Chair Letter to Community

Last spring, the Lambertville Community Advisory Team (CAT) was tasked by the City Council with conducting community outreach. Our work began with gathering input and making recommendations to the Council on meeting the City’s affordable housing needs per the Court mandated settlement agreement. In the last month, we have begun examining the prospect of the City’s purchase and preservation of the historic Closson/Holcombe farm as well as exploring other potential options for relocation of the police station. In the coming year, we will also engage the community in discussions about City facilities more broadly. To read full letter, click here.
To read more about the City's potential acquisition of the Closson property, check out the Preservation of Closson Property: Frequently Asked Questions prepared by the City.

CAT Q&A with the Mayor, Closson Site Part

Q&A with the Mayor Regarding Closson Site

Q&A with Vince Mazzei

The Lambertville Community Advisory Team (CAT) conducted a Q&A with Vince Mazzei, Assistant Commissioner for Watershed and Land Management, overseeing the Division of Land Resource Protection and the new Division of Watershed Protection & Restoration at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The Q&A focuses on environmental considerations the community has raised about the current police station site.

CAT Q&A with Mayor Fahl

9/4/20 - Over the last month and a half, the Community Advisory Team (CAT) has engaged the community around the first part of its charge - making recommendations regarding the look and footprint of the mixed-income housing development on the current police station site. The CAT held 12 office hours and conducted a community-wide survey with over 300 responses. The CAT listened to the community and received a lot of feedback and input. The CAT also received some questions on the police station site, relocating the police, and finances that are outside the CAT's scope. Watch the CAT's Q&A with Mayor Fahl to get answers to these questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are common questions the Community Advisory Team (CAT) received from the community about the police station site and affordable housing. We will also be releasing Q&As with the mayor and professionals for questions either outside the CAT’s charge or on which we need additional information. We will build on these as we receive more questions, so be sure to check back regularly.

Has there been a final decision that the police station site will be used for affordable housing?

Yes. This site was identified by the City in its amended settlement agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center as one of the sites on which the City will meet its affordable housing requirements. After that, City Council designated the site as an Area in Need of Redevelopment which gives the City more leeway in specifying design and zoning for this site.

Community Advisory Team (CAT) Description and Charge

The Lambertville Community Advisory Team is comprised of a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and views on redevelopment in the City.

The team is committed to engaging in productive, civil discussions to:
(1) understand the community’s values as they pertain to the character of the City and development,
(2) understand the City’s challenges and communicate obligations to the community, and
(3) after understanding these situations and values, advocate to the City Council for plans that address these challenges and align with the community’s values.  

CAT Co-Chairs
Sarah Gold and Paul Kuhl
Contact us: [email protected]

CAT Members

Mary Barna
Mary has 25 years of experience developing change and communication plans for complex organizations. She works with leaders and their employees to build trust, identify ways to gather and respond to stakeholder feedback, and communicate with clarity and transparency. She is deeply interested in helping to create open communication channels where everyone can feel heard. 

Karen Conlon
Karen raised her family in Lambertville and served on the Board of Education during the time they were considering the multi-million-dollar referendum for facility improvements for SHRHS. She was chosen for her deep roots in the community and her ability to get to the heart of the question that residents need asked.

Lisa Easton
Lisa has worked on the restoration of some of the New York Metropolitan Region’s most noteworthy landmarks. She has developed a reputation in the historic preservation field as an expert architect, planner and historian. Her work consists of commercial, institutional and residential projects set within urban and sub-urban settings. She teaches, lectures and serves on a variety of non-profit boards, promoting the integration of architecture and preservation.

Beth Ann Gardiner
Beth was selected because in the early 1990's she helped form a small group called the Land Use Forum that discussed development plans of the former high school site with property owners. The Land Use Forum spent time walking the city, looking at its various properties and uses, trying to find a way to make any new development on the hill compatible with (and connected to) the downtown area. In the late 90's, Beth worked with a group to help inform residents of planned development at the Lambertville Station. At that time, a "mall" with various chain stores and an ice-skating rink were proposed to be developed. The group helped to engage the community to give productive feedback to the various boards and the developer. Shortly thereafter, Beth was appointed to the planning board in (approximately) 1999 and remained an active member for about 12-15 years. As one of the only "lay people" on the board, she learned a lot about planning, negotiating, listening and problem solving. 

