Lambertville United formed in spring 2020 as a grass roots response to the Mayor Fahl’s plans for a five-story, multi-use administration complex to be built in the flood-prone ACME Justice Center. This plan also threatened Lambertville’s historic character because it included the sale of City Hall and the Library, both beautiful 19th century structures. Mayor Fahl’s refusal to put this $14 million dollar project to a referendum spurred a critical mass of concerned citizens to organize and oppose her plan. The group requested a detailed conversation with the City administration about the financial and environmental impacts of the Mayor’s plan.
Lambertville United’s mission is straightforward. We are a citizen watchdog and seek to preserve our rich heritage, prevent the City Administration from compromising our environment and quality of life by overdevelopment, and advocating to keep Lambertville affordable.
This initial group of about 25 worried citizens now numbers over 400 Lambertville neighbors and friends that represent the full spectrum of human diversity and a share common bond of love for our city. We do not want Lambertville to become unaffordable for many current residents, young families, the elderly, and those on a fixed income. These concerns have been exacerbated by the pandemic and its economic misfortunes. Joining with our neighbors to dissent and debate is the foundation of our American democracy. We want to make Lambertville Better, not Bigger.
Personal attacks on Facebook or anywhere online, whether it be against the Mayor or Lambertville United members, have no place in the public square. Lambertville United members have also been targets of hate mail, and threats, even property vandalism. Let’s be clear, Lambertville United does not condone bullying and dis-information. We agree 100% that inappropriate comments on Facebook is not good civic engagement.
Lambertville United has published analysis of city projects and finances. These documents have been carefully researched and analyzed by members who are financially savvy. We introduce different policy perspectives and ideas. We have published newsletters and post our work on our own Facebook page. We are very concerned about allegations being made today by Mayor Fahl’s former Business Administrator, Alex Torpey, who has filed a whistle blower lawsuit, accusing the Mayor of unethical behavior and violations of the Open Public Meetings Act and Open Public Records Act.
From the beginning, Lambertville United has strongly advocated for people to come together in our community to share ideas and foster camaraderie among neighbors. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to participate and be heard in our community. The dissent we see in Lambertville is the response of residents who are concerned about many policy proposals, land use changes, increased spending, and the ever-growing property tax burden they face.
For example, there are many challenges that accompanied the City’s plan to move five units of affordable housing to the Lambertville Police Station Site. The site may house some contamination, is flood prone, and is next to PSE&G power lines, not to mention the expense of relocating the police to a site that the City has yet to identify. Initially, the Mayor proposed to move the police out of city. No surprise there were objections to that proposal.
We are also facing a proposal that the City is looking to buy land without a public referendum. This, and similar decisions, such as the preservation of our historic treasures, are being made in rapid succession during a stressful pandemic. These decisions will dramatically change the face of Lambertville. Naturally, citizens are concerned and as taxpayers are rightfully asking questions and voicing their opinions.
Lambertville United is working towards these goals: bettering the community, keeping it affordable, and pursuing fiscal responsibility. As a community watchdog group, we will continue to hold our elected officials accountable for their decisions, fully participate in those decisions, and do so in a responsible manner.
On a particularly positive note, Lambertville United just launched a local’s program called “Light Up Lambertville.” This program will assist Lambertville merchants get the message to our neighbors to help support the business community. Lambertville United will offer incentives to get the locals to shop and dine locally during the winter months when tourism is low. If every Lambertville resident would eat or shop in Lambertville just one extra time per month, it will help keep our merchants afloat through the winter! We encourage everyone to come out and “Light Up Lambertville.”
For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.LambertvilleUnited.org.
On behalf of Lambertville United,
Sue Bell, Lambertville resident 2006
Lillie Chen, Lambertville resident 2007
Georg Hambach, Lambertville resident 1984
Lauren Kovac, Lambertville resident 2008
Elycia Lerman, Lambertville resident 1990
April Lindner, Lambertville resident 2016
Sherri Sevick, Fourth Generation Lambertvillian
Tom Sevick, Lambertville resident 1993
Andre St Armand, Lambertville resident 2016
Charles Zarnitz, Lambertville resident 2010
The affordable housing is required under state law because of people trying to keep out low income residents from their town. Just like in Mt. Laurel, local townsfolk don’t want diversity or “others” from coming in. Just a bunch of racist and anti-working class organizing. All the talk about the site being inappropriate is just a cover for why they really don’t want this in town.
This message has already been sent to the Mayor and now is being presented to Lambertville United to consider carefully as well. This isn’t just to offend or vindicate– obviously consideration was careless if that is what is taken away from this. Nor is it meant to be argumentative but precautionary and like Judgement’s sword, doubled edged.
Vanquishing often just castigates
till another battle of matters unsettled.
Conquering always just subjugates
sowing further conflict, honing its mettle.
Victory to truly celebrate
is winning agreement and matters settled.
A strategy elusive to consummate
on a divisive field of conflicts unsettled.
Of bitter entrenched stalemate,
low hills stands serving only the Devil.
For some side must fixate
upon high horses, blindly refuse to settle.
Insisting on benefit at someone’s detriment.
Love Lambertville with it’s eclectic mix of businesses and citizens. Do not allow the bullies to change what Lambertville has always been…a charming American small town.
Love the Free Press.
To paraphrase an old saying “Being a critic is easy. Being an author is a whole lot harder.”
Maybe one of these critics should run for mayor and try to author the kind of change the critics with an opposing view will embrace. Good luck with that.
“Elections have consequences.” It’s the political way for winners to tell losers: “Tough luck, you lost. Get over it.” You voted for her you’ll just have to roll over and accept whatever she wants.Always when it’s too late do you learn.
What a surprise. Liberal elected officials trying to push through a personal agenda without public input. I’m shocked! Love the “Light up Lambertville” campaign. Great idea.
Great Job Lambertville United. Julia Must Go!
Thank you for explaining Lambertville United, its activities and the role it is playing.
I am a supporter of LU and appreciate what it is doing. I am a participant in the effort to find the facts and share them. I am also a participant in the effort to support our businesses – retail and restaurants.
Thank you and keep up the effort.
I would like to support some of the merchants in Lambertville. But Lambertville needs to remember that it is a democratic bastion, and has supported Governor Murphy who insists on these draconian and excessive Covid lockdowns. And so the democrats (and I am registered as one) have to be honest with themselves and realize that you can’t have it both ways. Either Covid is a highly deadly disease that we need to take drastic measures to fight, or it’s just a very bad flu and it is up to the individual to take precautions. So as for now, I will stay home since Governor Murphy considers this a very deadly disease and isn’t concerned about the economic effects of closing down small businesses. We are getting what Lambertville voted for.