Mercer County 1999
1999 VOTERS GUIDE
NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION
Vote Tuesday, November 2, 1999
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY EXECUTIVE,
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS
and MERCER COUNTY SHERIFF
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. 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
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY EXECUTIVE
The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area submitted the following three questions to all candidates for County Executive:
1. Does the county have a special obligation to the unique urban needs of the city of Trenton? If it does, how should it handle that obligation?
2. What do you see as the county's role in maintaining and improving the Trenton-Mercer Airport?
3. How committed are you to maintaining county ownership and control or county roads, in particular, Washington Road west of U.S. Route 1?
Address: 2 Pioneer Ct., Ewing, NJ 08628
Education: Graduate of Notre Dame High School; BA , Mount St. Mary's College, Emitsburg, MD; Graduate School of Retail Bank Management, Charlottsville, VA
Occupation: Vice President, Government Banking, Summit Bank
Community Activities: Vice President, Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Mercer County; Volunteer, Anchor House; Former Board Member and Fundraising Committee of ISLES
1. The County has an obligation to enhance the quality of life for all of its citizens. Certainly, the needs of an urban population differ from those of the suburbs. The city of Trenton remains underdeveloped with tremendous opportunity as an entertainment destination as well as a great place to live and work. Sports and recreations facilities help, but they must create decent jobs and bolster the fact that the city's health requires a commitment to strong neighborhoods, not level them for parking lots.
2. Mercer County neither needs nor wants a regional airport with regular flights from major airlines. The impact on the community and its environment must be assessed before any development on or around Trenton-Mercer Airport is approved. Proper use of the airport property does not have to mean expansion of the terminal. But whatever the use, it should be determined by extensive and complete assessments of the impact on the quality of life in the surrounding communities. . .whether it is traffic, noise or the environment, our quality of life should never be compromised by unneeded development.
3. There are many instances where county ownership and control is helpful to municipalities by relieving the financial burden for the maintenance of heavily traveled thorofares. In instances like the Millstone Bypass linking county and state roads, the state should not be the final authority and every effort must be made to respect the input and needs of the county.
Address: 44 Windy Bush Way, Ewing, NJ 08560
Education: Trenton High School; BA - College of New Jersey; MPA - New York University Occupation: Mercer County Executive (Incumbent)
Community Activities: Active in numerous charitable and service activities; most notably the March of Dimes, for which I serve as regional chair, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Women's Heart Research Fund, founded the Mercer County Commission on Abused, Neglected and Missing Children, the National-Italian-American Foundation, and the New Jersey Association of Counties, for which I serve as Chair of the Solid Waste Committee.
1. Mercer County has an obligation to the unique needs of every municipality. By playing an active role in the revitalization of our Capital City we are creating jobs, opportunity and a new sense of excitement across all of Mercer County. We have made Waterfront Park and the Mercer County Arena a reality and turned Trenton into a destination for affordable family entertainment. Redeveloping our Capital City is also critical for relieving development pressures in our more suburban and rural communities.
2. The Trenton -Mercer Airport is and should remain an important economic asset to Mercer County. Maintaining a small and viable airport is necessary to keep our regional economy healthy, sustain and create jobs for area residents, and most importantly reduce the property tax burden on all county homeowners. I support upgrading the current terminal facility because I believe most residents want to have a reliable commercial airline operate from the airport. I also believe such an airline will have a positive economic impact for the entire county. I have pushed for an Environmental Assessment of the airport to study the environmental impacts, including noise concerns, on surrounding communities.(O)
3. We are committed to keeping all county roads under county jurisdiction, unless a municipality makes a specific request to take over jurisdiction and such action is justified. The original alignment for the Millstone Bypass called for the Washington Road/Route 1 intersection to be closed. Because Princeton University owns the property along both sides of Washington Road they would have received the closed roadway once it was vacated as a public road.
There are current discussions which would modify the plan, to which Princeton University has agreed, that would allow the roadway to remain open. I support this plan because Washington Road has historically served as an entrance into Princeton.
Washington Road west of Route 1 transverses three municipalities, West Windsor, Princeton Borough, and Princeton Township. In Princeton Township and West Windsor, the county maintains Washington Road.(O)
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS
The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area submitted the following three questions to all candidates for freeholder:
1. What effect will the Hightstown, Hillsborough, and Millstone Bypasses and NJ92 have on Mercer County?
2. Does the County have a special obligation to the unique urban needs of the city of Trenton? If it does, how should it handle that obligation?
