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Montgomery Township Committee 2000

2000 VOTERS GUIDE

NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION

Vote Tuesday, November 7, 2000

CANDIDATES FOR MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area is a nonpartisan, non-profit volunteer organization which works to promote active, informed participation of all citizens in their government. The League provide nonpartisan information on public issues, and takes action on issues after member study and consensus. In publishing this material, the League neither endorses nor rejects the views of any candidate quoted.

All candidate information in this guide was compiled from candidates' responses to questionnaires. Replies are printed in the candidates' own words, without editing or verification. Due to space limitation, the candidates were given a word limit for replies. Incumbents are indicated by an asterisk (*).

Reprinting of this guide in part or in whole is not permissible without written permission of the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area.

Copyright 2000 by the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area

The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area submitted the following three questions to all candidates for Montgomery Township Committee:

1. Should the former North Princeton Developmental Center (NPDC) be used for a "town center" and residential housing? If so, how can this development occur with minimal traffic impact?

2. Recently, Governor Whitman signed a bill allowing municipalities to seek waivers to state hunting regulations and develop their own deer management programs. How should Montgomery manage deer overpopulation?

3. Governor Whitman is proposing watershed management planning which would direct development to regions where water and sewer systems can handle additional volume. How would this proposed water protection rule affect development in Montgomery?

CANDIDATES FOR MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

Vote for OneTerm: 3 years


NATALIE FREEMAN

Democratic Party

Address:11 Cleveland Circle, Skillman, NJ

Education: B.A., Rutgers, Ph.D., Rutgers, M.P.H. joint program in public health at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University

Occupation: Adjunct Associate Professor, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Significant Community Activities:Elected member of the Montgomery Township School Board for 9 years, appointed member of the open space committee for 2 years, member of the community based group that successfully worked to preserve the 220-acre Ingersol Rand property from development.

Responses:
1. The community needs to define what is a "town center" and play a larger role in deciding if NPDC is appropriate for it. I do not believe the NPDC should be developed as a commercial center or used for residential housing. Since the Village School is located on the site and other public schools are close by, a use consistent with the presence of so many children would be best, such as a park, recreation area, or cultural center. NPDC should serve the needs of existing residents, not add to the problem of uncontrolled development. 

2. Deer management is increasingly a challenge with the loss of large tracts of open space for hunting. In addition, farms and residential developments are planted with crops and all sorts of landscape plants that are very attractive to deer. Lacking predators, hunting is the most
effective way to reduce deer populations. Although some people object to hunting, the safety threat that deer pose is too great to ignore. On roads subject to many deer accidents such as River Road and Route 206, use of ultrasonic beepers or new reflector posts on the roadside may be useful to
drive deer away from the streets.

3. In some areas of Montgomery, water lines have been brought in where aquifers could not support development. This is inappropriate. Governor Whitman is trying to give municipalities a powerful tool to control growth, and Montgomery has squandered at least one opportunity to use that tool. One of Governor Whitman's plans has allowed the use of mound septic systems in areas where there are no sewers and where the land does not percolate well. Mound septic systems should only be used if an existing septic system has failed and can not be rehabilitated.


DON MATTHEWS*
Republican

Address:28 Rutland Rd., Belle Mead, NJ 08502

Education: Graduate, Hopewell Valley High School; attended numerous Management Training Courses and non-matriculated College Courses

Occupation:Senior Vice President-Mid-State Filigree Systems Owner, Operator, Active Farmer - Kay-Wil Farm

Significant Community Activities:Township Committee,1982-Present;
Mayor,1985,1986,1993,1996,1997,2000; Deputy Mayor,1984, 1987, 1992, 1994; Planning Board, 1984-87, 1992-present; Zoning Board, 981-82; Police Commissioner-3 years; Chairman North Princeton Developmental Center Task Force; Economic Development Commission; Municipal Alliance on Substance Abuse Prevention; Rotary-Past President, Charter Member; Volunteer Fire Company #1 - 10 years; Van Harlingen Historical Society; Elks - 17 years; Arts Council - Charter Member;1860 House - Charter Member

Responses:
1.There are only 235 acres (out of 1055) available for redevelopment at the NPDC Campus. It is Residential 10 Acre Minimum Zoning. This would mean under the existing zoning, 20 Single Family Homes could be constructed. Currently, The State of New Jersey (The Landowner) and Montgomery are studying how to best reuse this property. Uses as varied as a Towncenter to Open Space are being explored. From the very beginning, I have been committed to support a plan that would be in the best interest of Montgomery Township. Two important elements for any reuse are its potential impact on local schools and roads. Under my leadership, the town has taken the position that the traffic impact from any redevelopment would be no greater than the traffic that was generated when NPDC was in operation.

2. The Governor's initiatives will allow local government to have a greater say in designing methods to manage local deer population. It recognizes the diversity of opinions and type of deer control issues local officials are dealing with across the state and allows greater flexibility in addressing this challenge. I have been working with our Environmental Commission to develop a plan that will address the growing Montgomery deer problem and protect Montgomery's residents and properties.

