HomeCranbury PressLongtime Cranbury committeeman won't seek re-election

Longtime Cranbury committeeman won’t seek re-election

Democrat James Taylor has announced that he will not be seeking re-election to the Cranbury Township Committee when his term ends in 2021.

When his term officially ends on Dec. 31, 2021, Taylor will have served on the committee for 12 consecutive years. In those four terms as a township committeeman he was elected mayor twice, for 2015 and 2019.

In Cranbury, residents do not elect their mayors directly; the five-member committee elects one of its members to serve as mayor for a one-year term.

“If we limit the president to two terms then why should others be able to make their career as a politician? I am putting this belief into action and at the end of 2021 when my term expires so will my time on the township committee,” Taylor said. “I think from the first hard unpopular decision you make you wonder how long you want to serve. When you pull back the curtain at levels above the local level you question why you’re doing it at all.”

Taylor added that he felt this was the right decision at this point in time.

“There are no words to express the impact we’re all feeling from senseless deaths all around us. Whether it comes from those suffering from COVID, those who perished at the hands of officers who should not be on the street, or private individuals who have murdered their neighbors whether in the racist death of Ahmaud Arbery or the 49 shootings over Memorial Day in Chicago,” he said. “I believe we must unite in dialogue and discussion, hear each other and support each other to make the world better for our children.”

According to Taylor, he does not plan on to seeking higher office after his term ends in 2021.

He earned his first term on the township committee as a Republican. He would go on to switch parties when gearing up to run for his second term in 2012.

Taylor added that he has served with 11 committee members, three police chiefs, two fire chiefs, two township clerks and two township administrators during his time on the committee.

“In my 11 years on the township committee I have met with countless state, federal and county politicians. I stopped attending political events as I became sickened by a number of politicians who, believing I am one of them, made no bones in sharing their view that voters were ‘only’ a means to an end [even if in jest],” he said. “Both parties are equally impressive at taking the same issue and making it seem they have the voter interest at heart. The result is nothing happens that actually benefits the citizens.”

Taylor continues to serve as a volunteer for the Cranbury Fire Company and Cranbury Historical Society. He is currently the committee’s liaison to the Business and Professional Association and Board of Recreation Commissioners.

As of June 8, the township committee currently has a democratic majority of 4-1 as Taylor finishes his term.

Taylor said moving forward politicians need to look at the two areas that most affect society: policing and teaching. He suggested politicians pass laws that make it easier to support and reward the good individuals and weed out the bad ones.

He continued by referencing his own past experience with several teachers and how those experiences shaped his thinking. Specifically pointing to how politicians must be forced to pass laws that revise tenure for teachers.

“I suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) and it was worse when I was young. There were no accommodations or counseling opportunities in Cranbury or any other district,” Taylor said. “When I was in first grade a former teacher decided he had enough of my antics. He picked me up by the neck like Homer picks up Bart in ‘The Simpsons’ and proceeded to carry me across the gym floor.”

He added that an individual who in any other situation would have been arrested and had their career terminated was instead paid handsomely to walk away.

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