Candidate Statements

Ready to Take on the Issues with Creativity and Perseverance

Matt Gould

The last three months has been the most enjoyable period I’ve had in my years in Summit – all because I’ve been out on the campaign trail.  

Running for Common Council has provided me with the opportunity to talk to hundreds of Summit neighbors. I have knocked on doors across Ward One and spoken to residents about my hopes and goals to make Summit even better.  But more importantly, I’ve asked them what is on their minds.

Not surprisingly, people love this town. I’ve lived in nine different cities in my life, and I’ve spent substantial amounts of time in 48 states and a dozen countries while working on television or film productions. I’ve never heard so many people express a love of a place as Summit’s residents do.

Sign Up for E-News

That said, here are two concerns people have raised repeatedly:

1. Safer streets.

People feel that they can’t walk comfortably in Summit, and they’re afraid to let their children walk to their schools alone. People want more sidewalks, bike lanes, four-way stop signs, speed bumps, and stricter enforcement.

Walking down streets like Woodland, Butler, and Hobart, I sometimes felt like my life was in jeopardy. That’s not good.

Afterward, I reviewed traffic data for the city, and I must say it’s rather puzzling. The data does not point to dangerous roads. For instance, there were 13 pedestrian-involved accidents in 2016 compared with 27 in 2004. So, the trend is going in the right direction. But the data doesn’t reflect the feeling of being unsafe while walking. I’ve personally experienced the terror of seeing a car race down Webster Avenue while my 8-year-old is out biking or skateboarding.  And I’m certain there are many people who don’t walk but would if they felt the streets were safer for them.

There are three E’s to safe streets – education, engineering, and enforcement. I’ve heard great ideas from residents for all 3 of the E’s, and I’ve also come across some good ones through my work.  

Here’s one of my favorites: A speed-camera lottery. We’d install speed cameras on roads that have a problem.  Cars that are speeding would be photographed and given citations. But cars that are going at or under the speed limit would be photographed as well, and the car license plates would be entered into a lottery. Each month, the money taken in through the citations would be given back out to one of the responsible drivers!

You can see a video about the speed camera lottery here:

2. Transparency of local government.

People often feel that they don’t know what’s going on.  This feeling applies to those seeking permits to make improvements to their houses who can’t find out when their permit will be approved, or why a request was rejected.  

It also applies to actions taken by Common Council.  

A good and recent example of this was the proposal put forward to open up the Summit Family Aquatic Center to corporate membership. Residents learned of this through a short mention at the end of an article in TAPinto Summit, and thanks to a post on Councilman David Naidu’s Facebook page. Within hours, concerned citizens started a petition objecting to the proposal, and at the next Council meeting, the measure was voted down after overwhelming public sentiment was expressed against it.  

This demonstrates that our residents truly do care about what happens in their community, and that we need a better mechanism for alerting residents to key issues being discussed.  

If elected, I promise to take on both these issues straight out of the gate. With creativity and perseverance, I’m sure we can make major improvements on both fronts in short order.

I look forward to meeting more of you as I continue to go door-to-door. Also, please feel free to reach out to me via my website, Facebook page, or e-mail to let me know what else is on your mind.

Matt Gould is the Democratic Candidate for Summit Common Council, Ward I.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Status Report #5

June 20, 2018

As summer fast approaches, this will be my fifth semi-annual status report on what I have been up to on Council.  In a change from the prior two years, this year I have been serving as Council president. As such, I have had greater involvement across a multitude of different issues.  However, I want to focus on three themes that have so far permeated this Council: economic growth and ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, June 24, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness


Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM


MakerFest 2018


Sun, June 24, 1:30 PM

Summit Greek Grill, Summit

Meet the Mayor

Community Calendar

Summit Police Blotter

June 19, 2018

5/29 - Mark L. Howard, 21, of Nutley was arrested and charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking and credit card fraud. Mr. Howard was processed and released with a pending court date.

5/29 - At 1143 hours a report was taken for a theft of stolen license plate from a River Road business. The victim reported the last time the license plate was seen on the property was within the ...

What is HIIT and Why All the Buzz?

June 23, 2018

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Many people, especially those with busy schedules, love HITT because they can get maximum benefits in a short period of time! According to Shape Magazine, “Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to ...

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-19, Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Nonprofits

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Video: In The Zone with Christa Anderson

A must watch for anyone considering renovations, here is a recent interview that I conducted -- on my HomeTowne TV Show called “Are You Ready for Life?” -- with Christa Anderson, City of Summit Zoning Officer, to discuss the nuances within the variance process.

I asked Christa to shed some insight into the approval process, explain why it’s necessary, and ...

Hello, Neighbors

Hi, Summit families!

My name is Betsy Stoeber and I’ve been the owner and director at the specialized learning center Brain Balance of Summit since 2011. I first encountered Brain Balance the year before we opened as a parent. My own son participated in our innovative program at the center in Norwalk, CT, to address a number of learning challenges.

Traveling there three times per week ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  


My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  


Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...