I write to thank our candidates for office, but most particularly our three mayoral candidates, for their willingness to serve. We should all be appreciative that they care enough about Summit to volunteer their time and talents.
But caring about Summit is not enough. In these times of partisan gridlock we need elected officials who have both a depth of experience, and the ability to listen to differing views to make government function for all of us. I have had occasion to work regularly with Councilwoman Ellen Dickson and Councilman Mike Vernotico in my work on behalf of the Planning Board (where I am currently chair) and numerous other governmental bodies ranging from the Transfer Station to Master Planning to Redevelopment to the Environmental Commission.
While I sometimes disagree with Councilwoman Dickson, she listens and works towards consensus for the betterment of Summit. My experience with Councilman Vernotico has been that he arrives with a predetermined objective, never waivers, and rarely even listens. With this approach, even good ideas fail to gain any traction.
More troubling is the angry cloud of vindictive accusation that Mr. Vernotico seems to bring wherever he goes. We should all agree this aura is beneath the office of Mayor. I've met Eileen Ludden and she seems to have the best of intentions, but in an election where no matter the outcome, half of our governing body will have never held elected office, can we rely only on good intentions?
Councilwoman Dickson has served on Council for many years and has knowledge of County politics from her prior run for a Freeholder post. Ellen Dickson is the only Mayoral candidate that has shown, and not just promised, both the know-how and temperament to lead our city.
34 Hobart Avenue