We need a comprehensive, long-term plan to build a sustainable future for Summit. My work experience in urban planning locally and abroad, combined with my ability to leverage digital platforms and data will help springboard new initiatives in Summit.
These are some of my ideas. All of them will require further input from residents, business owners and other customers. All must make economic and community sense. Daring to innovate will help us ensure a vibrant Summit for future generations.
Run a shuttle or jitney service along Morris Avenue – Maplewood introduced a jitney to help address its Downtown parking problem. In the years since implementation, home values along Maplewood’s jitney line have grown an average of 5-10% over non-jitney line homes in town. A jitney could also help better connect East Summit with Downtown Summit.
Ask Downtown stores to open on Sundays – Why not capitalize on Summit’s ability to draw crowds on weekends (events like the Farmer’s Market, Car Show etc.) and keep stores opened on Sundays? We need to ask businesses what they need to do this. The weekends are when many Summit residents have the time and desire to shop locally.
Institute a constituent feedback survey for City services – Private sector firms have performance reviews. Why shouldn’t we track feedback for services at City Hall? Let’s see what works and what doesn't work so we can keep improving.
Incubate innovative business ideas – Buy local for the 21st century. We can encourage our residents to create new businesses to enhance the community. It may be student-run pop-up shops or apps. How about a “Student-Tutor Matching App” to connect local students and tutors based on curriculum needs?
Learn from successful comparisons regionally – Let’s engage local neighbors (Larchmont, Greenwich, Morristown, Maplewood) as well as global ones (suburbs of London, Frankfurt, Tokyo) to learn what has worked well. Our ideas should reflect the diverse backgrounds of Summit residents.
The Mayors of South Orange and Jersey City were both in their 20s when they were first elected. Look at how their downtowns are thriving today.
I possess the energy, drive and vision to make new ideas work in Summit. I look forward to working with my colleagues, combining their experience and ideas with mine. I need your vote to get these things done for Summit.