Invitation to a 
town hall meeting

On behalf of Princeton Residents for Self-Reliance, I am inviting you to attend an important town hall meeting. At this meeting, we will be sharing with you some of the financial issues facing our community and the potential options for solving them. As we move forward this year, Princeton will need to define the type of community we want to be and make some important decisions on the types and quality of services we want to provide our citizens. It is vitally important our residents understand the choices and actively participate in shaping our future.

The city provides utility services to all our residents. Water, sanitary sewer, electricity and storm water management are critical to everyone, but they come at a high price. Citywide infrastructure for some of these services are aging and in need of modernization. Today, we are faced with some major expenses relating to solving storm sewer problems, replacement of our outdated water treatment facility and continued improvement of our sanitary sewer services. The city has planned to improve these services, but the current budget may require some of these projects to be completed over several years or as funds become available. The city has options to solve budget issues, including cutting staff and services, restructuring and outsourcing services like website management, raising property taxes and most recently studying the merits of becoming a home rule community.

After reviewing all of these options, the mayor created a 10-member citizen committee to determine if home rule was a good option for Princeton. After months of analysis, the committee unanimously concluded home rule would give Princeton more control to manage our issues locally and resolve funding problems with equitable solutions. In October 2011, the committee recommended the city council consider home tule. The council voted to place a referendum on the March 20 ballot asking the citizens of Princeton to vote for or against home rule.

After the mayoral committee has disbanded, we formed Princeton Residents for Self-Reliance, comprised solely of Princeton residents. At the upcoming town hall meeting, citizens will have an opportunity to learn about the financial state of the city, all the various solutions that have been explored, and gain additional information on home rule.

The town hall meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Metro Center at 7 p.m. If you are unable to attend or would like more detailed information ahead of the meeting, contact one of the committee members. They will send you what you need to be better informed via the mail or email. You may call or send your request for information to me at 815-872-0659 or, or contact fellow board members Katherine Chamberlain, 815-915-8351 or, or Tom Hall, 815-878-8508. If you have comments you would like to share with the committee, feel free to send them to us as well.

The city of Princeton wants you to make an informed decision on March 20. Your input and engagement are critical to our success and future as a community. I sincerely hope you will take the time to be part of this meeting and learn about the issues facing Princeton.

Jerry Neumann,

Princeton Residents for Self-Reliance board member