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Princeton Borough Mayor and Council 1999

1999 VOTERS GUIDE

NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION

Vote Tuesday, November 2, 1999

CANDIDATES FOR PRINCETON BOROUGH MAYOR
and COMMON COUNCIL

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 permissible 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 Princeton Borough Mayor and Princeton Borough Common Council:

1. Temporary traffic-calming measures are being experimented with in the western section of the Borough. If found successful in reducing speeding, traffic volume and increasing pedestrian safety, should these same measures be applied to other areas in the Borough? How can the Council increase police department responsiveness to complaints from citizens about excessive speeding in particular neighborhoods?

2. How can you expedite the process of building or expanding the public library?

3. What effect will the Hightstown, Hillsborough, and Millstone Bypasses and NJ92 have on Princeton Borough?

  

CANDIDATES FOR PRINCETON BOROUGH MAYOR

Vote for OneTerm: 4 yearsSalary: $5,500 

FREDERICK R. BRODSINSKI
Party: Republican
Age: 51
Address: 102 Spruce Street

Education: A.B. St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA; M.S. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; M.A. Columbia University, New York, NY; ED.D. Columbia University, New York, NY

Occupation: College Administrator

Community Activities: Single parent, Raised two children who graduated from Princeton Regional High School.

Answers:
1. Everyone wants a safer environment for their children and their neighborhoods. Traffic - calming measures have been used effectively throughout Europe and in other cities in the United States. The safety we gain from a small increase in travel time can be well worth the effort. This is a quality of life issue that affects all Borough residents. We can use the experiment in the western section to benefit the rest of the Borough. Education and community standards should be used to lower speeding. The police should be the last resort in such situations as their response must be after the fact. We need proactive positive measures to have an impact on this issue.

2. As mayor, I would use my position and the forum afforded to it to act as a catalyst for action. I would move all parties to come to closure on a realistic attainable solution given the needs of the community and the funding available. I would call for end to all studies and consultants and encourage a community based plan which reasonable people and already overburdened taxpayers can support. It is time to end the deals and negotiations and compromise on an action plan.

3. It is an old adage that one cannot stop progress. One cannot have growth that does not produce more cars and more traffic. Unless we decided to put up gates at our borders we will have to deal with increased traffic for some time to come. We cannot enforce a moratorium on growth around us. As mayor I will work cooperatively with the NJ Department of Transportation to reach the best possible compromise for Borough residents on these inevitable changes in traffic flow. We must be a full participant in these highway construction projects if we are to have an influence on their outcome. I will be a strong voice for protecting the safety and quality of life for our Borough.


MARVIN R. REED*
Party: Democratic
Age: 68
Address: 6 Cameron Court, Princeton, NJ 08540

Education: B.S., M.S., Rutgers University; Additional graduate study, Northwestern and New York Universities

Occupation: Retired (former Communications Director, N.J. Education Assn., Trenton)

Community Activities: Mayor, Princeton Borough; Former President & Member, Princeton Borough Council; President, Downtown New Jersey, Inc.; Chair, Telecommunications Taxation Committee; N.J. State League of Municipalities Member; State of New Jersey Public Works Licensing Advisory Board; Past-President, Trenton-Hopewell Valley Family Service Assn. (now Family Guidance Association); Member, Mercer Fund Advisory Committee, N.J. Community Foundation

Answers:
1.As Mayor, I have pioneered new pedestrian protection efforts (police enforcement, bricked and mid-block crosswalks, mid-street "Yield" signs). Beginning with Chestnut Street's and Walnut Lane's reconstruction two years ago, the Borough began to use street-narrowing, intersection neckdowns, and crosswalks which clearly helped calm traffic. Working with Princeton Twp., I obtained a complete Planning Board study of Western Section traffic woes. This was followed by more recent Borough "calming" experiments . We are now carefully determining which are most effective and acceptable to residents there. At my urging such efforts, tailored to each neighborhood, are already planned to be tried on repaving projects soon to be undertaken on northeast section streets, Prospect Ave., and Mercer St. Within the limits of available staffing and balance of resources, I have gained and will continue stepped-up enforcement to ticket speeding motorists and trucks.

