Democrat Adam Bierman has announced that he will seek a seat on the six-member Princeton Council again this year. Bierman, a Princeton native, ran for a council seat in the Democratic primary last year but was unsuccessful.
“I am running as a candidate for Princeton Council because I feel it is an opportunity and the time for me to step in and help with the progression of my hometown to intelligently move forward with the current challenges at hand,” Bierman said. He said those include building an effective and efficient regional transportation system and infrastructure, reducing debt, and increasing voluntary payments from Princeton University.
Bierman said he has a long track record as an independent, progressive Democrat who challenges the status quo. Last year during his campaign, he publicly opposed the local school district’s $137 million bond referendum because of concerns about Princeton remaining an affordable place to live. He has also been an advocate for nonpartisan local elections.
“Party politics should not matter when issues are local,” Bierman said. “As I said before and continue to do so, potholes and broken parking meters are not Republican, Democrat or Independent issues — they just need to be fixed.”
Bierman also said the town should be proactive, predict the future, and foresee what can go wrong with plans so that backup plans can be developed. Decisions should be based on data-driven, rigorous analysis, he said. He said he continues to monitor the evolving issue of the parking meter roll out. Some of the money earned from the new meters should be put into a fund for business district improvements and property tax relief, he said.
“I would love to see installed sensors that report the occupancy of each curb space on every block, and parking meters that charge variable prices according to the time of day,” he said. “In response to the observed occupancy rates, the town can adjust parking prices with the intent to make curb parking readily available, and to ensure that it accommodates as many customers as possible for the adjacent businesses. But first, let’s see what the treasure trove of data we are already collecting tells us about the new meters.”
Bierman said he believes that science and technology are the common threads that can provide solutions to many of the problems facing Princeton.
“For transportation and infrastructure, we should assemble an elite ‘Einstein’ tech committee, and at the same time honor the very famous resident of our town,” he said. The town should also institute pilot programs that help organizations learn how a large-scale project might work in a town of Princeton’s size. “Therefore, problems can be worked out before installation,” he said, adding that privacy and security issues also can be tested through pilot programs.
He said officials need to continue to monitor the effectiveness of the new local zoning ordinances in an effort to deter more tear downs of houses in Princeton. Officials also need to examine the feasibility of shared services between the town, schools, and surrounding towns and counties. He also called for the school board to set up an ad hoc independent committee to oversee how the school district’s $27 million from the bond referendum approved by voters in December is spent.
Princeton University should continue to fund the Witherspoon-Jackson trust to support a neighborhood that has been ravaged by higher property taxes, he said. The town also needs innovative solutions to the affordable housing problem in the form of tax credits for single bedroom units, he said.
Bierman is a Princeton High School graduate. He earned his bachelor’s and mater’s degrees in international affairs from Rutgers University. He is married with one daughter.
He has served as the treasurer for the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee, and as union steward for the Communications Worker of America. He also hosts two shows on Princeton TV.