There has been a consistent theme to the mailings I’ve sent city-wide in the past 6 years and in the opinion pieces that have been published in the press and that have been posted on my website:  It’s all about Summit, all the time.

I truly believe that. Every time I’ve considered how to vote, or advocated a particular opinion or project, I’ve done so only after consulting a mix of individuals with varying interests and outlooks. It takes a lot of work to develop the right opinion and I always do lots of homework to get to that opinion. And so when I come across as passionate about an issue, some people mistake that passion for anger.  

I’ve been told I don’t smile enough. I am working on that, but it’s not easy for me. My wife Joanne will sit in the audience at debates or in public forums and smile at me to remind me to do the same, and I do for a second, and then I forget. As Joanne says, “He is always deep in thought, trying to solve the next problem. He just forgets to smile.” Guilty as charged.

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So, why do I keep saying it’s all about Summit, all the time? Because it’s not about me. It is about you and your needs and hopes for the future. Yes, I’m asking for your vote to be your mayor. I’m doing this because I’ve lived in Summit most of my life and I’ve served in many volunteer positions. I’ve loved doing that. Being able to give back to my community is my way of saying “thank you.” It’s my way of trying to preserve what is great about Summit. The Summit that helped make me who I am today and the Summit that Joanne and I want to spend our golden years in.

For Summit voters, it’s time to choose the right person to connect with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. I intend to do that by keeping my door open and accessible to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, by establishing an informal “kitchen cabinet” to help shape my thoughts and lead the city in a direction that works for most. It’s time to choose the right person with innovative ideas and solutions to help get us through this tough economic time. I intend to do that with thoughtful, open and inclusive discussions with as many of you as possible. We will work together to find the right solutions.

It’s time to bring our community back together and back to the business of running this city in a smart, correct and proper way. It’s a great time to consider sensible, experienced and independent leadership. Everyone has a stake in this. We must end the rancor which is caused not by personalities, but the lack of respect for the public’s right to know and right to express an opinion. As your mayor, it will be my job to bring us together. It will be easy for me to get along with those who do the right thing and have nothing but the good of Summit, and not the next election cycle, at the top of their agenda.

Please watch the taped debates continually running on TV – 35 and visit

I’m reminded of an ad from years ago which read, “You don’t buy a shovel because you want a shovel … you buy a shovel because you want to dig a hole.” As your Mayor, I can tell you plain and simple, I don’t want the shovel, I want the hole. I want to be able to dig into the business of keeping this city, if I may steal a line from my friend Councilman Steve Murphy, the best small city in the United States. And I will do it with a smile on my face!

Mike Vernotico