There is a very important local election on November 8th this year. My wife and I have lived in Summit for 21 years and raised our kids here. I work with hi-tech startups, hold a B.S.I.E, Harvard MBA, and am a twelve-year U.S. Navy submarine veteran.  Over this time, I have spoken with too many Summit citizens who take our local government and elections for granted, and don’t vote in them. I am writing this letter to awaken the “I only vote in national elections” people in Summit. By not voting, you allow the intransigence on today’s Common Council to stifle improvements across the board in our great city. And if you do not know what I’m talking about, I urge you to look into the declining performance and demeanor on Council, and take the time to learn about this year’s election and the choices we have at the polls.  They are stark.  Summit deserves new leaders, not more of the same unproductive bickering.

My assessment of each of the 2011 local races is that it’s time for a “clean sweep” in this year’s election, a respected Navy term for submarines returning from a highly successful mission.  Accordingly, to get proven leaders who do not have a political agenda in our local government, I endorse the following candidates on November 8th:

Eileen Forman Ludden for Mayor.  Ms. Forman Ludden’s combination of professional education, experience, and record of leadership in business, in her second term on the Advisory Board for the City of Summit’s Department of Community Programs, and as a founding member and President of TryCan, is what we need going forward.  Her calm, professional demeanor makes her the best choice for Summit’s next mayor.  She will continue the dedicated work Mayor Glatt has begun.

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Susan Hairston for At-Large Council seat. Ms. Hairston was born and raised in Summit. Her extensive experience at the Ford Foundation, years of public service on the Board of Education, and her advocacy for all citizens, as recognized by the numerous awards she received for her leadership, make her the best choice for the At-Large seat.

Sandy Bloom for Ward 1 Council seat. Ms. Bloom's thirty-three years in Summit, legal background and many years of dedicated public service, including twelve years on two of our major boards, the Board of Education and the Zoning Board, make her the best choice in Ward 1.

Dennis White for Ward 2 Council seat.  Mr. White and his wife have lived in Summit for 18 years, raising their family and being constantly involved in volunteering for their children’s public school activities. His in-depth professional financial management experience as head of one of the nation’s largest corporate foundations at MetLife, fact-based collegial nature, work on the Summit Housing Authority, and years of dedicated of coaching local sports teams make him the best choice to represent all Ward 2 residents.

I urge all of Summit’s voters to get engaged in this year’s election. Don’t sit it out. Do some homework on the issues, candidates and their records – there are real differences. Read what Eileen, Susan, Sandy and Dennis have to say (and what others are saying about them) on Patch, The Alternative Press and the Independent Press. Don’t rely just on what you hear around town.  Probe, ask questions, get the facts – there’s a lot a stake. If you do, I believe you’ll find the Democratic ticket above is the best one for Summit’s future. And vote Nov. 8th.