Government

Meet The Leaders - Common Council President Rich Madden

9c8358e1eef241bbc4e6_viewer-2.png
9c8358e1eef241bbc4e6_viewer-2.png

Editor's note:  This continues the Meet The Leaders profile series on the Summit Alternative Press.  The objective is to provide our readers the opportunity to hear from Summit's leaders in government, public safety, commerce and other areas, regarding Summit's present and future outlook, their background and what they enjoy doing in their private life.  In order to keep the format consistent, The Alternative Press presents each individual with the same five questions.  We publish their answers unedited.

Today - Summit Common Council President Rich Madden
 

Background / Biography

Sign Up for E-News

Born in Queens, N.Y., as second of five children raised by Brooklyn-born parents of Irish/ German heritage.  With Dad’s job transfer, we moved to Connecticut where I skipped a grade.  Elected Newington High Student Council President, National Honor Society, Boys’ State, Basketball Co-Captain, and held four jobs.  Regretfully, our only sister perished from Cystic Fibrosis at age eighteen.  Graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy with a B.S. Engineering, won the Colors, Soccer Goalkeeper and served on the Personal Honor Guard to the President at the White House.

As a Marine Officer, commanded a HAWK Missile Battery that was commended for operational readiness, technical proficiency and personnel excellence.  Earned Harvard MBA and pursued general management opportunities.  Presided over several start-up companies where leadership and teamwork were essential for success.  Generated record sales and profits as first CEO of Adidas, USA, which brought me to Summit thirty years ago, where I met my wife Paula.  We now have five married children and eight grandchildren in five different states.

 

What inspired you to pursue a role in public office?

My wife Paula encouraged me to seek public office five years ago to give back to the community after my successful military and business pursuits and observation that continuous high property tax increases were unsustainable.  As a neophyte politician, I established a game plan to meet as many constituents as possible and listen to their ideas.  During my first two years 2010 & 2011, was elected Council President Pro-Tem, Chaired Finance/Personnel and Auditor & Solicitor Search Committees, Deputy Public Works, and member of Board of School Estimate and Joint Meeting.  Have served as Council President in 2012 & 2013, and was re-elected to Council.  Have encouraged several others to continue the pursuit for excellence in municipal governance.

 

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing Summit today?

Summit is a fabulous community that prides itself on the high quality of its residents and employees, its public and private school systems, commuting proximity to New York City, the concentration of medical centers and pharmaceutical headquarters, a vibrant downtown, beautiful neighborhoods, competent volunteers and well organized programs.  Opportunities abound to continue to improve Summit in most of these areas.  People move to Summit for its schools and direct commuting, so good governance should continue to improve the education and parking processes.  Many of Summit’s children attend private schools at their own expense despite the reputation of Summit’s public education program and the taxes required to support it.

The primary challenges that confront Summit are fiscal control and public safety.  As property taxes continue to rise, many long term residents consider moving to lower taxed areas, which can create meaningful changes in the community mix.  Summit residents pay over $150M annually in State income taxes plus property taxes of $130M for City,  Schools and County government, but receive very little in return.  Summit must control rising debt service, now over 17% of the City budget, by limiting non-essential capital projects.

Summit pays 11 percent of county taxes from 4 percent of the population.  As a trendsetter, Summit should encourage legislative support to shrink the size of County governments.  In Union County, we should privatize Runnels Hospital; consolidate three County law enforcement agencies (Sheriffs/Correction/County Police); assign expense of the Prosecutor’s Office and Union County College to the State; and, reduce the County government headcount annually by attrition.  These overspending changes could reduce county taxes significantly and Summit’s by $10M+.

Public safety encompasses the security and well-being of our residents from violations of the law, natural occurrences and created emergencies.  In today’s world, we must be prepared for the emergency risk management challenges of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, cyber wars and human deviations as well as the standard police, fire, EMS and public safety requirements.  

 

What are the top priorities on your “to do list” as a City Council Member?

Personally, my major goal has been to contribute to the betterment of Summit with honesty and transparency.  All of Council and the Mayor have a responsibility to encourage the election of the most competent candidates and the appointment of the best qualified personnel as committee members and City employees.  Specifically, we must cover all bases to reduce our County tax burden, standardize and improve our parking for shoppers and commuters, and improve our emergency management capabilities to confront any situation that involves life safety, including a program to train competent backup well in advance of any emergency.

 

When you are not being a City Council member, what do you do in your spare time?

Communicate with and travel to California and New England to visit five children and eight grandchildren in CA, CT, MA, NJ & VT.  Oldest grandchild just graduated at the top of her class from Burlington VT High School; youngest was born at Overlook Medical Center three months ago.  Enjoy golf and have organized several group trips to Ireland, Scotland, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and Annapolis.  Active with Naval Academy and Color Company Classmates.

 

Five words that describe Summit are…

Educational…Intellectual…Versatile…Vibrant…Volunteerism…

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_92eaadab4fea5d764092_edc2dcd4802a1c409d7c_screen_shot_2018-04-03_at_1.15.57_pm

Sun, July 22, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3104d62d4140717c0d39_c4b1c442498721eb1133_da642dc68aa7d0728e5c_9de480c638b23e5ff30b_15439854_1068128309964954_2075775014450964550_n

Sun, July 22, 5:00 PM

Central Presbyterian Church, Summit

Summer Outdoor Worship with BBQ

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_b7bf86ab9b5cba4793d9_347facfa8ac6817752ac_19055513_10158829487705483_8854478692329281822_o

Mon, July 23, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness

Summit Police Blotter

July 9, 2018

6/19 - Peter Ferguson, 31, of New York, New York was arrested on a contempt of court warrant out of Point Pleasant Beach. Mr. Ferguson posted bail and was provided a new court date.

6/22 - At 1552 hours a report was taken for a theft of one thousand (1,000) mops from Overlook Hospital. The reporting individual indicated the theft occurred between 6/10 and 6/21. Taken from a storage area ...

Audio: Point View's Petrides Details Three Things to Watch During Earnings Season on 'Wall St. Unplugged'

July 20, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, on Wall Street Unplugged discussing portfolio positioning during earnings season:

curzioresearch.com/three-critical-things-to-watch-during-earnings-season

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Says Valuations, Buybacks, Dividend Make Financials Attractive

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, appeared live on CNBC detailing the outlook for financial stocks and more:

cnbc.com/video

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...

Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Are You Ready for Your Child to Turn 18?

If your son or daughter is turning 18, here are a few things you need to know:

If you have an UGMA/UTMA savings account for your child, did you know those assets are his/her legal property and once that instrument matures (most often 21 years old or 18, if you designated that at time of account creation), those assets are at your child’s disposal with no restrictions or ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?

 

Enough already.  

 

I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.

 

“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...