Dear Mr. Dietze,
I write with concern regarding your recent behavior at Saturday’s Making a Difference Run/Walk, held in the memory of Detective Matt Tarentino. We gathered together, over 1000 strong, to commemorate his contribution to our community and to support his family in their loss. You chose to politicize this event by securing a six-foot campaign banner along the race route. This was a poor choice.
As Mayor, I am delighted when citizens choose to involve themselves in local governance by running for office. It is an important part of the strong culture of volunteerism we enjoy here in Summit. Campaigning is an important part of the election process, of course. We all benefit from opportunities to get to know the candidates personally, and from a robust debate of City issues.
But campaigning has its’ own time and place. Your past indiscretions - wearing a homemade Board of Education badge when campaigning door to door this spring, and reading a long, prepared campaign statement during the public comments segment of a Common Council meeting - were regrettable. But this most recent display of campaigning during an event to honor a fallen hero was particularly unsettling.
Up until now, we have had a tradition of substance and civility in our local elections that has spoken worlds about our history of good governance here in Summit. Candidates have wholeheartedly respected the boundaries between their roles as private citizens, appointed board members, community leaders, and candidates. This is, and should be, a source of pride for all of us.
I urge you to respect the standards of decorum that prevail here in Summit.
Mayor Nora Radest
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