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Plainsboro Township Committee 1999

1999 VOTERS GUIDE

NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION

Vote Tuesday, November 2, 1999

CANDIDATES FOR PLAINSBORO 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 provides 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. Words in excess of the limit are deleted and indicated by a bullet (O). Incumbents are indicated by an asterisk (*).

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

Copyright 1999 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 Plainsboro Township Committee:

1. The Governor recently banned 102 inch-wide trucks from local highways and additional proposed legislation will give local police authority to inspect the trucks to determine if they are too wide. Does your local police force have the ability to enforce this ban with its existing budget and manpower? Should the ban be extended to 96 inch-wide trucks, too?

2. What policies would you pursue with respect to development and sprawl? If passed by the legislature, would you be in favor of assessing impact fees on developers to pay for services?

3. Controlling the continually increasing traffic and reducing speed limits within the town have been a major concern of citizens. What do you propose to ensure pedestrian safety and reduce excessive speeding on Plainsboro Road?

 

CANDIDATES FOR PLAINSBORO TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

Vote for OneTerm: 3 yearsSalary: $7,326

JOE ACOSTA
PARTY: Republican
Address: 6 Chandler Court, Plainsboro, NJ 08536

Occupation: 26 years of experience in news reporting, retailing, and restaurant management; Owner of "Pizza Joe's", Plainsboro

Community Activities: Little League Coach; Contributing Founder, Plainsboro's Queenship of Mary Church; Player/Coach, Plainsboro Co-ed Recreational Softball League; Served in the Military Police in the Armed Forces

Answers:
1. This is a state legislature issue, not a local issue, although our police could easily handle enforcement of this if it is enacted. Over-wide trucks are not half as much a problem for our local roads as is the unchecked over-development of our town, encouraged by my opponent. It has run way ahead of the committee's planning and creation of infrastructure to support the additional traffic. Poor road planning has choked our local roads and created locally hazardous, and even deadly, conditions. I would support extending the ban to 96-inch wide vehicles as well, especially for our narrower, historical streets that date back hundreds of years. (O)

2. I am opposed to further development, especially the construction of more apartment complexes and shopping centers in the center of town. When polled by the Township Committee two years ago, Two-thirds of the voters rejected the idea but my opponent continues to ignore the wants of the residents and to put developers first.

I want Plainsboro to be a place where the whole family can enjoy a variety of activities including such things as a community center, additional public recreational facilities and a Senior Center. I would be in favor of requiring developers to contribute to enhancing the quality of life in Plainsboro, not to contribute to entrenched politicians' campaigns.

3. The deaths and horrible injuries and accidents we have seen on Plainsboro Road are the direct result of a failure to plan correctly and to take decisive corrective action when the problem was recognized. The encouragement of sprawl has overburdened and congested our roads and nothing has been done to fix it even as residents are being killed and maimed on the "Plainsboro speedway". Immediate steps can be taken, such as a slower speed limit, placing warning cones at crosswalks like Cranbury does, better signage and lighting on the crosswalks, police presence at peak times, and, eventually, better, safer redesign of the crosswalks.

PETER A. CANTU*
Party: Democratic
Age: 59
Address: 11 Beechtree Lane, Plainsboro, New Jersey 08536

Education: Princeton High School Graduate, Attended Rider College

Occupation: Retired, Functional Manager - IBM Corporation; Currently, Executive Director of KMM, Inc., a nonprofit transportation management association

Community Activities: Current Mayor of Plainsboro; Member of Township Committee; Member of the Planning Board; Member of the Library Board of Trustees; Member of the Plainsboro Historical Society; Member the Lions Club, Former President of the Plainsboro Volunteer Fire Company, Chairman of the Middlesex County Agricultural Development Board, Member of the Executive and Legislative Committees of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Served on the Middlesex County Growth Management and Open Space Committee, Member of the Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Committee, Former Member of the New Jersey State Assembly, Former President, Southern Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce

Answers:
1. I strongly support the legislation that permits greater municipal control over truck traffic on local highways and roads. While our police force would be able to provide the necessary enforcement on local roads, I believe that enforcement on state highways should, at the minimum, be a shared responsibility with the State Police. In addition, incentives and improvements should be provided that would channel this traffic to appropriate state facilities, such as the NJ Turnpike.

2. Over the years I have supported and continue to support balanced community planning and strong implementation as the keys to dealing with sprawl and over development. This commitment grew out of a need to counter the massive building approvals granted in the early 1970s, without the benefit of an overall plan. I have consistently supported and remain committed to this planning process and its important components of open space and farmland preservation.

Today as a result of our efforts over 42% of our community is permanently preserved against future development.

For almost 10 years as a mayor and member of the NJ League of Municipalities Executive Committee, I have supported and worked for legislation that would allow for the assessment of impact fees on new development.

3. I supported both the study and the implementation of measures designed to create a more pedestrian friendly environment along the Plainsboro Road corridor. The Township is proceeding with the design and construction of intersection improvements at the intersections of both the Hunters Glen and Deer Creek Apartments and signalized improvements at Plainsboro Road and Thoreau Drive, which would include the realignment of the entrance to the Morris Davison Park. Also, the scope of work will include the construction of median islands in sections of Plainsboro Road. Construction cost estimate for the project totals $1.9 million with a spring construction target.