Letter to the Editor: Intelligent Choices for Summit

Choose Ellen, Greg, Ron and Pat

Summit voters are confronted with three choices for Mayor on Election Day; party nominees Ellen Dickson, Eileen Forman Ludden, and independent Michael Vernotico. The traits we need for mayoral leadership are honesty, experience, compatibility, humility and performance. How do our candidates compare? 

Eileen Ludden is untested, inexperienced and naïve if she thinks we can reconcile our differences with Union County by playing nicey-nice. She may be a future contender but is not ready to take on the Chief Executive role of a major City and is definitely not a polished successor to Janet Whitman, Walter Long and Jordan Glatt.

Michael Vernotico, although a seasoned pro, has personality flaws that have stifled the effectiveness of Council. He voted against the last two budgets and could jeopardize our AAA rating with his employee additions. He advocates a “kitchen cabinet” to advise him rather than an elected Council because of his inability to work effectively with others. 

The best candidate is experienced, financially austere, a communicator who delivers on her promises and a champion of educational excellence and downtown progress. She is humble and conciliatory with others and is respected by our State representatives and Congressman.

An intelligent voter will cast his/her vote for Summit’s best choice: .

Summit’s Council has been effective in approving the lowest municipal and school tax increases in recent Summit history. Yet, our property owners are confronted with escalating taxes despite any reforms that may be enacted. Our disproportionate County tax burden and the City’s must be actively confronted at the County and State levels by a compatible and aggressive Mayor and Council. 

Summit is fortunate to have six good candidates for Council with varied backgrounds. I recommend three in particular for the unique qualities they offer Summit’s governance: 

Greg Drummond, an attorney and business owner, is proficient with downtown Summit, City development opportunities and is cognizant of real estate values and taxes;

Dr. Rob Rubino is a competent health expert and business executive with multiple talents and the persona to accomplish Summit’s objectives economically and effectively; 

Pat Hurley, who heads corporate security for a major firm, is widely experienced in public safety, cyber security, terrorism, electrical grids, electronics and City challenges. 

Ellen, Greg, Ron & Pat bring valuable skillsets to Summit and work well together.

They have my vote!


Rich Madden

Common Council President Pro-Tem & Chair, Finance & Personnel 

TomK November 07, 2011 at 03:40 PM
They all have my vote too! Ellen is by far the most highly qualified candidate for mayor, without question. I have no doubt she will do a great job. I am also know Pat Hurley and have always been impressed by his broad knowledge of the issues and love of Summit. Most importantly, he is somebody who will actually get things done, rather than sit around complaining or pointing fingers. In my opinion, Greg and Rob are also much better qualified than the competition, and I know they care deeply about quality of life in Summit. We get what we vote for (or don't bother to vote for). If you really care about keeping Summit a wonderful place to live, get out to vote! And I urge you to take a look at the records of these candidates and give them serious consideration.
Marjorie Fox November 08, 2011 at 01:06 AM
I take issue with Mr. Madden’s assertion that Eileen is “naïve if she thinks we can reconcile our differences with Union County by placing nicey-nice.” Take a look at the positions taken by Eileen’s opponents if you want to see naïve and ineffective strategies for dealing with Union County. Eileen, instead, says members of Summit’s Council should attend Freeholders’ meetings (which current Common Council members do not do), and argues that Summit should band together with New Providence and Berkeley Heights to get more bargaining strength in dealing with the County. Doesn’t that make sense? Mr. Madden’s suggestion that Eileen is untested and inexperienced is offensive. Eileen has two advanced degrees and over 20 years of business and communication experience. She has proven herself as a leader who can get diverse groups of people to work together, and has received several awards in recognition for her success. In particular, Eileen demonstrated her energy and problem solving skills through her founding of TryCAN, a non-profit that funds and organizes programs for Summit’s special needs youth, at no cost to taxpayers. If you have any doubt about Eileen’s leadership skills, I urge you to look at the many endorsements of Eileen at www.eileenformanludden.org and on Summit Patch.
T Durden November 08, 2011 at 02:43 AM
...i one of the stupider summit voters...i be voting no on dickson...me taxes go up every year...she part of problem...just say no...
Chris Brancher November 08, 2011 at 03:30 AM
Pat Hurley is experienced in public safety? Isn't he the one that promised to join the volunteer police department and patrol downtown last year. How much experience did he get doing that? As far as I can tell, flying a military plane may be impressive, but it has nothing to do with public safety. I assume his knowledge of electrical grids will come in handy during the next blackout. NO THANKS! I'll keep gas in my generator instead.
T Durden November 08, 2011 at 04:01 AM
...ok so I have a ? for the dickson supporters...what the heck was she talking about during the debate when she blathered on about the hispanic community and the block party she attended...she stated that the party was "too heavily attended" and the "population" didn't understand what a block party was all about and that it shouldn't have been done to such a large degree...what?...was it a gaffe or just a lucid moment when her true colors came out...its that kind of provincial thinking we need less of...i'm not latino and found the remarks offensive...this is what we want in our mayor..NO THANK YOU...watch the clip on youtube for yourself...search "summit mayoral forum" and go to the 42:25 mark...hey, what do i know...
summitmom1 November 08, 2011 at 04:18 AM
Was that Dickson's attempt at saying "I have an hispanic friend?" Was she patting herself on the back for her willingness to embrace the hispanic community when instead she slighted an already slighted community within Summit? That's just so bad.. Any undecided voters really should watch (or rewatch as I did) this clip from the mayoral debate. Whether it was just a non-sequitur or her true colors coming out, it is a cringe worthy moment for Dickson. Thanks T.D. for finding it. Not a characteristic we need in a mayor. I urge you to watch this clip..
Hilltopper81 November 08, 2011 at 04:34 AM
While I don't plan to vote for Ellen, I do see her point about the so called block party a few weeks ago. A resident obtained a permit for a block party on Park Ave and ended up having a full blown street fair with food vendors, loud music and hundreds of attendees, most of whom did not live in the area. I could hear it several blocks away. The folks who live in Roosevelt Commons were not invited lost use of their driveway. The City may need to clarify the rules for holding a block party. Ellen isn't always eloquent, but I doubt she was being "racist".
Hilltopper81 November 08, 2011 at 04:50 AM
Ted Nugent is normal? That's funny.
summitmom1 November 08, 2011 at 04:57 AM
Unfortunately, it was the wrong venue to make that point. I watched it again to try to put it in context and in a conversation about engaging a particular group within our community and she ended up deriding that group. It had the undertones of what is often said about various NYC parades/celebrations. So, in an unscripted moment she wasn't able to get her thought across. Regardless of her intention, it was cringe worthy.


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