At this point in time, I have knocked on about 75 to 80% of the doors in Ward 2.  That is close to 2,500 homes.  I have yet to meet anyone who thinks that the new parking system this governing body put in place on the Deforest Avenue lots makes sense.  Many people raise it as their major complaint.  I know of at least 3 businesses that are leaving town this year.  The CVS is losing business because their lot is always filled with non CVS customers.  Our residents are now going to the CVS in New Providence.  The banks and restuarants have had to hire staff to monitor their private lots.

And what is this Council’s plan - after wasting $800,000, a plan that actually reduced the number of parking spaces? Throw more tax dollars at it.  They hired 3 “Parking Ambassadors”.  Well that didn’t work so now their plan is to waste another $650,000 of our tax dollars to “beautify” Deforest Avenue.  And just wait until the parking gate machines start breaking down, which they will.   Professional Parking operators told the city in no uncertain terms that an unmanned gated system would not work.  Here’s an idea - admit you made an error and scrap the plan now before you waste even more tax dollars and drive down real estate values. 

I, along with Councilman Steve Murphy, blocked this failed parking plan my last two years on Council.  You have my pledge that if you elect me on November 5 to my former Ward 2 Council seat, I will work diligently to restore a common sense solution to parking and stop the wasteful spending on Parking Ambassadors and parking studies.  My last two years on Council, the governing body actually approved a $15 million taxpayer-funded parking garage.  I was able to block the funding (which requires a “super” majority for bond approval).  I will again oppose the suggested $15 million Post Office Lot parking garage.  We must stop the wasteful spending, especially now with the loss of Merck.

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A governing body has an obligation to seek out public opinion.  The very fact that they moved the “Public Comment” section to the end of Council Meetings and limit public discussion on pending resolutions tells you they care more about their own opinion than yours.  That is absolutely backwards.  This is Summit, not Washington. 

Mike Vernotico

Democratic Candidate, Summit Common Council, Ward 2