3. For towns like Montgomery that have traditionally relied upon individual septic systems and not sewer treatment plants for disposal, there should be relatively little impact from the new ruling. The proposed watershed management changes would most likely encourage growth in those towns that have large sewer treatment plants that can accommodate additional users. Montgomery has been careful to keep the size of its plants small, reflecting very localized sewering needs. I am in favor of these recent steps by the Governor to protect valuable watersheds and open space as they serve to reaffirm Montgomery's historical planning philosophy.


SONDRA L. MOYLAN*
Republican Party

Address:20 Wythe Court, Belle Mead, NJ 08502

Education: RN - St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing, Passaic, NJ; BS - St. Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ; MS - St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA

Occupation: Director of Research and Education for the Academy of Medicine of NJ which provides accredited continuing medical education for physicians, pharmacists, and nurses

Significant Community Activities:Montgomery Township Committee, Deputy Mayor; Volunteer member Montgomery Emergency Medical Services - past Captain,initiated ongoing community CPR program for the residents of Montgomery; Certified Emergency Medical Technician; Instructor, Community and Professional CPR, American Red Cross; Member, Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary Club; Member, 1860 House, Montgomery Cultural Center; Member, VanHarlingen Society; Montgomery Township Shelter Officer; Past member, Montgomery Township Board of Health; Past member, Montgomery Township Board of Adjustment; Past member, Montgomery/Rocky Hill Municipal Alliance on Substance Abuse and Prevention and Chairperson Red Ribbon Ball - 1997; Member, New Jersey Coalition to Promote Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment; Member New Jersey Advisory Council on Arthritis; Member Board of Trustees, Center for Proper Medication Use; Consultant, Medical Society of New Jersey Committee on Biomedical Ethics and Committee on Education; Founder and first President, Wallington, New Jersey's Volunteer Ambulance Corps; Member Speaker's Bureau for the American Heart Association, New Jersey Chapter for their women's initiative, Take Wellness to Heart.

Responses:
1. I support developing the NPDC site as a Town Center. Unfortunately, over the last several years the State has abandoned and allowed the deterioration of a majority of the buildings that we intended to use for small business, professional offices, and senior housing. In spite of these difficulties, I believe much can be done to accomplish our vision and keep traffic at levels no greater than when NPDC was in operation. Currently I am reviewing our consultant's report regarding the relocation of our municipal services (i.e. administration, police, court, and EMS) to the NPDC site. I believe we can develop a center that our youth, seniors, and all Montgomery residents will enjoy. 

2. The deer in Montgomery have become more than just an occasional nuisance, they have damaged farmer crops and destroyed landscaping at many homes and in many neighborhoods. As a member of Montgomery EMS, I respond to numerous accidents related to deer encounters. We have been fortunate that we have not had a motor vehicle death due to this problem. This issue must be addressed. I am not opposed to expanding hunting, including the targeting of the female deer. I believe professional hunting holds the greatest promise for success. We must protect our residents and natural resources.

3. Montgomery had the foresight more than 25 years ago to not regionalize our wastewater treatment infrastructure. We instead developed through smaller facilities in order to discourage higher density zoning that would be more compatible with regional sewers. I am well aware of the implications of the State's proposed watershed management rules and their intent. I am opposed to any loss of local authority that the rules propose. However, I do not see these rules heavily impacting future development decisions since Montgomery has already been following the spirit of the proposed rules for a long time.


LOUISE WILSON
Democratic Party

Address:519 Hollow Road, Skillman, NJ (Montgomery Township)

Education: B.A., Georgetown University

Occupation:Independent Research, Public Affairs Consultant

Significant Community Activities:12th Congressional District Land Use Advisory Committee; StreamWatch biological assessment team, Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association; Montgomery Baseball/Softball League volunteer coordinator for parents night; Arbor Day presenter, Orchard Hill Elementary School; Executive Committee, Montgomery Cub Scout Pack 185 

Responses:
1. I don't think it makes sense to build houses at the NPDC site. We need to discourage residential development, not encourage it. I have strong reservations about trying to turn NPDC into a "town center." We need to pay more attention to making our existing commercial and shopping areas more pedestrian friendly and less gridlocked -- not plunk a town center into a rural section of Montgomery. Other options that would generate less traffic and keep more land open include recreation facilities coupled with a community and senior center.

2. Montgomery's deer herd is much too large, and is very destructive to
agriculture and forest ecology. The deer also represent a health/safety
hazard for anyone who drives or rides in a car, and of course for victims of Lyme disease. Montgomery's uncontrolled development has actually increased deer habitat (they prefer edge-of-woodland) and has contributed to the problem. In the short term, the herd should be reduced the quickest and safest way possible -- through carefully controlled hunting. Over the longer term, sterilization may prove feasible.

3. Whitman's water quality rules give Montgomery another tool for controlling development. The township recently squandered an opportunity to use that tool, and instead chose to support a developer's request to extend sewer service to a piece of land close to the traffic-clogged intersection of Routes 206 and 518, so that the developer can build 218 units of housing on 134 acres. Whitman's new rules might have given the township leverage to negotiate a less intensive use of that land with fewer houses, thus reducing the traffic burden and environmental impact, and perhaps enabling us to preserve more open space on a beautiful tract of land. Montgomery cannot afford this kind of missed opportunity. We need to control development, and we need to do it now.