Hsueh endorses the Progessive Vision slate

As a resident of West Windsor since 1985, and its mayor for four terms, I continue to care deeply about the present and future of our town. It’s for that reason that I am writing to urge our residents to support the candidacies of Shin-Yi Lin, Alison Miller and Yan Mei Wang for Town Council (the Progressive Vision for West Windsor slate). 

During my mayorship, I helped our township achieve highest recognition by Sustainable Jersey Program as a “Sustainable Community.” I promoted fiscal responsibility, which was reflected by the highest bond rating for our town of AAA, and I oversaw ambitious infrastructure and traffic improvements (like the creation of the roundabout at Alexander Road and Grovers Mill Pond clean-up, etc.). In 2017, West Windsor was selected as the most desirable community in New Jersey to move in by the Business Insider.

I personally know that vision, experience and hard work are required if we are to advance our township’s reputation within our state and to ensure we are addressing the pressing, complex problems our residents need our help with.

I see some of my own path in Shin-Yi, who comes to public service alongside a career in applied science and teaching at local universities—most recently, at Princeton. In graduate school, she volunteered and was elected as the Graduate Student Government chair for four years. 

One of the policy changes she successfully advocated for at Princeton was reducing the cost of dependent health care for graduate students to make it affordable. Currently, she is on sabbatical from academia as one of the first Eagleton Science and Politics Fellows working in policy making in state government. In this capacity, she has been working on how to improve health care for mothers in New Jersey. 

Shin-Yi has shown that she can identify the key problems that aren’t being addressed by others and work creatively within a bureaucracy to fix them. I’m excited that she represents a younger generation of Asian-American leadership for our town, and will be bringing her hands-on experience in government, her scientific expertise and her passion as a mom and Democrat to work hard for West Windsor.

From the time that Alison and I were elected to Council in 1993, to her service on Council during the last part of my mayoralty, I have been impressed by Alison’s dedication to West Windsor. I have gladly supported her initiatives, from limiting the number of residences, to designating bike lanes, to protecting the greenbelt, to helping the township acquire open space when she was President of FOWWOS. 

She supported my initiative for state grant money to create a micro-grid to power our municipal complex during outages and save money on electricity; but unfortunately this was defeated; she is still arguing for it. Last but not least, Alison brings decades of experience and practical knowledge to her work on Council. 

Yan Mei also brings a data-driven approach as another scientist on the slate. She goes to the root cause of our infrastructure and escalating tax problems and delivers results in just a few years—a short time from my experience in government. Just this past June, her infrastructure and traffic improvement engineering expertise gained through public programs at Rutgers University bore fruit. 

She implemented the Pavement Preservation program to West Windsor to fix our roads while potentially saving $500/year for every family in taxes and vehicle repair costs. She’s also initiated a number of projects—including the recycling program called West Windsor Plastics for West Windsor Parks and streamlining the Mews Shuttle to the train station — two projects that have helped beautify our neighborhood and also improved our environment. 

The Progressive Vision for West Windsor Team’s vision and determination in promoting sustainable practices and preserving our open space will be instrumental in slowing down our residential overdevelopment and protecting our schools and our environment.

Together, these women have the experience and the dedication to work together effectively for West Windsor. We need a team that will not shy away from the hard problems, and knows how much work it takes to get the big things done in this town. 

Shing-Fu Hsueh

Hsueh served as mayor of West Windsor from 2001 to 2018

Vote Mandell for Council

It is our sincere pleasure to write in support of Andrea Mandel for the West Windsor Township Council. We worked very closely with Andrea for almost a decade as co-coaches of the award winning WW-P Girl Scout FIRST Robotics team.

Andrea, a 30- year resident of West Windsor, is an exceptional leader and mentor for the FIRST Robotics team specifically and for Girl Scouts in general. Andrea is smart, kind and caring and is an excellent motivator. She is a forward thinker with the ability to problem solve. She has a lifelong-love of learning and took it upon herself to learn many skills she then taught the robotics team so that the girls were competitive on the world stage.

As an example, Andrea worked almost daily for several years teaching Girl Scouts programming, engineering concepts and building skills. Many girls had never programmed or even used a tool before joining the Girl Scouts robotics program. These young women are now successful in college studying engineering, computer science and business. The girls used the experiences Andrea helped them gain in their internships, college work and careers.

We believe that Andrea’s intellectual curiosity, energy and dedication to others will greatly benefit the West Windsor Township Council.

Jan Cardinale and Helen Rancan

West Windsor

* * *

I have known Andrea Mandel for over two years and have seen her work passionately and tirelessly on issues important to West Windsor. As a planning board member, she has critical input in planning initiatives around town and has consistently held the view that residential overdevelopment in New Jersey in general and West Windsor in particular is undesirable.