2. I have spearheaded the effort to keep the joint Borough/Township Library downtown, expand or replace it there, and construct an adjacent self-supporting municipal garage to provide sufficient hours of free parking for additional patrons. We've hired architects and will be stepping up public forums to win Borough Council and Township Committee approval of a final plan early in the coming year. Our downtown should continue to be the cultural and commercial center that draws the community together.

3. As a long-time advocate of a complete S-92 Bypass around Princeton, I have been prominent among municipal leaders who've demonstrated the disastrous impending impact on Harrison St. from poorly planned State bypass projects in Hightstown, in Hillsborough, and along the Millstone River. I will continue to challenge the State and University's "preferred alignment" and work with the Central Jersey Forum, which I convinced the State and federal regional agencies to establish to produce better inter-municipal planning in the Princeton area. This joint effort is the best way to produce realistic solutions.

 

CANDIDATES FOR PRINCETON BOROUGH COUNCIL

Vote for TwoTerm: 3 yearsSalary: $4,500


DAVID A. GOLDFARB*
Party: Democratic
Age: 45
Address: 12 Charlton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Education: Princeton High School, Yale University

Occupation: Legal Assistant, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Community Activities: Member (since 1990) and Chair of Public Works Committee, Princeton Borough Council; Treasurer and Active Firefighter, Princeton Hook & Ladder Co.; Member, Board of Trustees, Princeton Senior Resource Center; President, Board of Trustees, Princeton Summer Theater

Answers:
1. In some completed projects, the Borough has been successful in reducing speed and increasing pedestrian safety through the use of traffic-calming measures. We plan to incorporate similar measures into many of our future road repair projects. Although a reduction in overall traffic volume would be welcome, we will not implement measures that simply displace traffic from one residential area into another. The police department has been responsive to requests for increased enforcement, but cannot provide a full-time presence in every neighborhood. Intensive enforcement efforts have produced lasting effects in reducing speed.

2. Although roughly half of the funds for the library expansion will come from the Borough and the Township, the remaining funds will be raised from private sources. The project cannot begin until there is a plan that has the backing of the Borough, the Township, and the Library Board of Trustees, and also has sufficient support from donors. I am optimistic that the architect hired earlier this year by the Library Board of Trustees will design such a plan and that the project will gain the necessary support in the next year or two.

3. The lack of a true Princeton Bypass has resulted in Princeton Borough bearing more than its fair share of traffic in the region. The proposed NJ92 is a step in the right direction, but we must continue to push for its completion to Route 206 north of Princeton. Although the Hightstown Bypass and the Hillsborough Bypass, as currently proposed, may exacerbate existing traffic problems in the Borough, the greatest threat is from the proposed Millstone Bypass. The Borough is prepared to fight vigorously any alignment of the Millstone Bypass that would result in disproportionate traffic increases on Harrison and Alexander Streets.

 

ALAN K. HEGEDUS
Party: Republican
Age: 62
Address: 56 Armour Road, Princeton Borough

Education: BS, Engineering - Youngstown State University

Occupation: Corporate Executive (Retired)

Community Activities: Past Chairman, Princeton Area United Way; Member, Nassau Club; Member, Springdale Golf Club

Answers:
1. Regarding traffic calming measures, the experiments in the western section (Hodge Road) represent at best a modest palliative to a situation growing worse and more dangerous by the month. After costly consultant studies and years of consideration, it is tragic that residents have to live with the degradation of the quality of our neighborhoods that vehicular speeding and the sheer volume of traffic have inflicted. This can be changed, and without esoteric solutions. Direct, immediate and cost effective measures would include increased deployment of police surveillance, lowered speed limits, and curtailment of cut-through traffic using "No Left/Right Turn", "Local Traffic Only" and like limitations within the neighborhoods.

2. The library expansion must be revisited in the context of the Borough's worsening financial situation. We have limited discretionary funding available, given the excessive long term debt accumulated over the last ten years. The new and expanded library would be best expedited through the quite appropriate accumulation of funding from sources that would include the private sector and Princeton's tax exempt institutions, among others. Library fund drives are commonplace in other communities, and would give the Princetons a cause to share and rally behind.

3. The multiple bypasses proposed in areas surrounding Princeton have one thing in common - none will bypass us. Rather, we can expect ever more intense traffic problems as we increasingly become the commercial center of a vibrant central state economy. Enlightened self-interest coupled with proactive and directed action plans are the necessary response to larger regional or state directives. Either we become the masters of our local destiny, or others will continue to be.

