Mercer County Freeholders and Clerk 2000
2000 VOTERS GUIDE
NON-PARTISAN ELECTION INFORMATION
Vote Tuesday, November 7, 2000
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS
and MERCER COUNTY CLERK
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. 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 2000 by the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS
Vote for Three
Term: 3 years
The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area submitted the following four questions to all candidates for freeholder:
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 Mercer County?
2. Waterfront Park and the Mercer County Arena have helped in the revitalization of Trenton. Does the county have a special obligation to continue redeveloping Trenton?
Besides building entertainment venues what other kinds of development should be pursued?
3. What is the role of the county in maintaining and improving the Trenton-Mercer Airport?
4. As the region continues to experience growth, what solutions do you propose to alleviate the expected increase in traffic volume?
ANN M CANNON*
Address:6H Dennison Drive, East Windsor, NJ 08520
Education: University of Delaware (1977) BA History, BA Sociology; Rutgers University Enrolled in History Phd. Program - incomplete
Occupation: Retail, Salesperson/JC Penney
Significant Community Activities: Member League of Women Voters Hightstown-East Windsor; Womens' Political Caucus NJ; Business and Professional Women Hightstown-E. Windsor; Sierra Club, Delaware-Raritan Greenway; Nature Conservancy; Friends of Howell Farm; Friends of Mercer County Wildlife Center, as well as several political and civic groups
1. Any attempt to consolidate development toward urban areas must be carefully planned. The Mercer County Planning Board works with the municipalities in a regional effort to oversee future growth. More interlocal agreements are needed, and traditional urban woes can finally be successfully addressed.
2. Mercer County has a special obligation to continue to work with and for Trenton. County offices are in the city and many employees travel to Trenton daily. Neighborhoods near the sports complexes have been slated for aid, i.e. $1.2 million has been set aside for rehabilitation and upgrades in the City's Wilbur Section, and $1.7 million was used to halt deterioration of a historic building near the arena and prepare it for reuse. Several private organizations fund/educate/prepare citizens for home ownership and facilitate the restoration and reuse of abandoned houses and businesses. Increased public-private partnerships, with the county as incubator with start-up money, will encourage further development. Increased use of entertainment facilities leads to demand for other shopping and dining venues. These partnerships lead to increased creative opportunities.
3. The role of the county has been landlord, with jurisdiction over maintenance, roads, security and safety. The county has contracts with all tenants with property taxes being paid to Ewing township. The administration and freeholder board proposes and approves all operating and capital expenses. The future of the airport is now being studied, and public hearings will be held this fall by the FAA on a soon-to-be-released environmental assessment report.
4. Mercer County is currently developing a highway access code in conjunction with all thirteen municipalities. Originally proposed in 1999, county planners will include local government input and hold public hearings. The measure will improve traffic flow and also improve safety for vehicles entering or exiting County roads. Light rail, vouchers for senior citizens and students, tax-incentives for alternatives, flex-time , job-sharing are also alternatives worth exploration.
Address:3323 Fieldcrest Court, Lawrenceville
Education:Bachelors Degree:Rider College Masters Degree:Rutgers University
Occupation:NJ Department of Treasury
Significant Community Activities:Involved in Mercer County CYO for over 15 years; Mercer County High school and New Jersey College Basketball official for 15 years; Managed the Trenton Post 93 Strophes for five seasons.
1. Clearly over-development is a concern in our densely populated state and the goal of Governor Whitman's program is good. However, we must not over-regulate in a way that will drive up the cost of housing to levels that will make it unaffordable. Open space preservation is still the best
method of preventing over-development.
2. I believe development should be pursued with the idea of bringing people back into Trenton not only to visit, but also to live. I would like to see efforts concentrated on a mixed income community that has housing, offices and shopping that will the foundation for the future. I the county should aggressively attract high-tech companies as anchors to attract new residents.
3. The Trenton-Mercer Airport is an important economic asset. It must be safe as well as a first class facility in order to serve the travel needs of the residents and businesses of Mercer County. It is a county airport and therefore the county's obligation.
