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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Summit Common Council Ward II

Vote for one to represent Ward II for a three-year termA Candidates Forum will be held on Thursday, October 12h at 7:30PM In the Summit High School Media Center
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Candidate picture

    Marjorie Fox (Dem) Former attorney, community volunteer

  • Mike Wattick (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Parking is always an issue in Summit. How do you propose to make parking more convenient for the shoppers and short term users while at the same time enforcing long term parking?

Name another major issue facing Summit. What would you do about it if elected?

What is your position on full day kindergarten

Education Columbia Law School, J.D., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar; Yale University, B.S. Environmental Biology, Magna Cum Laude
We must take a multi-pronged approach to address Summit’s parking needs. First, we should look at low cost solutions to reduce demand for parking such as implementing ride-sharing programs during peak demand hours. Second, we should work to make Summit’s streets more pedestrian and bike friendly with an expanded sidewalk network, roadway engineering to improve safety, and safe bike storage facilities. Third, we should explore a jitney service to deliver residents to the downtown and train station. We can improve the parking experience in Summit through better management of our parking assets including implementing more rational pricing and technology to provide real-time information about parking availability. Finally, redevelopment of the Broad Street corridor offers an excellent opportunity to increase parking by making the development of additional parking an element of any redevelopment project. This will increase the City’s parking inventory without incurring additional debt.
Affordability is a major issue in Summit. There are several ways that we can keep taxes under control. First, I will work to ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently. For example, I do not agree with Council’s decision to borrow $300,000 for decorative pavement or cobblestones for Beechwood Road. Second, I will fight to get our fair share of grants and services back from Union County. Finally, we need to expand Summit’s commercial tax base to take some of the tax burden off of residential taxpayers. This does not mean taxing businesses more heavily - we need to grow the commercial tax base through smart redevelopment in areas such as the Broad Street Corridor and others identified in the Summit Master Plan. We also need to help businesses thrive in the downtown by creating a business friendly environment through such measures as streamlined permitting, updated zoning regulations, and better coordination between the Council, SDI, and the City permitting authority.
We need to find a fiscally responsible way to implement universal full day kindergarten (FDK), which benefits both students and their families. Implementation of FDK would also affect our property values because 80 percent of the school districts in New Jersey offer universal FDK, putting Summit at a competitive disadvantage. The tuition-based program is unfair to the people who cannot afford over $7000 per year. Tuition subsidies phase out at an income of approximately $45,000 for a family of four, which leaves a lot of middle class families unable to afford FDK. The Board of Education has not publicly developed a cost estimate for the implementation of universal FDK in the past few years, and I challenge the Board of Education to go through this process including an analysis of how this program can be implemented without building additional school facilities. After that process is completed, the Board should hold a meeting to hear from residents about school spending priorities.
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