 

MILDRED TROTMAN*
Party: Democratic
Age: 58
Address: 181 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ 08540

Education: B.A., Business, North Carolina State University at Elizabeth City,1964; M.A., Business and Distributive Education, Trenton State College, 1972; Advanced Study in Management

Occupation: President, S.A.M. Management Company

Community Activities: Member of Princeton Borough Council since 1984, President in 1991, 1993, 1996; Vice-Chair Mercer County Democratic Committee 1991, 1992, 1993; Police Commissioner; Chair-Public Safety Committee; Liaison to Affordable Housing Board; Non-Profit Housing; Task Force on Ethics; Member of Public Works Committee; Life Member NAACP; Member, National Political Congress of Black Women-Mercer County Chapter; Member, Mercer County Democratic Black Caucus; Member, NJ Assoc. for Elected Women Officials; Member, Women's Political Caucus of NJ; Member, NJ Federation of Democratic Women-Mercer County Chapter; Member, League of Women Voters

Answers:
1. Traffic calming measures should be tried in other sections with the type most appropriate for that particular neighborhood, i.e. width of roadway, density of neighborhood, residential exclusively or not, etc.

Police responsiveness can be increased by signals that inform drivers of speed, police cars to remind drivers someone may be watching, police concentrating heavily in one neighborhood diligently ticketing all offenders, etc.

2. Process of building or expanding library can be expedited by encouraging a decision to be made - period. Borough and Township must sit down and work through the differences and move on. It is not an easy decision given the many variables - two governing bodies, PSE&G, the different boards, Hulfish North at one point - and parking.

3. The Hightstown and Hillsborough Bypass will have a negative effect on Princeton Borough, it will reroute traffic not destined for those towns around those towns and back on those roads leading to Princeton. The Millstone Bypass as currently designed raises concerns environmentally, with drinking water, historic sites, park lands, residential character of neighborhoods, etc. Traffic patterns have to be looked at overall from a regional point of view, not piecemeal, or one town will be rewarded at the expense of another. NJ92 should relieve/circumvent some of the traffic that would otherwise end up in Princeton Borough.

 

KATE WARREN
Party: Republican
Age: 49
Address: 17 Jefferson Road, Princeton

Education: Attended the College of New Jersey 1968-70; Cittone Institute Graduate, 1981; Princeton School of Real Estate 1998

Occupation: Administrative Director, Northeast Career and Counseling Center, 407 Nassau Street, Princeton

Community Activities: Chair, Housing Authority of Princeton Borough Board of Commissioners; Former Chair, Princeton Borough Rental Housing Board; President, Princeton Engine Company #1 Ladies Auxiliary; Member, Mercer County Firemen Ladies Auxiliary; Member, NJ State Firemen Ladies Auxiliary; Chair, Senior Transportation Task Force; Senior Resource Center HomeFriend; Princeton Public Library HomeReader; Member, League of Women Voters; Crime Watch Block Coordinator; Ex-officio Executive Board Member,Princeton Republican Association; Vice-chair, Princeton Borough Republican Committee; Princeton Borough District 5 committeewoman

Answers:
1. Yes. However, the residents must have input into the design of such devices and their impact on a particular street and neighborhood. In addition, it is imperative that we strike a balance that ensures public safety, preserves our quality of life, as well as provides for the steady flow of traffic throughout the borough.

The second part of the question presupposes our police are non-responsive. The response of the Safe Streets Unit, in particular, has been exemplary. I have attended numerous community outreach meetings wherein excessive speeding was discussed and a plan of action developed to mutual satisfaction.

2. By encouraging Council to publicly debate future development of the central business district. Such a debate would flesh out public sentiment regarding plans for the library and the expansion of the Arts Council building in juxtaposition with the Hulfish North development. It would also allow for public commentary regarding the possible development of the Spring Street parking lots. Most importantly, it would require Council to make the long-awaited decision regarding their support or non-support of further development of the downtown, thereby forcing the debate on their commitment for additional parking.

