I recently received two startling pieces of mail— attack ads focused on the Democratic Ward 2 candidate, Greg Vartan. I had hoped that our town would be above the political fray; that in a year when political tribalism seems to outweigh common sense, that our local candidates would focus on the issues and their proposed solutions vs. attacking a rival.
It was a disappointing moment for me, especially as a registered member of the Republican Party. Here’s what I know, Greg Vartan is indeed ready to be a leader for Summit. In fact, Greg already IS a leader for Summit. He’s been a member of the Volunteer First Aid Squad for eight years. He served two years on the Planning Board, two years on the Environmental Commission, two years on the Summit EMS Board of Trustees, is a former member of the Recycling Advisory Committee, former intern for the Summit Police Department and a past volunteer for the Summit Police Youth Academy. This is the résumé of a committed local leader. We are fortunate to have someone on the ballot with this kind of experience.
As a fourth generation Hilltopper, Greg has a deeply rooted sense of pride in our wonderful town. Greg understands our community; where we have been and where we need to go. He brings a willingness to listen to and engage all residents, truly representing Ward 2 in its entirety. Many of you have met Greg. He’s been out knocking on doors, listening to all points of view and offering what he brings to the table for us. Greg and his team have knocked on each Ward 2 door!
There are some who would paint any Democratic candidate with the wide brush of higher taxes and more bureaucracy. I urge Ward 2 residents to listen to what Greg has to say. He is focused on a common sense agenda, committed to fiscal responsibility and constantly considering the downstream impacts of council decisions. Greg Vartan is a candidate we can all get behind, regardless of party affiliations.
This Election Day. I urge any Ward 2 resident -- that has not had the chance yet -- to speak with Greg and hear firsthand about his vision for Summit. One conversation and you will understand the depth of Greg’s commitment to our town. He is bright, thoughtful, and all about making Summit the best it can be. He is committed to public service in a way we rarely see today and we would be fortunate to have him representing Ward 2 on our City Council.
I’ve heard that in local politics, you vote for a person rather than a party. If that’s true, then Greg Vartan should win everyone’s vote for Ward 2 Council. His active engagement in making Summit the best it can be is carried out with thoughtfulness, energy and a genuine concern for addressing multiple points of view.
Greg first knocked on my door two years ago, and I was genuinely impressed by this young guy working hard to reach voters and hear what was on our minds, while making sure we knew both his name and his commitment to Summit. When Greg lost that election—by 9 votes—he didn’t put the town through any rancorous recount, and he didn’t withdraw from Summit life to recover. Instead, he volunteered for the town’s Planning Board; he became a Trustee of the Volunteer First Aid Squad where he’s been an active volunteer for 8 years (he’s still responding to medical emergencies between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. every Sunday night); and he currently serves as the Planning Board’s liaison to our Environmental Commission.
Now, he’s running again—with as much energy and commitment as ever, if not more. When I talk to Greg, he listens. When he talks, his views are broad, well-informed, and practical. I’ve lived in Summit for 23 years, and I’m happy to trust Greg with the next 23 years of our town’s progress. I urge you to check out his Facebook page, Vartan’s Views, and get to know Greg for yourself. I think you’ll be as excited about electing him to our Common Council as I am.
Matthew Gould, Summit Common Council Member - Ward 1
I encourage you to vote for Greg Vartan for Summit Council, Ward 2 this November.
As a first-year Council Member in Summit, I have had a deep look into how our city runs in 2018. We need someone like Greg to join us on Council to continue the progress we’ve made. Greg embodies all of the qualities I seek out in a candidate - he’s hard working, selfless, and thoughtful. His grasp of the issues that are important to Summit are strong. He inspires people. And he listens to our residents - he’s been knocking on doors and hearing people’s concerns for months.
I firmly believe Greg is the right person for the job and I hope I get the chance to serve with him.
I strongly believe that Greg Vartan will be a healthy addition to the Summit Council. I have know Greg for a number of years and I am very impressed with his positive, can do attitude. When he shakes your hand he exudes healthy energy. This is the approach he brings to everything he does. People respond well to Greg and this triggers inclusive dialogue, which is essential to leading Summit to continue to grow and improve.
I am also impressed with how Greg is deeply involved in our community, from his active involvement as a Summit Volunteer EMS, his role as the Environmental Commision liaison, and his role as a member of the Planning Board. These experiences demonstrate his commitment to our community and they prepare him to join the Council with valuable knowledge he can bring to governing our City.
Finally, I think Greg brings good ideas that will be beneficial to Summit. I am impressed with his views on expanding our commercial tax base, listening to our residents' input to the master plan so we focus on what's important to us, while retaining fiscal responsibility.
This is why I am voting for Greg Vartan for Summit Council and hope you will too.