4. I believe we must seriously review our infrastructure needs to deal with current traffic as well as projected needs. Additionally, the county must work with our federal representatives to insure that Mercer receives it's fair share of funding to upgrade our roadways to accommodate current traffic.
Address:15 Colleen Circle, Ewing
Education:Bachelors Degree:Rutgers University
Occupation: Consultant, Public Employees Occupation Safety and Health Program
Significant Community Activities:Member of Ewing Township Environmental Commission; Member of Rider University Community Advisory Board
1. Mercer County is located within parts of the Crosswilk Creek, Assunpink Creek, Millstone River and Stony Brook watersheds. I will look to establish a county watershed management plan to provide a blueprint to protect our water, while allowing sensible and appropriate development. Also, I will build on the County Executive's Open Space initiative to help preserve another 7000 acres of open space land.
2. When elected I will work with Bob Prunetti to develop a cyber district to attract small start up companies to bring more people back to Trenton. Additionally, I will work to create a county sponsored Brownfield initiative to clean-up the 44 known hazardous waste sites and turn them
into job creating business sites.
3. The airport is too important to get bogged down in partisan politics as the current freeholder board has allowed. Provided the environmental assessment is positive, a new terminal should be built to make our airport a first class facility.
4. We are fortunate that Mercer is a desirable county to live, work and play. To keep it that way we must insure that our roadway infrastructure meets our growing community's needs. I will work to increase federal money to improve our roads without increasing the burden on property taxpayers.
Address:37 Seventh Av, Hamilton Twp, NJ 08619-3226
email address: http://gpnj.org/susan%20deckert.html
Education: 1967 BS in Pre-med Biology with minors in:Chemistry and Ecology
Significant Community Activities:As Vice-Chair of the Mercer County Solid Waste Advisory Council (MCSWAC), mine was the first official vote against the now infamous incinerator. I represented Mercer Co. ILO-LWV on MCSWAC. As Chair of the Whitehead Dam Task Force (WDTF), I spearhead pursuit of County Park creation for the Assunpink Creek Greenway from Mercer County Central Park to the Delaware River. I represent the Assunpink Creek Watershed Association (ACWA) on WDTF. Program Chair for the ACWA; Co-Chair of Mercer Co Greens, and Hamilton Twp Greens; Chair of the Mercer Co. monday morning project for grass-roots disability advocacy; past Chair of: Mercer Co. ILO-LWV, and Greater Mercer Co-Women's Political Caucus.
1. As a career Environmentalist, I applaud gov't watershed management planning initiatives. This proposed rule will help curb suburban sprawl, foster redevelopment in Trenton, reduce local flooding, and promote open space. These are all key Green Party goals.
2. Yes. Put back the Green T'nT - Trolley 'n Trenton. Princeton, too. Develop Green T'nT light rail system for enhanced access to: Waterfront Park, Mercer Arena, West Trenton Train Station, Airport and downtown with the Trenton Train Station. Green T'nT is a natural extension for the new Trenton-to-Camden light rail trolley line already underway by NJTransit. And, Green T'nT is tourist-friendly, too.
3. The Feb '00 US General Accounting Office (GAO) report stated that jet aviation is a SIGNIFICANT contributor to global warming. This report, GAO/RCED-00-57, further documents that our county supervised airportgenerates unacceptably high levels of pollution.
In 1951 the US military unburdened their airport off onto Mercer County taxpayers. It is time to give the airport back to the federal gov't for NON-AVIATION use.
Mercer citizens dumped the incinerator. Mercer citizens can dump the airport. And, for the same reasons. Unacceptable pollution. Unacceptable finances.
The Airport is Lemon Capitalism, where taxpayers fund business failures. Ralph Nader calls this Corporate Welfare.
A better taxpayer investment is to re-establish local light rail service-the Green T'nT. And, improved freight train access, also.
Windmill farm and solar panels which generate clean, GREEN energy are better business uses of the airport site.
