Summit Common Council Ward II
Candidate will represent Ward II for a three-year term
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What plans can be put in place to ensure Summit can respond efficiently to future power failures?
The year 2020 will be remembered for Covid-19. What should Summit be doing to ensure the public well being of its residents? What measures should be put in place to assist residents/businesses adversely impacted by Covid 19?
Racial/Social Justice is another movement that is coming out of 2020. What measures should be taken to make town government more representative of its diverse population? What services should the police force implement in order to work closely with the community to improve race relations?
First, as President of Summit's Council, I have appointed a committee to identify ways that the City can improve storm response. JCP&L’s communications with the City were a major issue in the last storm. The City has a robust communications program but the lack of timely and accurate information from JCP&L about their response and restoration plans continually hampers the City’s ability to act. The storm response committee will meet with JCP&L representatives and will advocate for improved services with the state Board of Public Utilities. Second, Summit has an extensive City tree maintenance program to ensure that existing hazards are addressed and that future hazards are not created when new City trees are planted. In addition, the Shade Tree Committee educates homeowners on how to maintain their trees. Third, the City is exploring infrastructure hardening options such as solar, battery, and microgrid technology to decrease our dependence on JCP&L’s aging power infrastructure.
As Council President, I have taken an active role in the City’s response. We started by putting in place measures to safely provide essential City services while protecting health. The City assisted civic organizations with food relief programs and partnered with SDI to promote a grant program for businesses. Council has passed numerous resolutions to assist our businesses by allowing sidewalk sales; expanded outdoor dining options; and outdoor exercise classes. Summit was the first community in New Jersey to close down a street on a long term basis for outdoor dining under the state’s COVID-19 rules. Summit has held weekly socially distanced outdoor events on the Green. The City Communications Office has provided residents with information about case numbers, safety advice, and governmental resources. Summit’s elected officials have assisted countless residents throughout the pandemic. As needs arise, the City and its elected officials will continue to innovate to address those need
Council has sought out volunteers from all parts of our community to make City boards and committees representative of Summit’s diverse population. These boards and committees are often the jumping off point for future elected officials so providing opportunities for more diverse candidates is important. Council has also expressed the desire that City administrators broaden their reach when recruiting for City employment.
The Police Chief has committed to reviewing all procedures with the participation of the City’s Safety Committee to ensure fairness and lack of bias. The Police Chief has attended Council meetings to address these issues and to answer questions. The Chief’s most recent presentation, along with Department policies, are posted on the City’s website. Significantly, the Police Department is committed to Community Policing, building relationships with the diverse populations that call Summit home. The Police Department is also broadening its recruitment efforts.
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