes to live side by side in the same walkable neighborhood with a lowered energy impact.  We also remove trees, dry the wood and turn it into furniture. Environmental initiatives that can be enacted locally to reduce Princeton’s carbon footprint and general environmental impact are important to me and mesh with my businesses. Princeton can and should lead in these arenas: we should change the way we think about home energy consumption, disposable waste, and the utilization of the natural resources that our town provides. Eve is ready to tackle these difficult issues through her guidance at the various municipal offices and by encouraging grass roots movements.

I interact regularly with the Construction and Zoning Boards and other local government agencies which do everything from granting zoning approval to inspecting construction. Princeton also cares deeply and is protective of its tree canopy under the Shade Tree Committee within the Department of Infrastructure, which businesses like mine deal with during tree removal.  The Princeton Council helps shape the business climate for us and other business owners and it is important to have council members who are committed to minimizing bureaucracy while also ensuring that we protect our town, its architectural character, and our tree canopy.  Eve understands that change must be shaped to support the goals of social and economic diversity as well as to protect our environment and natural settings, goals I support both personally and professionally.

For all of these reasons, I’m voting for Eve in the Democratic primary on June 5 and urge you to do so. Eve will be good for the environment, good for business and great for our community.

Abel Smith