This November 6th, Summit has the opportunity to elect two great candidates for Summit’s Common Council: Council President David Naidu (Ward 1) and life-long resident Greg Vartan Ward 2.
Greg is a 4th generation resident who has given back to Summit at every stage of his life. During his years at Summit High school, Greg was a lifeguard at our YMCA; and a member of the first class of the Summit Police Youth Academy which I had the pleasure of graduating while serving as Mayor. Currently, Greg, appointed by Mayor Nora Radest, serves on the Summit Planning Board. Beginning as an auxiliary member of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, Greg’s service continues today as a full squad member.
Greg has demonstrated his passion and caring for our town, and I believe he will continue to be a tremendous advocate for our residents and our community and with the county and state. Greg is well-qualified to take on this important leadership role as Ward 2 Councilman.
When it comes to current Council President and Ward 1 candidate David Naidu, I am filled with admiration for what he has accomplished in his first term on Council. David has been one of the most effective Council members to ever sit up on the Council dais, working smart and creatively to keep the municipal tax rate flat while lowering the capital budget by 22%. David has also demonstrated a commitment to reach out to the community by engaging in some innovative programs, such as Council on the Road, which brings Council members to residents in their own neighborhoods to better listen to their concerns and ideas. David also publishes and widely disseminates the Council agenda before each meeting, using the City’s website and social media. He makes sure the agenda is clear, understandable and transparent so that our residents know what is going on when it comes to the business of the city. David wants and respects citizen input.
I can think of no more effective team then David Naidu and Greg Vartan to lead and serve on the Summit Common Council.
Please remember to VOTE NOVEMBER 6TH.
Gloria M Ron-Fornes
“Para atras ni para coger impulso!” (Loosely translated to “don’t go backwards not even to gain momentum”). These are words I heard over and over again in my home. Life is about moving forward, about learning and making decisions based on new information while rooted in values and integrity.
As I look at my life in our beloved city of Summit, I have seen progress. I also understand the discomfort that some have with change and so it’s important for any candidate to listen to all the citizens he/she will serve.
Greg Vartan is a listener. He listens to understand not merely to respond. He listens and learns. Greg has served the city in many ways already – Summit’s First Aid Squad (EMT), Planning Board, liaison to Environmental Commission – and he understands the needs of the citizens of Ward 2 as he has lived here all his life. But what continues to impress me the most is his willingness to sit and listen and to shape his decisions based the changing needs of the current and future population.
Greg is also inclusive and wants to leverage the energy, passion, talent, diversity and commitment of the people of Summit to help him govern. He believes in a proactive governing body that includes the voices and volunteer power of those being served.
As an “almost empty nester”, I also think about how life will change for my husband and I in Summit. I know Greg thinks about that too as he has parents and grandparents still living in Summit. Greg’s commitment to the downtown, to opportunities for creativity and entertainment, and to the economic development of our city is important to me as it should be to all of us.
Greg, recently engaged, is looking to Summit for his future family too. So I know that he will keep a good watch on our schools, which impacts all of us.
Because voting is personal and because Greg delivers on the values that I hold deeply - active listening and transparency, progress, and integrity– I am casting my vote in November for Greg Vartan as our next Ward 2 Councilman.
Planning for Summit’s long-term development requires a vision for downtown Summit – Greg Vartan is the candidate whose age and stage in life gives him the proverbial “skin in the game” for a better Summit, not just for today, but for tomorrow as well.
Recently engaged, Greg and his fiancé, Megan, have made a commitment to Summit and its future. A fourth-generation Hilltopper and lifelong Summit resident, Greg has shared with me his desire in raising a family in Summit and the challenges involved given the high cost of living and property taxes. The biggest lever to reducing residential property taxes in Summit is to increase non-residential rateables – namely commercial property in downtown Summit – expanding the rateable pie so that that homeowners pay a relatively smaller fraction of the overall tax levy. Greg shares this vision and is committed to prudent stewardship of Summit’s fiscal resources, not because he is a homeowner today, but because he will be one in the near future.
Indeed, Greg embodies a unique opportunity to represent the interests of three generations of Summit residents in the same ward – his parents and grandparents continue to live in Ward 2. Retaining Senior Citizens and empty nesters who have contributed greatly to Summit’s character and experiences is vital for both social and fiscal reasons. Seniors support our community without a commensurate use of the school system. Greg can speak directly to their experiences in a way that supports Summit’s overall social and fiscal cohesiveness.
Greg’s service on the planning board has given him an understanding of the function and form of government. He has shown his commitment to service to Summit, serving for more than 10 years on the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad. Greg’s innovative approach to campaigning, including his “Vartan views” which utilizes Facebook’s video platform to share his take on Council events and agenda items has personalized the process of government. His voice and perspective is one that is needed on Council.
Please vote for Greg Vartan on November 6, 2018 for Summit Council Ward 2.
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