My name is Greg Vartan, and I am incredibly proud to serve as a member of Summit’s Common Council. I love this City so much, and I write this letter to humbly ask for your support as I seek another term.
Since the arrival of the pandemic, my colleagues and I have taken dozens of actions to protect our residents and businesses. Communication about the ever-changing guidelines has been clear and transparent. And from helping residents apply for unemployment insurance to empowering our philanthropic organizations to fight food insecurity, City Hall has been nimble in pivoting to meet the needs of the day.
We were the first municipality to get state approval for extended closure of Maple Street for outdoor dining. Parklets were added, permission was granted for sidewalk sales, and hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised to directly aid struggling businesses.
Streets are safer now with more sidewalks and additional stop signs. Municipal budget increases have been minimal, we are still the only municipality in NJ with a AAA Bond rating, and we secured a significant amount of CARES Act funding. We have also begun doing our part to protect the environment by banning some single-use materials and planting many new trees.
I’m running again because I’m very proud of our progress, and I believe there’s more work to be done. Let me share with you the three main priorities I believe we should focus on.
1. Post-pandemic planning: The local vaccine site in Summit should help cut through the confusion of federal and state distribution. Closing Maple Street again is a no-brainer. And budgeting this year will require more creativity and transparency than ever before.
2. Protecting our property values: We must resolve noise concerns that come from corporate neighbors and leaf blowers. Our firehouse desperately needs to be replaced. And we should improve infrastructure while controlling our debt.
3. Expanding our commercial tax base: Redeveloping Broad Street West will add commercial tax ratables to take pressure off our residential taxes and create affordable housing at the same time. The process we’re going through will preserve the unique character of our City.
From my family, teachers, and fellow public servants, I learned to lead with my values: honesty, selflessness, determination, and responsibility. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you, listen to your priorities, and earn your vote.
Very sincerely yours,