Mayoral candidate answers about Dinky at League debate

The following is a transcript of the candidates’ responses to the following question at the League of  Women Voters’ debate on September 20, 2011.

Do you support moving the Dinky?  Why or why not?

Yina Moore:    . . .[T]he question is, since the University again believes they have the right to move it, I think the question is is whether it is right to be moved  and whether it is the right thing to do.   I don’t believe it is it is the right thing.  I have obviously been in the transportation industry for many years, and you try to bring transit services closer to the population and not move it away, the walkable population particularly.  Moving it farther away from the center of town risks the future of the Dinky. It also encourages more people to try to drive, and once they have tried to drive to the Dinky they will inevitably continue on to the Junction which is the destination of most of the riders . . . The University does not need to move the Dinky in order to build the arts complex.  So, they are really tying the wrong issue to the future of a very important transit infrastructure, not only to this town, to the region, as well as   the nation.

Jill Jachera :   . . . [T]he University has a right, a legal right.  There is a contract which was signed between them and New Jersey Transit to require New Jersey Transit to move the Dinky if the University wants to do so and agrees to pay for it.  They have testified to that in front of Borough council

So If the University makes a determination that it has to be moved to comply with their campus plan then they have a right to move it.  I don’t want them to move it, in particular, nobody wants them to move it.  I doubt that they really want to move it, but they have made the determination that they need to move it, and that ‘s their right to make that determination.  In fact, the worst case scenario here is that they move it, which they have a right to do, and that we don’t approve the zoning that allows them to put the arts center in and we lose that arts center and nonetheless they will have moved the Dinky and we will be left with nothing there.                 In the process of doing that we will also have sufficiently annoyed them such that when the time comes for them to renegotiate their PILOT agreement or their voluntary contribution agreement they would probably not be in a very good mood to try to give more to the community but rather may want to give less which would really be a shame for us.   Things have been tried to find a way to make it stay where it is.   It just doesn’t seem like it is feasible.  The best thing to do is to look at the memorandum of understanding which has been negotiated which allows them to look at light rail and bring that to Nassau Street.