Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moving to Robbinsville

A petition with nearly 1500 signatures has been filed to change the name of Washington Township (Mercer County) to Robbinsville Township. The measure will be on the November ballot and if passes, will be a legally binding name change.
(Lewis, who got the petition) Koushel said the identity problem in Washington Township causes confusion in everything from school closings and athletic competitions to attracting new businesses to the community.
Koushel pointed to the fact that in 2003 the school board opted to name the new $50 million high school Robbinsville High School, rather than using the traditional and less-recognizable Washington Township. The decision followed an overwhelming community response supporting the "Robbinsville High School" name.
"We don't owe any allegiance to (the name) Washington Township," said Koushel. "I mean Washington never slept here."
On top of the name identity problem, there is added confusion because most of the township lives in the 08691 ZIP code, which is listed as Trenton.

Changing the name of this town, officially, to Robbinsville township is long overdue. I don't think that automatically fixes the zip code problem, though; West Windsor has been struggling with that one for a long time, too.


Yasko said...

There is one problem (as some see it) with calling it "Robbinsville Township." The "ville" implies a particular size, as does "Township." It should either be "Robbinsville" or "Robbins Township" as the land was one largely owned by the Robbins family. At least, that's what I've come to understand from the Historical Society.

BTW, Hi.


PS - I think it's very funny that the word verification for me to post this is "sqrtd." HA!

Rob said...

It is long overdue. The zip code thing is something a LOT of towns in the area deal with. Princeton comes up for a lot of West Windsor zip codes. In Hamilton we have a lot of Trenton zip codes. Depending on what the sender's automation system brings up the town as - our mail can come to Trenton, Hamilton, or Mercerville.


Rob S. said...

I really don't think there should be a Robbinsville until Batmanburg has been established for a few years.

Marilyn said...

As a board member of the Friends and Historical Committee of Washington Township, I think this name change is an absolute load of crap... why did it take 2 years for this guy to get signatures? Because it is a stupid move. First, the shear cost of changing the name - every letterhead, police car, fireman's uniform, school sign, to name a few. Secondly, Washington Township is not just Robbinsville, but the hamlets of Windsor, New Canaan, and New Sharon, as well. All these are separate entities, joined under the Washington Township banner. Are you just going to forget the other parts of the town? If the name change were to go into effect, it would need to become "Robbins Township", because "Robbinsville Township" is redundant. Without the township part, again, you forget the other parts of the town.
Third, in March of 2009, the township will be celebrating its 150th anniversary of being Washington Township. It's only in recent years (about 20 to be exact) that "Washington Township" has not been used in place of Robbinsville... maybe the other 130 years should count for something, and all the newcomers (of which I am one) should respect this. It is the opinion of the Friends and Historical Comittee that it would not present the town respecting it's history to change the name just before the 150th anniversary of its's incorportation.
Finally, a name change will do NOTHING to change the zip code or the problems with sharing it with Trenton. This must be done by petitioning the US postal service. If you want to fix the zip code problem, do it; a name change will do nothing.
So, IMHO, take the name change and stick it where the sun don't shine...

Sharon GR said...

There are clearly some strong opinions on this issue! It'll be interesting to see how the vote goes in November.

victor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
victor said...

With 566 municipalities, duplicate and redundant names are a common problem all over NJ, not just in Washington Twp. Some local examples of redundant names are the City of Union City in Hudson County, City of New York City in Manhattan and The City of Orange Township in Essex County. In fact, after 239 years as Dover Township in Ocean County (my home town), they recently changed it to Toms River Township to eliminate confusion with another Dover in Morris County. What did the historical guild think of this change you ask? "Of course I'm not happy about it," said Pauline 'Polly' Miller, Ocean County historian. "How else would I feel? The history of this town is what I care about." While I personally agree with preserving the historical integrity of each community and do not disagree with the good work that the historical society does, I also believe in change if it makes sense. In the same way that day light savings is no longer necesary to facilitate our modern lifestyle, Washington Township may no longer adequately encompass the characteristics of this community. Besides, there are 4 or 5 in the state already; therefore requiring an explanation every time someone asks what town you live in. My vote is for 'Robbinsville Township'. Although it would not solve the zip code problem, its a step in the right direction toward regaining a unique identity. I am surprised though that Washington Township doesn't address this confusion on its website, at least describing how Robbinsville fits into Washington. It was only on this blog that I learned the true reason. Perhaps if the town itself shed some light on the many sections that make up Washington Twp, it may help eleviate some of the confusion.