4. Green T'nT for Mercer County. See #1, 2 and 3 above. For a better Mercer County: Upgrade public transportation. Foster freight train use. Accelerate local gov't and fleet use of alternative, green vehicle fuels.
Address:247 Pope Avenue, Hamilton
Education:Graduate from Trenton Central High School
Occupation: NJ Department of Transportation
Significant Community Activities: Member of the Board of Trustees with Italian National American Hall of Fame; Member of the Junior Four Alumni Association
1. We must remember that economical development is important to lessen the burden on residential property tax payers. Therefore, we must strike a balance between development and the preservation of our natural resources. Over-regulation is not a cure for over-development.
2. County Executive Bob Prunetti has made a tremendous start in revitalizing Trenton. The county must continue its efforts and focus on rebuilding neighborhoods. Also we must call on the state to do more for its Capital City.
3. Maintaining a safe and efficient airport is critical for the county's economy. The present terminal was built in 1976 and is obsolete. It should be brought into the 21st century.
4. didn't answer
BRIAN M. HUGHES*
Address:6 Kensington Ave. Trenton, NJ
Education:BA, Thomas Edison College
Occupation:Assistant to the Executive Director of the NJ Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Significant Community Activities: Board of Trustees-Passage Theatre Company, New Jersey Lawyers assistance Program, Richard J. Hughes Foundation; Member- Trenton Historical Society, Hiltonia Neighborhood Association, Mercer County Open Space Preservation Board
1. Development is clearly one of the most important issues facing Mercer County and New Jersey as a whole. The new watershed management planning rules may go a long way towards directing appropriate development to appropriate areas. However, caution should be exercised that the new rule does not promote unwanted sprawl as an unintended consequence.
2. The county government does have economic and moral reasons to continue efforts to revitalize and redevelop Trenton. Some things that the county should help promote in the city are historic preservation and the opportunities of historic tourism, high technology investment by marketing Trenton as a place with an abundance of high tech needs (workforce, proximity to NY and Philadelphia, high capacity warehouse space), and to commit to making Trenton the first option if consideration of the proposed Mercer County Science and Technology High School moves forward.
3. As owner and operator of the facility, Mercer County has the ultimate responsibility of maintaining and improving the Trenton-Mercer Airport. As for expanding the airport, I support economically viable and environmentally safe commercial air uses for the county airport. Many of the decisions about whether that will include a new airport terminal are dependent on the results of the Environmental Assessment, the public hearing associated with it, and the FAA determination of the results.
4. Traffic congestion continues to plague the county roads, and the anti-sprawl measures listed in question 1 should be implemented. Additionally, municipalities should be given the tools to aggressively enforce stricter truck bans and encourage legislation that will entice trucks back to the interstates and Turnpike.
Address: 34 Maddock Rd., Titusville, NJ 08560
Education: B.A. Political Science, State University of New York at Albany; M.A., Counseling Services, Rider College; J.D., Cornell Law School
Occupation: Attorney, Psychotherapist, Writer
1. The watershed management proposal is another example of putting the needs of developers ahead of the needs of the people. It would usurp home rule, penalize good planning, and grease the skids for developers. However, the planning in Mercer County has been so bad that Mercer may actually benefit from the proposal since there is so little excess capacity in this county.
2. The county does have a special obligation to revitalize Trenton, but not by building entertainment venues that benefit only their corporate owners. There is no evidence that the taxpayers of Trenton benefitted from these projects. County money should instead be spent to rebuild schools, hospitals, and roads, and to develop a modern light rail transportation system in Trenton.
3. There is no public interest in the county owning an airport and it should be put up for sale. Airplanes are a major polluter of the environment. If it is profitable to run an airport, let the corporations that benefit from it pay the bills, without county subsidies and tax breaks. The airport serves the needs of only a handful of wealthy people in this county. The county should invest in mass transit that will benefit all of the people, a light rail transportation system.
4. Developers who propose to build in Mercer County and corporations seeking to relocate here should be required to solve their own traffic problems BEFORE getting approvals. The county should invest in mass transit not in widening roads to benefit developers and corporate interests.
