Dear Summit residents and business:
It is a delight to be out in town at this time of year, seeing the holiday season unfold. With Thanksgiving just behind us, and the winter holidays ahead, I wanted to write about something that I am profoundly grateful for as Mayor. I am privileged to have a bird’s eye view of all that our city employees accomplish, and the dedication that they show to their work. They truly care about what they do. I encourage you when you are out and about this holiday season, if you have an opportunity, take a moment to say thank you. This is a very special team, and we are very fortunate to have them working on our behalf.
There are staff people you may not ever meet who are thinking hard about you and your quality of life. It is hard to know where to begin, but I will start with the Department of Public Works, given that they just spent long hours putting up our holiday decorations. It is their back-breaking work that makes Summit a jewel that actually sparkles at this time of year. From the custodians who keep City Hall immaculate, to the road crews who worked round the clock removing tons of snow from our downtown in the big storm last winter, to the trash pickups that go smoothly week after week, this team is as hard-working as they come.
Public Works may be our unsung heroes, but we all see and rely on our Police, Fire and Rescue squads, who respond to more than 40,000 calls each year combined. We are particularly pleased to be re-establishing the Traffic Unit, charged with keeping both drivers and pedestrians safe in spite of our growing technological distractions. And our patrol officers care deeply about the safety of our citizens, giving generously of their time to community events, connecting with our children through school programs, and making it a point of pride to know everything that is going on in our City’s six square miles.
The Department of Community Programs helps us all “share the fun.” I am proud that we are going to be renovating and enlarging the Community Center, a long over-due enhancement of this civic resource for citizens of all ages. The beloved events that happen throughout the year on the Green, at the community pool and all over town are the result of the hard work and energy of the Director of Community Programs and her staff.
Work going on inside City Hall itself may be less obvious, but it impacts us just as much. The City Administrator’s vision and attention to detail have a huge positive impact on every area of city operations. Our Treasurer and Finance Department staff track every taxpayer dime that is spent. Our City Clerk is the heart of City Hall, fielding every request from the happy (requests that I officiate at a wedding), to the not-so-happy (citizen complaints). And the Communications office is constantly engaged in keeping our residents informed. The Health Department, Housing Authority folks and Parking Services are responsive to the needs of the citizens and proactive about using our resources in a smart and sensible way to solve our problems.
While no organization is perfect, I do know that our city government strives to provide excellent service and high quality interactions with our community. As the year draws to a close, I wanted to share these observations with you.
Cheers, and very best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.
See you around town,