Michele Glassburg
Michele has worked for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association whose membership was and is mostly small businesses. She currently works for New Jersey Future whose mission is to advance smart, efficient and equitable growth in already built areas - such as urban areas and small towns like Lambertville. She understands the critical needs of maintaining a business environment that will be attractive to businesses (and their very important tax contributions) and that residents and visitors come here for the unique offerings  of those businesses and restaurants and do not want to see commercialization by larger companies and chains. Michele is personally and professionally committed to smart growth.

Sarah Gold
Sarah was chosen as a Chair for this board because of her educational background - bachelor's degree in community, environment, and development; master's degrees in education and social work; and a PhD in social work. This background provides Sarah with a great deal of knowledge about community development, working with stakeholders, and education. As a social work researcher, she focuses on low-income kids' living conditions (among these: material hardship, housing hardship, and neighborhood factors) and how policies can improve these conditions. Sarah teaches a masters of social work course at Rutgers on Poverty, Inequality, Public Policy, and Discrimination  She also has direct experience with affordable housing development, and has worked as an assistant project manager for Habitat for Humanity Newark for 4 years building safe, decent, affordable housing. Sarah is confident that with her background she will be able to communicate with a broad audience.

Michelle Harris
Michelle was selected for her engineering expertise in design and construction, public policy development, public funding analysis. We hope that she will work to be a community liaison and facilitate community conversation.

Sandra Harris
Sandra was selected because of her volunteer work surrounding our flooding issues and Community Rating System. She also has a unique ability to communicate the most important points of arguments. She has many years of experience managing in complex organizations.

Cynthia Jahn
Cyndy was selected because she is a commissioner on the Environmental Commission; a member of the Lambertville Historical Society; co-leader of the civil rights action team, Indivisible Lambertville New Hope; a practicing attorney with COAH and has considerable land use experience and more recently practicing in the public education policy and law space.

Robert Jordan
Rob is a civil engineer and was selected for his background in development that will provide the CAT with a commonsense approach to good planning and development. 

Shirley Kessler

Shirley has volunteered with the ACME screening room for over 10 years. She has experienced firsthand what non-profit's in our community needs from our City Facilities. She also provides perspective as someone that has been in the heart of contentious issues and wants to serve as consensus builder. 

Paul Kuhl
Paul was selected as a Chair since he is currently the Chairman of the Planning Board which he has been a member of for approximately 30 years. As a CPA his core-competency is understanding and communicating about budgeting.

Janine MacGregor
Janine was selected since she would like to be a part of the City's future. She currently sits as the chair of the Municipal Utility Authority and is familiar with infrastructure planning in the City.  She believes the City should be soliciting input, communicating, and resolving issues, and planning and implementing decisions.

Deborah Monigan
Deborah was selected for her interest in balancing the historical significance of our community and the requirement to fulfill mandated obligations. 

Andrew Nowick
Andrew was chosen for his interest in helping the city meet its affordable housing obligations while seeking the consensus and support of its residents through effective and impartial communication.

Lita Sands
Lita was selected because she would like to be an ambassador to the community, providing the facts and representing the voice of the residents. She is particularly interested in the environmental impact of these plans.

Louis Toboz
Lou was selected because he has been the city historian for over twenty years. He has a deep understanding of the history of the city. He has served on several other commissions and boards including the historic preservation commission. He previously served on a facility review committee decade ago and is interested in continuing his work. As a social worker he has experience working with diverse populations.

Lauren Young
Lauren was selected since she is the Board of Education representative and is a lifelong advocate for community building with seven years experience in teaching, student outreach, and educational programming.

Wells Winegar
Wells is currently the Deputy Township Administrator in Bridgewater Township.  He previously worked in the New Jersey Governor's Office in Operations and served as the Chief of Staff and Legislative Liaison for the New Jersey Department of Banking and insurance.  Wells has a thorough understanding of State and Local Government and looks to bring that experience to the CAT in the community that he and his wife have lived in from 8 years and love. 

CAT members were selected through the following process: the community was invited to apply. About 50 people applied and there were 20 spots available. The mayor then worked with the planner and council to select members based on their involvement in town, professional experiences, and diverse views on redevelopment in the city. After the chairs were selected, the list of proposed members was reviewed with them.