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Princeton Borough Mayor 2011

NOVEMBER 2011 PRINCETON BOROUGH
MAYORAL CANDIDATES QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES

NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION

Vote Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Polls are open from 6 AM to 8 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: These are the verbatim responses of the  candidates for Princeton Borough mayor to questions presented by The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area in cooperation with The Princeton Packet.  The candidates were allowed to vary the length of their answers to the three questions but were given a word limit for the total.

Candidates – Vote for one (four-year term)

Jill Jachera – Republican, Employment attorney, Website: www.jill4mayor.com

Yina Moore – Democrat, Architect/planner and self-employed consultant, YAM Design and Development, Website : www.YinaMooreforMayor.com 

What are the key issues that you think are most important to resolve in achieving an agreement with the University about the Arts, Education and Transit district?

Ms. Jachera: Transportation issues are of critical importance. They affect many aspects of the quality of life in our town. The MOU signed by Borough Council allocates funding for a transportation study to develop a comprehensive transit plan. After the study is completed, I will work with the University to implement the plan and encourage the use of public transportation.

Ms. Moore: Princetonians are understandably excited about the proposed arts education district.   However, Princetonians want to lead in progressive land use planning, and they want the University to be part of that leadership.  A major barrier to unequivocal public support for the arts district has been the proposal to relocate the Dinky and privatize the right-of-way.   The divide could be healed if the University can be persuaded to rethink this part of its plan.

Are you in favor of consolidation as it will be described on the ballot?  Why or why not?

Ms. Jachera: I will vote for consolidation, and if it is passed, I will work to achieve the benefits of consolidation and minimize the detriments to the residents of the Borough.

The potential benefits outweigh the potential detriments.  Consolidation will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our government operations, reduce delays on critical projects, improve public safety and relieve pressure to increase density in the downtown when we need additional ratables in the future. In addition, high property taxes are forcing citizens to leave Princeton. Consolidation, if done correctly and under the right leadership, can achieve important cost savings. Mayor Goerner  publicly stated that he will recommend my request to use a zero-based budget.  This will allow the newly formed  government to take advantage of a golden opportunity to engage in strategic planning and ensure the efficient allocation of our resources.

Ms. Moore: Proponents believe consolidation will benefit both municipalities through new opportunities for efficiency, cost-savings, and responsiveness to common interests. Opponents, are concerned that consolidation with a “Borough Form of Government” will dilute representation – particularly in the Borough where voters are currently outnumbered by Township voters two to one– and worry that a larger tax base may encourage greater spending.  People I respect have strongly-held views on both sides. 

In the spirit of one community, I wish I could state with conviction that consolidation will achieve the goals its proponents envision so that significant benefits accrue to the Borough.   If consolidation passes, my experience will position me to achieve the anticipated savings while ensuring Princeton’s sustainability as an inclusive and affordable community.

Whether or not we consolidate, there will still be a time period when elected officials work on the business of Borough government. What would be your major concern for the Borough in the coming year? 

Ms. Jachera: Providing strong, focused leadership that will help clarify our goals, develop a strategy and bring together the talent and energy to accomplish those goals.

Using a zero-based budget to get control of our budget, realize potential savings and make Princeton more affordable.

Encouraging the University to further invest in our community towards mutually beneficial goals by establishing a constructive, respectful dialogue.

Preserving the historic nature of Princeton, while taking action to achieve development at critical sites without unnecessary delays which would cause eyesores in the community and a loss of critical tax revenue and jobs.           

Being an ambassador for Princeton, as I work with the residents, businesses, the University, Township, State and County to confront whatever issues we will face and make Princeton the best that it can be.

Ms. Moore:  If consolidation passes, implementation will determine whether the projected savings materialize.  As Mayor, I will identify a transition team with the requisite financial and public policy experience to ensure that Borough fiscal and planning concerns are reflected in merger details. I will reach out to groups who favored and those who opposed consolidation to make sure that differing points of view are heard.

Regardless of the vote on consolidation, I will draw upon the knowledge and wisdom of our many talented citizens as I pursue my overall goal of promoting a sustainable and inclusive Princeton.   I will support “no-frills” spending, maintain quality services, keep our taxes and assessments in line, review shared services budgets, and I will work to engender a positive and productive relationship with the Township.  I will work with the University community – including my network of fellow alumni - to bridge recent divides.


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