She can be counted on to actively support bringing more commercial ratables to town to reduce the burden on residential property taxpayers. She has an intelligent and rational approach to protecting the environment as evidenced by her efforts at recycling education either through her online posts or her mentoring of Girl Scouts working on a recycling project.

Andrea believes in giving back to the community she is a part of and can be trusted to do what is right for West Windsor.

Jyotika Bahree

West Windsor

* * *

Andrea Sue Mandel is a member of the West Windsor Environmental Commission, and when she realized there was a problem with township collected contaminated recycling materials, she decided to do something about it. 

As part of that initiative, our daughters worked with Andrea on their Girl Scout Silver Award to create the Recycle Right project you have seen around town to teach proper recycling. The girls learned leadership and science and were able to make a positive difference for the environment and West Windsor.

We appreciate the help and opportunities Andrea provided to our girls. She is committed to both helping our children and our town.

 Andrea’s understanding and knowledge helped our girls to comprehend the recycling issue the community is facing and created the drive in them to make a difference. She was very generous with her time at every step of the project. She assisted the girls to build relationships with other community officials to finish their project efficiently and cost effectively.

We look forward to having Andrea continue to serve West Windsor as a member of the council and urge you to support her in the upcoming election.

Jyothi, Jaya and Rasmi Alluri

West Windsor

Vote Miller for Council

I am pleased to endorse the re-election of Alison Miller as West Windsor Township Councilwoman. Her many years of service to our municipality serve as the greatest endorsement of all. She knows the business of governing and has always given the highest priority to the best interests of our community. 

I know her well and admire her thoughtful and fair-minded actions in all matters of local government. She has consistently served, and will continue to serve, in ways that will keep West Windsor as a great place in which to live.

Susan Connolly Parris

West Windsor

Vote Wang for Council

I am very impressed by Yan Mei Wang’s caring, earnest engagement in this community and the issues it faces. 

Since her family moved here 4.5 years ago, Wang has actively sought to hear from residents about their concerns and viewpoints, and to model and encourage civic dialogue and participation. In this newspaper and on social media, she has shared helpful information on property tax relief programs, voter registration, and the schedule and summaries of public meetings, among other things. 

Wang regularly contributes intelligent ideas for improving infrastructure, preserving open space and attracting businesses. Without exception, her proposals are informed by diligent research, discussions with stakeholders, and careful analysis and reasoning. She has also successfully spearheaded local initiatives for bike paths, cost-effective road paving and recycling plastics. 

Wang’s actions give me confidence that she would practice good governance and stewardship as a councilperson, and responsibly, openly, and energetically represent the interests of our town.

Wey-Wey Kwok

West Windsor

* * *

I have known Yang Mei Wang for over two years, since she was campaigning during the last election. A brief conversation turned into a two-hour give and take about many township issues. 

 I was blown away by her knowledge of the problems facing our township and overall sincerity and intelligence. 

In other words, here was an extremely bright person who really cared about our needs for the community. Yan Mei helped expedite a drainage problem we had, that was the town’s responsibility. It had lingered for over 200 years. Not only did she follow through but called and emailed me to assess my progress. She was my advocate. The same way, she will be your advocate.

This is a person who cares, and I hope someday she runs for mayor. More importantly, I trust her to make the correct decisions on our behalf, as demonstrated in her successes with pavement preservation program. She initiated the West Windsor recycling plastic program. She is a member of the Mercer County Central Labor Council. Besides being a physicist and earning her PHD at the University of California, Berkeley, she has completed nine training courses at Rutgers on infrastructure and transportation. 

 I can think of no one more qualified or caring to earn your vote for Town Council.

Robert Hecht

West Windsor

* * *

I first learned about Yan Mei Wang through reading her prior campaign statements in the newspaper. She strikes me as the only candidate who looks into real issues and addresses them through thorough research, continuous learning and communication with residents and by consistently providing data and numbers in all her statements.

Yan Mei protects our environment through her township organization involvements—the Annual Spring Cleanup event as a Friends of West Windsor Open Space member, the coming bring-your-own popcorn container Peace Day movie night event this November as a West Windsor Human Relations Council member, and the bring-your-own coffee mug Berrien City Neighborhood Association meet and greet event this past June as a neighborhood association steering committee member. 

Yan Mei protects our environment through her action as a conscious citizen. I’m impressed with her following environmental achievements:

  1. Founded the West Windsor Plastics for West Windsor Parks program that has already earned a bench for our township. Her campaign team is the only team in this election that uses recyclable campaign signs. These efforts reduce tons of plastic waste for West Windsor every year.
  2. Reduce the West Windsor air pollution by 0.1% and solved the noise pollution problem for hundreds of residents living along Bear Brook Rd by streamlining the Mews apartment complex train station shuttle.
  3. Actively promoted reusable—water bottles, reusable bags, reusable take-out containers, etc. I have also started to bring reusable take-out containers to restaurants and people appreciate it. 
  4. The new pavement preservation program implemented this past June—advocated by Yan Mei—will reduce tons of worn tires and pavement material waste and 2% of our air pollution from decreased car emission, thanks to the improved road quality.

