I Intend to Create a 'Mayor’s Kitchen Cabinet'

"I have no political agenda. I just want to serve the city I love," Mike Vernotico - Independent Candidate for Mayor

There is little doubt that partisan politics as usual simply is not working.  It has failed at every level.  Congress has an approval rating of about 10%.  Politicians are more interested in showmanship than leadership.  And that is precisely why we are in the mess we are.   It is no different here as our residents watch with dismay the Council here, now commonly referred to as the Gang of Five. Dare speak up and you are gaveled down. They want harmony all right, but harmony to them means agreeing with their failed agenda.  Any more harmony and this community will never recover. 

I have no political agenda.  I just want to serve the city I love.

It is time for the residents of this community to take on the leadership role that the current cast cannot. 

People often ask me how as an Independent can you be effective?  Firstly, it is I who has continue to expose them.  I have the courage and conviction to do what is right.  Secondly, the fastest growing “party “ are Independents.  The majority “party” in Summit is now 42% - almost 50% larger than either party.  I speak for you.  They speak for them.

Lastly, and most importantly, I speak with the real leaders of this community constantly.  They talk to themselves. 

The real leaders are as concerned about our future as I am.  I intend to create a “Mayor’s Kitchen Cabinet” of people whose only interest is Summit.  We will meet monthly to discuss the issues of importance to this community.  I want Jordan Glatt and Steve Murphy to be a part of this.  I could care less about party labels.  I have begun to reach out to people and they are excited and eager to serve.  Three years ago people were encourage by the theme of hope and change but all that has been sabotaged by the political parties that really want politics as usual.   We simply cannot afford that anymore.

I will look to a diverse Mayor’s Kitchen Cabinet for open, honest discussion.  I will look for  creativity and criticism.   I will look for candid and frank debate. I will look for consensus on the issues as opposed to consensus on Council.  I will look for harmony with the Community. I will look to this group to speak up and be counted.  I will look to them to outreach to the Community.  I will look to them to elicit your concerns and your hopes for our Community, because in the end, it is not about them, it is about you.

