To the Editor:
We write to support Michelle Pirone Lambros’s candidacy for Princeton Council. Unlike all other council members or candidates, Michelle is a business person, with much experience and proven expertise in negotiating large budgets and contracts (both in the United States and abroad). She has extensive capabilities in communications strategies; her capacities have obviously been acknowledged by executives in Kuwait, Mexico, and elsewhere. These are necessary skills in managing “Princeton”—but also in dealing with Princeton University (whose payment-in-lieu-of-taxes comes up for renegotiation in 2021); the University’s needs for our municipal services (such as fire-fighting) increase as the University expands. Michelle has the important, broad and long-term experience in the public world where multiple voices must be heard and reconciled—and directed towards the best public good.
Michelle is committed to equity: financial as well as social inclusiveness. She will push for municipal budgeting that allows residents to pay 30% of their income for housing, not 50%, as well as needed services such as a laundromat and an urgent care center near the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. Michelle understands that climate change (when translated into power outages, floodings, etc.) affects finances of the “under-served” hardest. Keen on social justice, she will push for environmentally sustainable solutions; coming from Princeton’s culturally rich Italian community whose people have served Princeton in so many ways as teachers, police, fire volunteers (all being priced out of Princeton), she will work to ensure Princeton’s social and economic integrity.
She will act progressively on the development of the Franklin Street lot, knowing that, in the limited space remaining in Princeton, well-planned building density can bring inclusion and sustainability to the town. As a member of the Princeton Merchants Association, she knows that twenty-two vacant storefronts are more than “a disaster” for business-owners and “downtown” (always threatened by Route 1 and Amazon): they represent revenue lost to the municipality which otherwise could have been used to arrange, for example, tax assistance for the those on the wrong side of the income gap. We trust Michelle to imagine and implement long-term solutions that will ensure Princeton’s viability as a town (and not the University’s shadow).
Michelle listens, takes notes, thinks; acts. Vote for Michelle Pirone Lambros.