Wilson School to study Borough-Township consolidation process
The meeting began with a report from Linda Mather, the TTF representative of the Communications and Outreach subcommittee, on the TTF’s upcoming meeting with Princeton Futures, a nonpartisan group of volunteers from the Township and Borough who discuss the future growth and development of the community. The purpose of the meeting between the TTF and Princeton Futures is to offer the public an opportunity to ask questions and comment on the status of consolidation in Princeton. The subcommittee is in the process of contacting each of the 21 community groups and presenting on the work of the TTF.
TTF member Jim Levine reiterated the fact that despite the “nitty gritty” of the consolidation process, the TTF should still seek to generate fun and excitement in the community about the consolidation process.
“We are all in this historic moment together,” Levine noted. “The outreach committee is where we can start generating really good will about this consolidation.”
Following the discussion about public engagement, the TTF introduced the joint program between the Wilson School and the task force. The idea of Anton Lahnston, chair of the Princeton Consolidation and Shared Services Study Commission, the project will produce a case study of how municipal consolidation functions. Two graduate students, Logan Clark GS and Laura Blumenthal GS, who have already committed to the project, were present at the meeting.
“The purpose is to document Princeton as a model for other communities,” Lahnston said. The project will cover consolidation from two years ago into implementation next year.
From the IT subcommittee, TTF member and Township Committeeman Bernie Miller reported that the subcommittee is on pace to meet its first deadline.
“The subcommittee is working to establish the operating expenses related to IT as well as the capital budgets,” he explained.
In addition, the subcommittee has begun to tackle certain projects that can be completed ahead of time, including the new website and email system for the municipality. It was announced that Township Committeeman Lance Liverman will join the subcommittee as the representative from the Township.
The TTF also discussed how the Princeton Public Library will be affected by consolidation. According to members of the TTF, the Library’s board of trustees is currently discussing reconfiguring certain aspects of library operations to reflect the merged government. Currently, the board of trustees has representations from both the Township and Borough, with Township Mayor Chad Goerner and Borough Mayor Yina Moore ’79 serving on the board. According to Goerner, the Library is also looking into options about proceeding as a more autonomous entity after consolidation while simultaneously maintaining its status as a nonprofit.
However, Goerner noted that the Township and Borough combined provide over 80 percent of the Library’s budget, which might sway the Library board away from seeking more autonomy.
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