End in sight for Transition Task Force
At one of its last meetings before Princeton Borough and Princeton Township consolidate, the Transition Task Force discussed a forthcoming report to be produced by Wilson School graduate students on the consolidation process.
At a TTF meeting last May, members noted that a group of Wilson School students would work with local governmental representatives to study consolidation. The purpose of the project was to create an in-depth case study of how municipal consolidation can work.
The report is currently in draft phase, and a final draft will be presented at a joint Dec. 19 meeting between the TTF and the Consolidation Commission, which recommended in spring 2011 that the two municipalities consolidate.
Anton Lahnston, chair of the Consolidation Commission, has been in contact with the students throughout the report’s development. He praised the students’ work, adding that the Dec. 19 meeting will focus on this report.
“It’s not an easy task for them to report on the work that’s been done in the last year,” Lahnston said. “I think their work is really quite good. We haven’t really acknowledged that.”
Lahnston added that the next meeting — which will be open to the public — will be intended to correct factual errors present in the current draft, not to critique the arguments or conclusions drawn.
“If there are factual errors, they want to hear that,” Lahnston said. “If there are issues of disagreement, hang on to them.”
Another meeting will be held on Dec. 3 to give the public an opportunity to learn more about the TTF’s work and to express any concerns it may have.
The meeting, which will be held at the Princeton Public Library, will begin with a presentation by Joseph Stefko, president and chief executive of the Center for Governmental Research, an organization consulting with the municipalities on consolidation. He will present the current draft of the CGR report summarizing the TTF’s work. Borough Administrator Robert Bruschi will also do a review of government departments that will change after consolidation.
“The driver of the meeting is to share information with the public,” TTF Chair Mark Freda said. “It’s really important that as many of the task force be there ... The more of us that are there, the better.”
Freda emphasized that the information that will be presented at the Dec. 3 meeting is not the final CGR report. TTF subcommittees still need to send Stefko feedback on the draft they have received.
However, Freda said that once it is finalized, Stefko will put it on the CGR website for public view. “I’m going to assume he’s going to have it up there ... in the next couple of days,” Freda said.
TTF members also discussed details about the new governing body at the Wednesday night meeting. Bernard Miller, a member of the Princeton Township committee, expressed concern that all positions may not be filled. TTF attorney William John Kearns Jr. assured him not to be too concerned with individual vacancies at the moment, as long as the new government ultimately has “a functioning body.”
Township Mayor Chad Goerner noted that a new logo for the consolidated Princeton has been decided upon. Judges received about 70 entries and selected a winner, which he said would be unveiled in the near future.
“Ultimately, I think everybody will be pleased,” he said.
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.