Candidate Statements

Candidate Statements

Summit has Changed the Way it Does Government

Summit has Changed the Way it Does Government

State labor reforms and County shared services are so slow in coming that towns like Summit must fend for themselves.  Forty-three percent of our elected officials turned over this year, and the new majority on Council now supports the following initiatives:

  • Smaller government, delivering more personal service, particularly if stemming from “unfunded mandates” imposed by others.
  • Digital records and a Work Order management system that lets residents serve themselves online via the municipal website and using credit cards.
  • Consolidated 911 EMS dispatch center for Fire/Police/Squad within Summit if not some surrounding towns too.
  • Fewer full-time staff because of the above productivity improvements.
  • Tighter financial controls, including a new outside auditor and an earlier (2yr) budget cycle.
  • More transparent Open Line newsletter explaining Total Levy (city + schools + county) to taxpayers in one consolidated Snapshot.

Recourse is also being taken against trusted advisors who failed to detect a payroll fraud in 2009 that cost Summit taxpayers $1.4 million.  Full recovery now seems possible with the help of forensic accountant J.H. Cohn:

  • The IRS has agreed to waive all interest and penalties for late Withholding Taxes.
  • Our CFO of 29 yrs retired, and our independent Auditor of 5 yrs has resigned.
  • The insurance agent who performs our Risk Manager function is up for renewal.
  • Our employee blanket Performance Bond against honest “errors & omissions” has been successfully litigated.
  • Our third-party Payroll service provider is out for competitive re-bid.

Our acting Treasurer has tightened internal controls at City Hall, and thoroughly reviewed all banking relationships.  A Chief Financial Officer will be named next month.

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Before Christmas we’re going to the bond market and permanently refinance $18 million of short term Notes, primarily for school improvements and sewer/roads infrastructure.  Retail purchase of these book-entry securities will be possible via the underwriter.

Summit is still AAA rated, and remains extremely well run.  Seventy-two of the 88-point “Best Practices for Local Governments” published recently by Gov. Christie are already done properly in Summit

Our challenge is to keep it affordable.

Tom Getzendanner is Ward 1 councilman on Summit’s Finance Committee and up for re-election Nov 2nd

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.

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