3. What do you identify as the major issue facing the Mercer County Freeholders within the next three years?
Address: 938 Berkeley Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618
Education: Trenton High School; BS Howard University; Currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from Rider University
Occupation: Director of Recycling, City of Trenton
Community Activities: Member, NAACP; Urban League Guild; Vice President, Board of Directors of Martin House; Advisory Board Member, Eco-Industrial Roundtable
1. All of these bypasses were supposed to alleviate traffic concerns in Mercer County. Unfortunately, lack of regional planning has reduced the overall effectiveness of these projects. While congestion is reduced in some areas, it has actually increased in others.
2. As a Trenton resident, I continue to be disappointed that the building of sports and recreation facilities has not resulted in a better quality of life for members of the Trenton community. The City of Trenton is a part of America's history. The county must insure that Trenton residents benefit directly from county projects with jobs and neighborhood improvements. More buildings should be restored and marketed as restaurants and businesses encouraging patrons to spend more time in Trenton.
3. Controlling the growth of Mercer County and creating more open space will be a top priority of the Freeholder Board over the next three years. The Board also needs to continue to address traffic and pollution concerns throughout the County. These "quality of life" issues will be part of my agenda as we enter into a new century.
Address: 1005 Eagles Chase Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Education: Lawrence High School; BA (Finance) - Rider University
Occupation: Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Community Activities: Former Mayor of Lawrence Township, and currently serving second term as a Township Councilman; member of the Lawrence chapter of the Lions Club and the Sons of the American Legion; member of the Mercer County Park Northwest Planning Committee; former member of the Lawrence Township Planning Board.
1. Anyone who travels east to west in Mercer County knows that the area lacks east to west connectors. Route 92, the Millstone Bypass and the Hightstown Bypass will serve that purpose thereby easing traffic across Mercer County. They are designed with the primary goal of removing traffic congestion from local roadways which negatively impacts residents' quality of life.
In addition, these roadways are designated as limited access roadways which means that strip small type development will be prohibited. This will also limit additional traffic. I support all three of these projects and believe that they can x work together to significantly impact Mercer County residents' quality of life.
2. The continued revitalization of the City of Trenton is important not only to the residents of the City, but to all Mercer County residents. We must continue these efforts.
Mercer County is clearly headed in the right direction. Our economy is thriving, new businesses are locating here and our neighborhoods are affordable and safe.
Bold initiatives such as Waterfront Park and the Mercer County Arena are the first major steps to revitalizing the City of Trenton. As a Freeholder, I will seek to capitalize on the new sense of pride to continue the progress we have already achieved.
3. As a Freeholder, my top priority will be to focus on what matters most to the residents of Mercer County - a high level of quality of life. I am determined to work with County Executive Bob Prunetti to implement his Quality of Life Protection Plan. This plan will ensure that Mercer County continues in the right direction. I believe there needs to be more cooperation, and less confrontation, on the Freeholder Board. I want to work with Bob Prunetti to focus on balancing economic growth with efforts such as reducing traffic congestion and doubling the County's 7,000 acres of open space.
Address: 34 Van Duyn Dr., Ewing, NJ 08618
Education: Masters of Education, College of New Jersey; Bachelors of Special Education, Stroudsburg University
Occupation :Teacher of Special Education
Community Activities: Incumbent County Freeholder; Ewing School Board, chaired Education Committee; Ewing Key Communicator; Planning Board Member; State Planning Cross-Acceptance Representative; President, Ewing Democratic Club; Community Activist on issues related to environmental impact of the Trenton Mercer Airport
1. Some areas will be positively affected and some negatively impacted. To minimize the negative impact, the County of Mercer should now be in a proactive role, knowing that traffic will be using alternate routes to access these new roads. These access routes should be analyzed by the County departments of planning and engineering for possible additions to the County's Capital Transportation Plan. As shifting traffic patterns begin to stabilize, the County will need to have regular reviews to maintain accessibility, control congestion and assist municipalities with pros and cons of economic development that will be created.
2. Yes, the County of Mercer does have a special obligation to the unique urban needs of the City of Trenton. The power of County government needs to make a commitment to Trenton that it will not be left behind, that its redevelopment is a priority of any county development plan. Use of the Free Trade Zone status within city limits should be investigated, full-time job creation must occur within the city limits. First time buyers programs should be expanded. The County Superintendent's office should be involved in improving education within the City.