3. The effect is a regional one. The construction of these bypasses will not necessarily lessen the amount of traffic traveling throughout the region; however, it may help the flow of traffic throughout the region and lessen the number of vehicles on rural and residential streets. Unfortunately, there is no Princeton Bypass. With the exception of NJ92, the terminus for all these bypasses is Princeton Borough. Therefore, it is imperative that Princeton Borough has elected officials who are in a position to negotiate with the State DOT to address quality-of-life issues to ensure we are able to preserve our unique character and sense of place.

 

CANDIDATES FOR PRINCETON BOROUGH COUNCIL
UNEXPIRED TERM

Vote for OneTerm: 1 yearSalary: $4,500 

WENDY BENCHLEY*
Party: Democrat
Age: 58 years
Address: 35 Boudinot St, Princeton, NJ 08540

Education: BA Skidmore College, 1963

Occupation: Princeton Borough Councilwoman

Community Activities: Founding member and member of Board of Trustees, 1983 to present, of New Jersey Environmental Federation, helped develop two award-winning advocacy programs, "Home Safe Home" and "The Environmental Shoppers Campaign" and helped organize an eight year campaign against the Mercer County Incinerator; Advisory Board of Isles, 1989 to present; Public policy work: Princeton Regional Planning Board, 1978-1984; reappointed in 1999; MSM Board of Directors, 1984-1989; Mercer County Freeholder, Nov 1992-Jan1994; Borough Council liaison to Environmental Commission, Regional Health Commission and Traffic & Transportation Committee.

Answers: 1. The experiments have produced some positive results. The Borough should continue to be innovative and purchase portable, rubber speed tables and raised crosswalks, such as those used in Portland, Oregon. These units should be tried throughout the Borough and residents can then decide what works best for them.

Speeding can be reduced by: (1) Ticketing at speeds 3 to 5 m.p.h. over the limit - not 8 to 15 m.p.h. as is sometimes the case; (2) Pushing for state legislation allowing local police to video speeding vehicles and issue tickets through the mail. Major highways - the NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, etc. - would be exempt. Thousands in tax dollars would be saved by freeing police for other duties.

2. The library cannot be expanded until parking is addressed. I support a reconstructed library block that would ideally include an inviting open public space - a plaza, park or winter garden - pedestrian walkways and a garage. The garage would be hidden by a "skin" of brownstone buildings housing stores, offices and apartments. This redevelopment would increase the Borough's tax base. It would help the merchants, library, Arts Council, YMCA/YWCA and all downtown institutions, and the people who use them, to thrive.

3. The Bypasses will speed traffic toward Princeton where already clogged intersections will become grid-locked. Traffic on the Millstone Bypass will severely impact the D&R Canal State Park with noise, air and water pollution. These Bypasses are examples of the NJ Department of Transportation's lack of regional planning. NJDOT must begin to use less of its budget for road expansion and more on other modes of transportation - as required by Federal law - such as jitney busses, bicycles and light rail. I will continue to work in opposition to the current Millstone Bypass alignment and invite the State DOT and Princeton University to join in supporting alternatives.

 

THOMAS (TOMMY) PARKER
Party: Republican
Age: 47
Address: 11 Lytle St., Princeton, NJ 08540

Education: Rutgers University, Northeastern University, American Institute of Para Legal Studies

Occupation: Labor Representative

Community Activities: Human Services Commission; Civil Rights Committee Chair; Recording Secretary, NJ State Labor Council S.E.I.U.

Answers:
1. If the traffic calming devices prove successful in the western section of the Borough then they absolutely should be applied in other areas of the Borough. Our neighbors and children's pedestrian safety should be our first consideration.

Along with the possibility of hiring more officers the Borough may want to consider electronic sentries that display the speed limit and the speed at which the driver is currently travelling. This has proved to be an effective deterrent to speeding in other communities.

2. The Council should work closely with the zoning board, the library, the community and the township to expedite the approval process, organize community fund raising events and then move towards the construction so that the two million plus dollars that is the Borough's share doesn't expand. Long delays will possibly increase expense. Time and inflation will tell.

3. The traffic problem is a regional matter. The Council needs to work with the DOT as well as some of the other grassroots organizations that have proved to be expert in their study of traffic management. Increased traffic is inevitable with the population growth of the area, coupled with these regional projects, traffic in the Borough will definitely increase.