During these uncertain times, we all want answers. But, there is nobody who can give us definitive answers until the pandemic has been dealt with. Let us not make hasty decisions that we might have to walk back on. Until then, as painful as it is, we all need to restrict ourselves, not only with regards to our actions, but also with regards to what comes out of our mouths and what our fingers type up.

Things will get better for everyone. We just do not know when that will be. Nobody does.

I hear that many complain about the city’s budget these days. It sounds to me more like an appeal to pay less taxes: furlough or fire city employees! Cut down on expenditures! Do this, do that! Just let me pay less taxes! Please remember: we are all part of this community here in Summit. We chose to live here. We are all part of Union County, we are New Jerseyans and we all live in the United States. Being part of a group, small or large, means contributing one way or another in order to make it work. Be it such trivial things as saying Hello to someone while on a walk, buying from local businesses, volunteering, speaking your mind - there are many more aspects to think of. And, yes, it also means paying taxes. Our elected city officials were trusted with making decisions on our behalf. If we do not think they act in all of our interests, we will let them know, and they might not get our vote in the next election. And they know that.

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Things must be paid for, and we do get value for our buck in Summit, for example: police officers are there when we need them. The Fire Department deals with emergencies and puts smiles on kids’ birthday faces by driving by. The Rec Department enables us to play tennis or golf. Parking attendants, by merely being present, let you think twice if you park your car diagonally on Union Place, just because you need run in a shop to pick something up. Without order there will be chaos. Letting city employees let go? Why? Ruining an entire family because one taxpayer can save a few dollars? Are you sure they are not at home working remotely?

Please, let us all stay civic! We are all in this together. Please stay optimistic!

Wolfgang Guenther

Summit