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Plainsboro Township Committee 2000

2000 VOTERS GUIDE

NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION

Vote Tuesday, November 7, 2000

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. 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 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 Plainsboro Township Committee:

1. 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 Plainsboro?

2. In regard to traffic and pedestrian safety, what improvements or solutions would you recommend?

3. What is the most pressing problem in your community and what do you propose to do about it?

 

CANDIDATES FOR PLAINSBORO TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

Vote for TwoTerm: 3 years

KHARY I. CAUTHEN
Republican Party

Address:5308 Hunters Glen Drive, Plainsboro

Education: BS Bachelor of Science, Business And Finance, Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg Md

Occupation:State of New Jersey, Aide to the Governor

Significant Community Activities:Member, New Jersey State FFA (Future Farmers of America); member, New Jersey Agricultural Society; member, New Jersey Farm Bureau

Responses:
1. I believe that this rule if implemented in Plainsboro would be a decisive way to preserve open space and promote smart, controlled growth. As I understand it, the rule seeks to guide future development along the path of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, directing wastewater expansion to already developed places while preserving rural or environmentally sensitive areas.

Before a developer seeks to extend sewer service or solid septic systems over a certain size, an environmental analysis must take place. The rule will be particularly beneficial to the undeveloped areas around the Plainsboro Preserve by helping us identify and preserve these key lands.

As Township Committee members, my running mate and I will work with residents, landowners and County and State Governments to insure that the integrity of the Preserve is maintained.

2. Traffic on Plainsboro Road around Davison Park must be calmed. In addition to the Park, several pedestrian crosswalks and a bike path come out onto the road. Presently there are plans for a new traffic signal. I believe that for pedestrians, joggers, and bikers to truly cross safely, the speed limit MUST come down from 45 m.p.h. The same is true of enforcing low speed limits around the WW-Plainsboro North Campuses when children are present.

3. The most pressing problem in Plainsboro is lack of involvement by all groups in the life and progress of the city. In too many instances, residents are informed of Committee decisions and changes in policy after there is no opportunity for community discussion and input.

A certain few make the decisions for the multitude without direct input. The Township newsletter must be a living document which communicates to residents not only the decisions and offerings of the township but also be an outlet for new voices to seek answers to their questions and a forum for suggestions.


DONALD DeWITT
Republican Party

Address: 1608 Fox Run Drive, Plainsboro

Education: BA Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Md.; MBA, Entrepreneurship/International Business, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Occupation: Financial Consultant

Significant Community Activities: Reserve Officer Association/Sons of the American Revolution/Rutgers; and Johns Hopkins Alumni Associations

Responses:
1. See Cauthen Answer above

2. Traffic congestion in Plainsboro keeps getting worse, and traffic safety for pedestrians, especially children, continues to deteriorate. My running mate and I will spend what's needed on road and traffic improvements which benefit everyone rather than attention grabbing special projects which affect few in our community. There also need to be sensible lower speed limits in neighborhoods where families live.

3.The most important decision Plainsboro Township will make in the dawning years of the 21st century will be how to wisely allocate its limited resources. The tax and spending priorities the Township Committee set will directly affect every citizen of Plainsboro. 
Today, when tax revenues are rising, many communities unwisely make their plans based on the assumption that money will continue to roll in.

The problems start when the economy slows down and spending growth exceeds revenue growth. Plainsboro is not allowed to run a deficit, so when it overspends, taxes must go up.


GINGER C. GOLD
Democratic Party

Address: 191 Hampshire Drive, Plainsboro, NJ 08536

Education: Master of Government Administration, University of Pennsylvania, 1994; J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 1993; B.A., Douglass College, Rutgers University, 1990; Graduate, West Windsor- Plainsboro H.S., 1986

Occupation:Associate Director of Government Relations for New Jersey Education Association

Significant Community Activities: Community Activities: Member, Plainsboro Township Committee; Former Vice Chair, Plainsboro Zoning Board of Adjustment; Member, Plainsboro Public Library Board of Trustees; Member, Plainsboro Historical Society

Responses:
1. This proposed rule would not have a significant impact on Plainsboro. This is because Plainsboro has adopted and vigorously enforced a Master Plan that is consistent with the State Plan. Our Master Plan calls for the preservation of a significant amount of open space. Where there is development, we have successfully managed our sewer capacity to meet the needs caused by it. 

2. Plainsboro has developed a comprehensive plan for traffic and pedestrian safety. I would recommend the speedy implementation of that plan. We have already begun to implement that plan by constructing over one mile of new sidewalks in the last year. This fall we are beginning the first phase of a traffic calming project along Plainsboro Road. We have also incorporated many traffic and pedestrian safety features into our village center plan. These features include intersectional improvements, bikeways, and better signalization.

3. Like most vibrant and thriving communities, Plainsboro's biggest challenge is to find ways to continue to improve the quality of life here for our residents. First, we must continue to be fiscally responsible. Plainsboro currently has the lowest municipal tax rate and the highest bond rating in Middlesex County. If we are to maintain that distinction, we must continue to vigilantly protect our tax base. Second, we must continue to expand recreational and cultural opportunities for our residents. I support the expansion of the Plainsboro Public Library and the creation of more public spaces in the municipal complex and as incorporated into the village center plan. I also plan to work aggressively toward the development of an environmental education and nature center on the Plainsboro Preserve and toward the implementation of phase II of our Community Park.


NEIL J. LEWIS*
Democratic Party

Address: 31 Bradford Lane, Plainsboro, NJ 08536

Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, Metabolism, Ohio State University; Ph.D. Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas; B.S. Chemistry, City College of New York

Significant Community Activities:Deputy Mayor, 1998-present; Plainsboro Township Committee 1995-present; Public Safety Liaison (police, rescue, fire district) 1995- present; Environmental Liaison 1995-present; Plainsboro Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) 1989-present;
Chairman EAC 1991-1994; Township Committee Liaison 1995-present; Plainsboro Transportation Task Force; Plainsboro Development Review Committee; Chairman, Citizens School Referendum Committee, West Windsor-Plainsboro School District,1993; WW-P School District 2001 Facilities Review Committee, 1991; WW-P School District High School Futures Committee, WW-P, 1993; Volunteer, WW-P Soccer, Cranbury-Plainsboro Little League, & WW-P Basketball

Responses:
1. The Governor's proposed watershed management planning would not impact Plainsboro which has put into place a comprehensive Master Plan that is consistent with the State plan. Plainsboro has excelled in open space preservation/management and has provided for sufficient sewer capacity to meet planned development needs under its strongly enforced Master Plan.

2. Plainsboro has been working comprehensively to meet the challenges of traffic and pedestrian safety. This includes on-going construction, and expansion of long term planning for new bike paths and sidewalks throughout the community, and encompasses planning for a new village center. To improve safety, I support the ambitious traffic calming program for Plainsboro Road, and endorse continued intersectional improvements to decrease congestion, improve safety and enhance air quality. Central New Jersey must implement an environmentally responsible, comprehensive plan to relieve east-west congestion on local roads.

3. The greatest challenge we face is keeping Plainsboro a great place to live and work. This has been accomplished to date by attention to long-term planning, careful financial management and aggressive open space/environmental protection and preservation programs (nearly 45% of all land is now protected against future development). Our record of sound fiscal management (lowest municipal tax rate and highest bond rating in Middlesex County) will allow Plainsboro to continue with programs dedicated to quality of life benefits - - improved park and recreational facilities, community wide bike paths, and support of our library and new Plainsboro Preserve Nature Center. I am committed to enhancing the quality that originally attracted our residents to Plainsboro.