Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association to host Princeton Council candidate forum on Saturday

The Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association will host a public forum for Princeton Council candidates on Sat., May 4 at the First Baptist Church.

The Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association will hold a public forum for Princeton Council candidates this Saturday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church on John Street. All four candidates who have registered to run for council have confirmed their participation. Coffee and other refreshments will be served at the event.

Yina Moore, co-convener of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association, said the association has held several forums prior to local elections in previous years. The organization holds events that focus on issues specific to the needs of the neighborhood’s residents, but Moore said the topics, questions, and answers are often of interest to the entire community.

“As always, the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association welcomes broad participation and attendance for this Saturday’s forum,” Moore said.

The forum will offer an opportunity for candidates to address issues, identify their priorities, stake their positions, and propose solutions, she said.

“Despite the vibrancy of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and the steadfast nature of its residents, one need only refer to the Sunday, April 28 New York Times front page article entitled ‘The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The HomeBuyers Are Mostly White’ to gain a sense of the challenges to sustaining socio-economic diversity in our oldest central neighborhoods,” Moore said. “The real estate analysis of the relative value of improvements and land, as well as the affects of local economies, can be applied to the phenomenon of McMansions, an issue that has impacted many neighborhoods in the Princeton community. There has never been more urgency than now to underscore the importance of engaging in public discourse.”

The Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood also will host a “Welcome Weekend” May 18 and 19 that will include the unveiling of historic plaques for the neighborhood’s four churches and a presentation of ideas for improving the fence along Paul Robeson Place that forms the southern boundary of the historic neighborhood.

One Comment

  1. The candidates should state what they will do about changing the formula used for assessments. The current formula undervalues the building value and overstates the land value, which causes McMansions and gentrification to increase the taxes of long-term residents living in more modest homes.

    Politicians have said that the formula is required by the state, but the state only requires assessments to represent market value. The different market values, as demonstrated by home sales, of different properties on similar parcels of land, are not reflected in Princeton’s tax assessments as the fictious “land value” dominates. One can’t help feeling cynical when expensive Princeton homes don’t pay their full market value in taxes when inexpensive homes are often paying exactly market value, or more.

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