I have been a lifelong resident of Summit. I cannot think of a better town to live and raise a family.

Many friends who live in other areas of the country often ask, "What is it about Summit that makes it special? It is the people who live here that make it special. In times of crisis the people of Summit come together. In times of need the outpouring of generosity from Summit residents is remarkable. Most significant it is the amount of volunteer service that Summit residents give of themselves that makes our community so special.

Our residents give numerous hours to non-profit, municipal and religious organizations. All these efforts have a profound impact on our quality of life. One of these volunteer roles that requires many hours of service is election to public office. Every person I have ever known to run for office in this town has always had the best intentions; to serve, represent and make good things happen. Each of these people come from different walks of life and brings varied skills and life experiences.

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Any year there is a contested local election the voters in Summit rarely have to question if a candidate has good intentions; the real question is who is best suited to represent our best interests and make wise educated decisions on our part.

I look at a candidate's education, work experience and willingness to get involved with the community. I look for a candidate that will understand what it is like to support a family, pay a mortgage, taxes and insurance; someone who has experience with capital and operating budgets; someone who will strive to keep taxes low and still deliver quality services.

This year that choice is clearly Steve Bowman. He retired early as a successful businessman with a vast knowledge of management and financial skills. He is a homeowner raising his family in town. He has only lived here for three years, but wasted no time in getting involved in several volunteer boards and has been a member of the Zoning Board here in town.

As I said before I have never questioned a candidate's intentions when seeking elected office here in Summit -- I only question their ability and experience to lead.

John N. Dougherty

Note: John Dougherty is Chairman of the Summit Republican City Committee.