Council has accomplished a lot since I took office in January 2018, but there is still more to be done. I am running for re-election because I have the experience to execute our plans to promote fiscal responsibility, government transparency, public safety, economic development, education, and sustainability. My past professional experience as an attorney and 20 years of volunteering in our community make me qualified to guide Summit into a new decade.
In 2017, I was elected to Common Council. On January 2, 2020, I was elected Council President by unanimous vote of my colleagues on Council. The role of Council President is to set the agenda for the Council.
For the past two years, I have served as chair of the Capital Projects and Community Services Committee of Council. Among our accomplishments are:
*Creating the Hometown Heroes program, which currently recognizes over 200 veterans or active duty military members with banners throughout the City each year.
*Adopting a Sidewalk Master Plan to expand the sidewalk network in Summit -- thus making Summit safer for pedestrians -- and to relieve property owners of the costs of sidewalk installation.
*Adopting a comprehensive revision of the City’s Development Regulations Ordinance, which will govern development and land use decisions in the City of Summit. The new Ordinance streamlines the regulations and incorporates improved design standards and sustainable development.
*Adopting ordinances to reduce the use of plastics in Summit.
I have continued to advocate for smart growth and preservation of our community as a member of the Planning Board. In addition to the accomplishments listed above, I will continue sustainability efforts with solar power, energy efficiency, pesticide reduction, and tree protection measures.
I have consistently spoken about the need for Council to focus on needs, not wants, and to spend taxpayer funds efficiently. My running mates and I delivered on our campaign promise to rescind the approval for faux cobblestones on Beechwood Road, saving taxpayers over $450,000. In the two years that I have served on Council, we passed a 0% increase in the municipal budget in 2018 and a 1% increase in the municipal budget in 2019. I will work to ensure that we continue to exercise fiscal responsibility in future years.
As a candidate, I pledged to make Summit government more transparent. Our Council has instituted Council on the Road meetings, as well as holding numerous public meetings for the Broad Street West Redevelopment project, Park Line project, and the Economic Development Advisory Committee. I have communicated regularly to constituents about issues before Council and have made efforts to broaden the involvement of residents in City government.
During the campaign, I spoke about the importance of the Broad Street Redevelopment project and other economic development in Summit. For the past two years, I have been actively involved as a member of the Broad Street West Redevelopment Steering Committee. This project will increase our tax base and bring in housing and entertainment options, while maintaining the character of our community. I have also served as a member of the newly formed Economic Development Advisory Committee, which is tasked with advising Council on economic development opportunities in Summit. I look forward to continuing as part of the team that guides Summit’s future development.
Finally, I am proud that as a member of the Board of School Estimate, I supported and voted for universal Full Day Kindergarten to give Summit’s youngest students a strong start in school.
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