These accomplishments demonstrate that Yan Mei is not only a visionary leader, but also has the determination and skill sets necessary to materialize these visions into policies and culture changes by navigating through the complicated, and frequently muddy political environment to get things done. Vote Yan Mei Wang for council; I cannot find a better champion for our township that matches her experience, determination, focus and passion. 

Gunjan Aggarwal

West Windsor

* * *

After meeting Yan Mei Wang last week, I was quite impressed with our discussion regarding her thoughts for improvements to West Windsor on road-repairs that are so needed in this area of New Jersey. She had also told me the many benefits being offered to seniors that I had no idea were available. Yan Mei will be an asset to our township when elected.

Bonnie Heller

Village Grande 

Vote Lin for Council

I’m am supporting Shin Yi Lin for West Windsor council. This is my first public endorsement of a council candidate in my 33 years as a West Windsor resident. 

I am a frequent walker, cyclist and runner—as well as a recently retired environmental scientist. As such, my top-of-mind concerns include our local and global environment as well as improving our local infrastructure so it is more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. 

If more of us could walk and bike on a safe and efficient network of dedicated paths, our carbon footprint would be reduced and healthy lifestyles promoted. Further, my heart aches to see the plastic litter, which is now endemic along our streets and in our parks. This unsightly litter is washing into our streams, rivers and oceans and polluting even the most remote places on our planet. I believe reducing sources of litter including unnecessary single-use plastic bags is both overdue and a common sense step. 

Why am I endorsing Shin Yi Lin? After my retirement this year I opted to become more engaged at the township level regarding my concerns. I started attending monthly meetings of the West Windsor Environmental Commission as well as a few council meetings. During these meetings I was able to observe Shin Yi’s active participation and work in supporting the single-use plastic bag ordinance as it progressed through the EC and was presented to the township council for consideration. 

I also had a one-to-one conversation with her about her vision for raising the level of communication in township government to better manage our every-day government services while also taking local steps to address larger global environmental challenges that increasingly impact us here in West Windsor. 

Last, looking over her personal and professional profile at her webpage (shinyilin.com), my opinion was cemented that Shin Yi would be the exact professionally-qualified, energetic, intelligent, reasonable, and motivated person that we need on West Windsor’s township council at this time.

D.J. Varner

West Windsor

* * *

Perhaps predictably, I’m writing to endorse my wife, Shin-Yi Lin, and her running mates, Alison Miller and Yan Mei Wang, for Township Council. I hope Alison and Yan Mei will forgive me if I narrow my focus to the candidate I know best.

Shin-Yi’s on-paper qualifications are clear: She’s a biologist with a PhD and postdoctoral experience, a policy wonk with professional experience at the state and federal levels, and a progressive Democrat who’s canvassed for Obama, Clinton and Andy Kim. 

We’ve lived in West Windsor for 16 years, and we’re now raising the fourth generation of West Windsor residents in a house that’s been in my family for over 60 years. Off-paper, I will tell you that the most annoying thing about her is that she insists on doing the right thing in the right way, all the time; and the second most annoying thing is that she insists on constantly interrogating why any given thing is done the way it’s done. 

If it seems like I am hoping desperately to displace some of our conversations about the correct loading of the dishwasher onto municipal governance: Reader, you’re not wrong. But also, reader, this is the kind of mentality you want going to bat for you. Shin-Yi is not interested in change or tradition for their own sake. She wants to find ways to tackle our town’s problems in a world whose climate and economy are changing at an unprecedented pace. To that end, her science and policy experience enable her to synthesize complex information, ask keen questions, evaluate the answers and innovate. 

She’s also able to understand what she might be missing, and seek out new perspectives. “Involving the community” is, of course, something every candidate for elected office promises to do, but as we’ve recently seen, that’s a goal most often honored in the breach. 

In 2018, two Council meetings each drew several hours of passionate public comment on the topics of state-level gun control legislation and armed officers in WW-P schools. At each meeting, and subsequently on social media, the mayor and some Council members berated the commenters: They called the comment periods “dog and pony shows,” they complained about the waste of funds involved in keeping the township attorney after hours, they claimed that their hands were tied and that the community showed up wrongly or too late. 

What they did not do is express respect and appreciation for the residents—many of them students—who had taken time away from families, studies, passions and diversions to make their voices heard. Instead, many of our elected officials treated the worries and hopes of their constituents as an annoyance.

Shin-Yi won’t always agree with you, and she won’t always vote your way. But she’ll respect your time and, barring bigotry or outright abuse, she’ll welcome your thoughts. More than anything else, that’s why she’s running.

Matt Weber

West Windsor