ELIZABETH MAHER MUOIO
Address: 123 Voorhees Avenue, Pennington, NJ 08534
Education: B.A. 1985 - Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; J.D. 1991 - Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Significant Community Activities:Two-term Councilwoman Pennington Borough (1997 - present); Chairman - Pennington Public Works Committee;
Former Chairman - Pennington Community Services Committee; Member, Hopewell Valley Mayors' Task Force on Trucks and Traffic; Member,
Women's Political Caucus of Greater Mercer County; Member, League of Women Voters of Hopewell Valley; Member, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
1. Although I believe the proposed regulations need to be strengthened, the underlying goal is an advantageous one for Mercer County. The regulations promote redevelopment of our urban centers while controlling sprawl by placing tougher environmental hurdles for those wishing to extend development into outlying areas. The result would be revitalized city centers balanced by rural and open spaces protected for use by Mercer County residents for generations to come.
2. The revitalization of Trenton must be a top priority for our county government. While our entertainment venues have brought visitors into Trenton for specific events, true revitalization will not occur unless our efforts are more broad in scope. Revitalization efforts must be city-wide and target both residential and business development. Emphasis should also be placed on promoting pedestrian-friendly venues which encourage foot traffic amongst retail, historic and entertainment destinations.
3. As owner of the Trenton-Mercer Airport the county has a duty to make certain that the airport is run in a safe, secure, and efficient manner. Unfortunately, Mercer County taxpayers have been subsidizing the deficit-plagued airport with millions of their hard earned dollars over the past decade. In the future the county must do more to ensure that plans regarding the airport are both financially and environmentally responsible.
4. Traffic congestion is a regional issue that will only be solved through regional cooperation. Mercer County must facilitate discussion amongst Mercer municipalities to ensure such cooperation. Effort should focus particularly on attracting residential and commercial development to our urban centers, most notably Trenton, where public transportation is readily available. We must also strengthen controls on interstate trucks that clog our local roads and pose a serious threat to our residents.
No response received.
Return to Candidates for Mercer County Freeholder
CANDIDATES FOR MERCER COUNTY CLERK
Vote for One
Term: 3 years
1. What would you propose to educate the public about the Clerk's office and how citizens can best utilize this important office?
2. What are your top three priorities, if elected?
CATHY "D" DiCOSTANZO*
Address: 611 East Brown Street, Trenton
Education: Graduated from Lawrence High School and attended College of New Jersey
Significant Community Activities: President of the Mercer County Sunshine Foundation; Member of the Italian National American Hall of Fame; Honorary Member for Kidbridge; Honorary Member, Mercer County Womenspace Charity; Volunteer Vietnam Veterans United and Homeless Veterans
1. Bring the office to people of Mercer is important. With my Senior Outreach program I have provided the opportunity for senior citizens to obtain some services the County Clerk's office provides. There are two ways for citizens to visit the Clerk's office. Either on my website which is linked to the county website at or come down and visit us at 209 South Broad Street in Trenton.
2. To continue serving Mercer County with new and upgraded technologies. I think that it is essential that the County Clerk office continue to provide quality and friendly service for the citizens of Mercer County. I would like to continue with my outreach programs to the community, so that this office can serve more people better.
KATHLEEN CULLITON WOLLERT
Address:10 Van Saun Drive, Ewing, NJ 08628
Education:B.S., Trenton State College
Occupation: Pension Advisor
Significant Community Activities: Member, Ewing Lions; Councilwoman (currently Council President) in Ewing; Member, Planning Board; Former member of the Zoning Board; Member, Ewing Educational Foundation
1. I would provide more information about the Clerk's Office and its services using kiosks placed in county libraries, making forms and informational material readily available Expanded use of the Internet would be another means of doing this.
2. My top priorities would be:
-establishing mini-stations for convenience in obtaining information and forms.
-expanded Internet capabilities.
-24 hour drop boxes located conveniently around the county.
-expanded hours of operation.