You can start by making November 8th, “Independents” Day

- Michael Vernotico, Independent candidate for Mayor




Debra September 24, 2011 at 11:44 AM
would be great if you gave your name
ressummit September 24, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Sounds more like "Mayor's Water Closet"
Patch Up September 24, 2011 at 01:19 PM
WHO wrote this article? I would not recommend that you use the analogy of kitchen cabinet again. it's off putting to me. I don't like the idea of a collection of anything behind closed doors.
Robert Steelman September 24, 2011 at 02:51 PM
This is no blue print to achieve good governance in Summit. Elected officials-and those they appoint, are regularly challenged to weigh issues affecting the delivery of services and the use of real and personal property of their constituents. How is it possible to do this in a manner that is fair and legal (think about due process and other protected rights) if actions are guided by a select group of overlords not answering to the public. This approach is a prescription for short-sighted policy making to satisfy a very narrow constituency. I’m sure Summit deserves better representation than what is suggested here. Robert Steelman
Michael Vernotico September 24, 2011 at 10:25 PM
I wrote the article. I stand by collecting the thoughts of the real leaders of this community and urging them to be active participants in the management of our community. We need more sunshine, not less. I cannot explain why my name did not appear as the author. Mike Vernotico, Independent Candidate for Mayor
ressummit September 25, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Sure he'll work with the real leaders of the community not the people the voters decided to have represent them. He knows best.
summitmom1 September 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM
c'mon guys. I may not be a fan of Mike's, but I think he's describing a different kitchen cabinet analogy.. one where there is an eclectic mix of ingredients that together combine to make a great meal. I don't think his intention is to be exclusionary and create a group of overlords. I'm pretty sure that already exists.
MsSummit September 26, 2011 at 01:32 PM
Nope, disagree. He is talking about "leaders in the community." Not sure who these people are, but working with Council and listening to the Summit Community is MORE important than listening to the Summit elite/insiders...or perhaps his chosen cronies. Perhaps that is not what he meant, but that is what it is sounding like.
Robert Steelman September 26, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Summitmom. To borrow a quote- “Democracy is having your say not having your way.” The candidate’s appeal reads quite clear. Since working with other elected officials is not an option then lets discredit them and pursue a hand-picked advisory council to help direct the affairs of the City. I ask the question: What does the “brain trust” accomplish that the City’s dozens of boards/committees don’t already do? And, nothing blocks anyone in the public from being heard on any issues. Do the voices of former elected officials, especially those that favor a particular agenda deserve special attention?
summitmom1 September 26, 2011 at 02:37 PM
Why would he put in writing that he wants to create an insular, single minded group. That won't garner any support. I think its a swipe (albeit a passive-aggressive one) at the "gang of five." Its a metaphor for what he believes is lacking in this community. Perhaps he went about it poorly by bringing in Glatt/Murphy (that maybe his attempt to make people assume he has their endorsement), but I don't think he is stating that he'll create a group of overlords. I just read it differently.
summitmom1 September 26, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I think, however, that all these conversations are obfuscating the real issues of the day. How about a debate from the candidates about schools. Not the philosophical conversation about apptd vs. elected boards.. how about a plan of action to reverse the trajectory of our schools? Its not enough to say that we're different from our nearby neighbors.. that's true, but also a crutch. How about a plan that will change our direction in spite of our differences not acceptance (of our declining ratings) b/c of our differences.
jaw2012 September 26, 2011 at 04:32 PM
Was becoming an "independent" the only way to get on the ballot after the republicans gave you the boot? This letter is loaded with crapola. Your good buddies Jordan and Steve are not endorsing you. Am guessing they do not like the way you constantly reference them.
Eileen Z. Wolter September 26, 2011 at 10:29 PM
I agree with Summitmom that I'd welcome (and I think parents of all political colors) an outline from all the candidates about how they intend to handle our schools. In plain language. Not promises. Ideas.
ressummit September 26, 2011 at 10:40 PM
I know it's hard to believe but there may be 1 or 2 Summit residents who might believe there are issues in addition to our schools that need to be discussed.
summitmom1 September 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM
Ressummit, I completely agree with you.. there are other equally important issues. But rather than send a snide response, why not list your other issues and maybe the candidates will respond with a well thought out plan. My comment is simply trying to bring the conversation out of the philosophical stratosphere and into reality.
Summit Res September 26, 2011 at 11:55 PM
As I recall when he ran last time, the issue of stackers played a part in his campaign.  Will the stackers be represented on the kitchen cabinet?  It was just pointed out to me by my child that the term "kitchen cabinet" first came into use under president "Andrew Jackson"  who is not president to be admired.  Will the stackers be run out of town in a "trail of tears"  See Wiki for more info on the items in "".
summitmom1 September 27, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Interesting. Too bad, I liked my definition better! lol. Does your child attend the public schools? If yes, then a vote of confidence! Good for him/her!
DudeSummit September 27, 2011 at 12:31 AM
oh pul-leez!!! i'm still undecided on who to vote for in this election. however, what i do know is that ALL the candidates will have their own slate of advisers, confidants, stackers, kitchen cabinets, husbands, wives, children, neighbors, baristas, patch comment posters etc that will have some influence in the decisions they make. btw, i would assume most residents in summit (with or w/o kids) would consider school rankings/budget 1 or 1a in importance since it is a major factor in both property values and taxes. oh right, but lets endlessly debate parking a little more .... comical. stay classy summit.
PJ September 27, 2011 at 02:40 AM
Let's leave "Old Hickory" out of this... Did You Know? Andrew Jackson was the only President in American History to pay off the national debt and leave office with the country in the black...AND...Andrew Jackson was the first President to articulate that as President he represented all the people and that the will of the majority must govern. (Doesn't sound so bad, does it?) Not to mention, he threw one of the most righteous inauguration parties in history, inviting all the commoners that wanted to show up. They did, and it lasted for days. Sure the White House got a little trashed, but a good time was had by all. Kudos to Summit Res's child. Another success of the Summit public education system!!!
Summit Res September 27, 2011 at 03:35 AM
PJ - All the people? I'm sure his large collection of slaves and the Native Americans he hounded, had a grand time at his inauguration and were well represented by him as they were part of "all the people". Oh sorry, I forgot, back then it was just white male landowners who counted - and yes the Summit public education system did work here, just wish it could be a lot more consistent.
Summit Res September 27, 2011 at 03:41 AM
Well, your definition of kitchen cabinet does come up first on Wiki! Yes, Summit public schools - don't often have good things to say on that subject but I'll give them this one.
OurTown September 27, 2011 at 08:48 PM
The Mayor can get advice from whomever he/she wants. Actions will still require Council approval. The Council has been unsatisfactory, and untransparent. Therefore, I'm happy for the Mayor to get advice from nonCouncil members of the community.
PJ September 28, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Summit Res, I took your advice from our last "conversation" and read your previous posts. After reading them, I get your distaste for an appointed BOE, seemingly unnecessary expenditures in the schools, etc. I agree with many of your thoughts, and I apologize for being pugilistic. I just get frustrated with the culture of complaining that is so pervasive these days, especially by people who are misinformed and just looking to trash educators. It seems that you are not one of those people. On another note, though...Seriously, Andrew Jackson was not so bad. Yeah, I get the Indian Wars and all that, but if we judged every president on their treatment of the "others" in America, we'd have very few (if any) to be proud of. WE CAN BE FRIENDS NOW!
Patrick Nash September 29, 2011 at 05:07 PM
I'm more interested in issues than semantics about kitchen cabinets. Mike came by my door and referenced the proposed 15 million dollar parking garage in Downtown Summit. He said the town will only be able to recoup a third of this cost in parking fees. He also discussed how Summit has only one patrol car at night and how a young girl had her skull fractured when someone threw a pipe off the top of the parking garage. That issue got swept under the rug by the town. These are issues, taxes and safety, that need to be addressed front of center instead of being dealt with behind the scenes.
Robert Steelman September 29, 2011 at 08:42 PM
Beware of candidate claims. You have to go back to 2009, a big year for the parking debate, to track down the $15 million dollar reference and its proper context. Start at the beginning of the year with Mayor Jordan Glatt’s ‘State of the City’ address. His item #3 begins with; “What we should do first, and fast, is build a new parking garage to spur downtown investment”. Then the Desman Associates, Final Report “Downtown Parking Assessment Study is released in February 2009. Notice it is not called a proposal or even a recommend plan of action. Go to page 75 for the details on how the candidate got his $15 million claim. The assumptions are important and clearly it is a hypothetical concept. Who exactly is the candidate blaming for Desman’s presentation of ideas and analysis? I object to the use of a parking study to create a closet full of demons to scare up votes. It makes sense that Halloween and Election Day are so close.
ressummit September 30, 2011 at 12:12 AM
Steelman is spot on with respect to parking issue. The attempt by Vernotico to politicize the unfortunate incident in the parking deck speaks volumes about the man.
summitdude September 30, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Mr Nash, Assume everything Mike Vernotico says is a monstrous lie.
OurTown September 30, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Is there, or is there not, one patrol car at night?
S October 04, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Mike, your discreting the reputation of your fellow council members is getting tired. Worse, your public comments dragging them through the mud only make for a poor reflection of our community...This is a very different brand of politics you're weilding compared with the people who served as mayor the past few decades.
OurTown October 04, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Have the members of the "Gang of Five" on Council abused power, or have they not?


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