3. The major issue facing the Mercer County freeholders within the next three years is how to deal with the debt and damage left by current projects and poor maintenance of current facilities. These costs will be handed down to the next County Executive and Freeholder Board as unfinished business that must be attended to as we fight to stabilize taxes and continue services. Also, the management of development, transportation needs and education needs must be priorities.
Address: 3 Millstone Drive, East Windsor, NJ 08512
Education: AAS - Community College of Philadelphia; BBA - Penn State University; Course work for MBA - Temple University
Occupation: President, GW Enterprises, Inc.
Community Activities: President of the Mercer County Business Association; member of the New Jersey Development Authority Small Business; Minorities and Women's Enterprises Board; member of the Trenton Downtown Association; the Lafayette Yard Community Development Corporation; Mercer County Economic Development Small Business Council; Mercer County Workforce Investment Board; Fellow for the Class of 1999 Leadership New Jersey.
1. I think the reduction of traffic congestion and ensuring Mercer County has the proper infrastructure to handle and plan future growth is one of the most important issues we will need to deal with in the next few years. Route 92, the Millstone Bypass and the Hightstown Bypass are needed initiatives that will allow easier passage between the eastern and western sections of the County.
In addition, these roadways are designed to ensure development will not increase traffic on local roadways and impact the safety and quality of life in our local communities. Traffic congestion is a concern for most residents and as we continue to expand our economy I will work to ensure that residents' quality of life remains a priority.
2. As an owner of a small business in the City of Trenton, I know first hand the importance of the County's role in the revitalization in our Capital City. As a business owner, I have a unique perspective that will allow me, as a Freeholder, to cultivate partnerships between government and the private sector to create new economic opportunities.
The bottom line is, by assisting small businesses we create more jobs and exciting new opportunities. Small businesses are the grease for the thriving economic engine of Mercer County. With the success of Waterfront Park and the Mercer County Arena, we cannot afford to stop the progress.
3. Quality of life. For me it encompasses everything from reduced traffic congestion, first class parks, stable property taxes, and a healthy economy with good paying jobs. It means supporting County Executive Bob Prunetti's proposed Science and Technology School to improve the quality of education for our children.
As a Freeholder, I will work hard to make Mercer County a place people are proud to call home. This means putting people ahead of politics.
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY SHERIFF
The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area submitted the following question to all candidates for sheriff:
What is your top priority, if elected?
SAMUEL J. PLUMERI, JR.*
Address: 822 Edinburg Road, Hamilton Sq., NJ 08690
Education: Notre Dame High School, graduated 1965; Rider University, graduated 1977
Occupation: Sheriff of Mercer County
Community Activities: I have served for many years as Chairman of the March of Dimes Jail and Bail; Member of the Vietnam Veterans United; Finance Director and member of the board of Directors of Anchor House; Member of the Capital Health Foundation Board of Directors; former member of the Fundraising Committee for the Muscular Dystrophy Association; American Cancer Society; Diabetes Walkathon; Sunshine Foundations Annual Ball; Current member of the Trenton Lions Club and the Hamilton Elks.
My top priority is a continuation of initiatives I have already implemented, one is to enhance the availability to new and innovative law enforcement technology. Another is to continue lobbying corporations for funds to strengthen our existing safe housing and senior safety programs as well as expand our domestic violence program and personal safety programs. Broaden public-private partnerships within the community to address the needs of our children with child fingerprinting and DNA identification programs.
Address: 49 Brockton Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Education: Trenton Catholic Boys' High School; BS - Cum Laude (Criminal Justice / Psychology) - Trenton State College
Occupation: Supervisor, Office of Criminal History Review, NJ Department of Education Certified Public Manager - Rutgers University
Community Activities: I have been active in a myriad of charitable organizations, among them are membership in the Better Community Housing of Trenton, Martin House, the Italian-American National Hall of Fame, the Italian-American Sportsman Club, and especially close to my heart - the Sunshine Foundation, in which I have been volunteer co-director of fundraising for the past 12 years. Answer:
As a thirty-year veteran of law enforcement, I know Mercer County deserves real leadership in the Sheriff's Office. As your next Sheriff, I will work to make Mercer County the safe, drug free community our families deserve.
I have committed my entire life to law enforcement. As a former Captain and Commandant of the New Jersey State Police Ft. Dix and Sea Girt training facilities and Chief of Police for the N.Y. & N.J. Waterfront and Airport Commission, I have proven crime fighting, as well as administrative experience.
As Mercer County Sheriff, I intend on putting that experience to good use. I will implement substantive programs that will give the families of Mercer the peace of mind and safety that they deserve.(O)