To the Editor,
We urge Cranbury citizens to vote to re-elect Dave Cook and Jay Taylor for Cranbury Township Committee on November 6, 2012 at Town Hall. Before explaining why, we applaud all four candidates–Tom Connolly, Dave Cook, Cynthia Smithers and Jay Taylor–for taking the time and effort to run for the Township Committee. That commitment is the essence of our democracy and gives voters a choice in this election.
We believe Jay and Dave are the best candidates because they have the experience and a proven track record that demonstrate their ability to handle complex problems such as the upcoming Supreme Court decision that will define our Mt. Laurel housing obligations. They have also shown their commitment to preserve farmland and open space, protect our historic village, and keep our taxes low.
The most important potential issue facing Cranbury is the impact of the Supreme Court decision to be decided soon that will determine Cranbury’s obligations, if any, to provide additional low and moderate income housing. Dave has been immersed in that issue over the past three years and has attended innumerable legislative hearings and meetings with other municipal leaders and local legislators to keep abreast of these issues and be ready for a response if necessary. Jay has also been actively involved so that together they can lead us to deal effectively with the court decision, whatever it is.
Similarly, Jay and Dave have helped preserve 247 additional acres of farmland over the past three years, which cost Cranbury taxpayers less than 18 percent of the total cost (the State and County paid the vast majority of the cost). These efforts continued Cranbury’s tradition of preserving nearly all the farmland west of the Village, which not only makes Cranbury unique, but also keeps our taxes low by reducing school costs. Dave and Jay also passed ordinances to implement the new Master Plan, which is designed to attract clean and prosperous ratables and enhance our downtown businesses and residences.
Finally, Jay and Dave have reduced municipal expenditures by $500,000 during their tenure and maintained the town’s sterling AAA bond rating, which minimizes Cranbury’s borrowing costs. Indeed, at Candidate’s Night, their opponents didn’t suggest any specific reductions in municipal expenditures and only offered to spend most of the town’s surplus as a short-term fix to lower taxes. But this would only reduce taxes for one or two years, require a substantial tax hike thereafter, increase borrowing costs, and leave the town vulnerable if major unanticipated expenditures occur (e.g., Mt. Laurel defense costs or implementation, or something akin to the dam project, which this Township Committee has prudently anticipated). Indeed, Cranbury, under Dave and Jay’s leadership, has among the very lowest effective municipal tax rates in the 38 towns in Mercer and Middlesex counties.
Let’s re-elect Jay and Dave to continue that sound, prescient, fiscally conservative stewardship of our town. Whether you agree or not, please vote at Town Hall on November 6.
Joan and Tom Weidner
- Cranbury residents
Editor's note: Find out more about the candidates through Patch's Election Guide.