I’m most passionate about those issues where I feel my experience can be most useful. And, on every issue, I believe an inclusive process that provides for many points of view is the most productive and beneficial. In that spirit, I invite you to tell me what you think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, challenges, and your point of view. Let’s talk!
Development in Summit
We are at a critical point in Summit’s history as we consider the Broad Street West Redevelopment Project, along with other opportunities. I’m a careful planner; I believe in a strategic approach because it takes us from today into the future we want. That’s what is needed to guide the Project and all of our decisions about the future of Summit.
Development for its own sake is not only pointless but disruptive. I believe the future of Broad Street West should contribute to meeting some of Summit’s key challenges: affordability, diversity, and managed growth. The new development can help us expand Summit’s tax base, but we also need to be mindful of the impact on traffic, schools, safety, health services, and more. What we create has to serve young singles and seniors, new families and long-term residents.
I’m excited to participate in the process of new life to Broad Street West. My experience with financial management, particularly in funding for long-term community enhancements, such as when I was on the Board of Education during the expansion of Summit High School. This will be especially useful to Council and the community. I want my great-grandchildren to look at Broad Street in 50 years and say, “They did a good job!”
Education has long been a passion of mine, and my six years on the Board of Education (BOE) taught me so much. During that time, Summit revamped our high school. We had to balance “state of the art” with “financially feasible.” I think we achieved the right balance through private and public partnership, and a thoughtful, inclusive process.
We’re still in that balancing act. I’m so proud of the BOE, together with so many Summit residents, for bringing about full-day kindergarten. But we still need to grapple with class size, retaining our best teachers, and at ongoing investments in technology. While the Common Council does not directly manage the town’s education budget or agenda, the interconnectedness of our schools, taxes, home values, and the development of our youngest citizens is important to me. I look forward to contributing to this critical dimension of Summit life.
I’m so proud of the people on Summit’s Environmental Commission, the Recycling Advisory Committee, and the Green Team – among others! – for moving Summit forward. As a city, we are actively reducing our use plastic, enhancing energy efficiency through home audits and insulation, investing in trees, and so much more.
In my foundation work, I’ve learned quite a bit through our Environmental Sustainability Portfolio. I see more opportunity for Summit to take a lead in how we source, distribute and pay for energy. The State offers various grants and other support for adopting alternative energy sources: are we using them effectively? How well are we educating our citizens on best energy methods? How are environmental concerns being addressed through the town’s strategic plan?
Many people tell me they feel hopeless against the current weakening of environmental protections at the national level. I tell them, “Let’s get active at the local and state level.” There is still so much we can do.