It is with both a knowledge of Summit's history over the past four decades and an ingrained sense of optimism about the future that I write to endorse Eileen Forman Ludden as Summit's next mayor. Since starting my pediatric practice in Summit in the 1960's, my wife, Phyllis, and I have been involved in local community volunteer efforts, ranging from building the Summit Child Care Center (now known as The Learning Circle and part of the Summit Y) to actively engaging in more local political campaigns than I can even remember. However, three stellar candidates that we campaigned for and supported throughout their tenure as mayor do stand out: Janet Whitman, Walter Long and Jordan Glatt. How fortunate Summit has been to have had these outstanding public servants at the helm for the past 24 years! The fact that Janet and Walter ran as Republicans did not cause us, lifelong Democrats, the slightest concern, although I must confess that the election of Summit's first Democratic mayor, Jordan, was a special moment for us. That said, each of these three mayors, albeit very different individuals, shared one agenda: doing what was in the best interests of our community - with absolutely no personal or political agenda.
For me as a father, pediatrician, and now a grandfather, what has always been most important to me is the good health of our community - and that starts with good governance. How our Mayor and Common Council have managed Summit's health and safety, schools, the downtown, our diverse population and our neighborhoods over the years has made Summit the town in which we now enjoy four generations of family - from 5 to 95 years! And it is my hope that there will be fifth generation in the future.
Today, despite my optimism, I must admit that I am concerned about that fifth generation and Summit's future. Over the past year or so, some of our Council members have seemed to have forgotten why they were elected, and we as a community are becoming the poorer for it. The sense of security we enjoyed, knowing that our government was in the hands of responsible elected officials, even those with whom we sometimes vigorously disagreed, is gone. This Council is rife with dissent and disrespect for fellow members, including Mayor Glatt, and there is a sense that smart and stable governance in Summit has lost its way. This week's untimely and dangerous snowstorm demonstrates how critically important it is to have our governing body prepared and ready to work together as a team with first responders, our public utilities, especially JCP &L, and city staff on behalf of all the citizens of our community.
To my way of thinking, Eileen Forman Ludden, and her running mates, Susan Hairston (At Large), Sandy Bloom (Ward 1) and Dennis White (Ward 2), offer a fresh start and a return to good governance marked by a demonstrated record of and belief in public service, and the selfless dedication represented by Janet, Walter and Jordan. Pediatricians are by nature future-oriented, concerned with healthy growth and development of children. I believe this team will help insure Summit's future and that of our children, too. Nothing is more important. Please join me in voting for Eileen, Susan, Sandy and Dennis on November 8th.
Lewis I Sank, MD
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