Barbara Stuke, Former President of the Summit Boosters Association

Results Matter, Re-Elect Ellen Dickson for Mayor!

I endorse and will be voting to re-elect Ellen Dickson for Mayor of Summit. Ellen has a tremendous record of dedication, leadership, and achieving results. Ellen has experience and influence with legislators at the State and County Government and has successfully negotiated to get services for Summit. Ellen will continue to hold Union County accountable to reduce the tax burden that Union County puts on Summit (a full 28% of your tax dollar goes to Union County). Below is a summary of what I believe to be Ellen’s most significant accomplishments achieved during her 1st term as Mayor

Read the full text of this very detailed and thoughtful endorsement at Ellen Dickson 2015

Jim Bennett, Summit Resident

Keep a Proven Team

The team that makes and executes policy for Summit is performing above expectation. So why switch it out for something unproven?

Here is how the current team has been performing. Look at your tax bill and note:

Increase in municipal tax rate (including Municipal Library), 2014-2015: 0.56%, i.e., virtually flat.
Municipal taxes as a percentage of your total tax bill: 21% (previously 22%).

Union County, by contrast, shows a tax rate increase of 5.64% and represents 28% of your total tax bill. In earlier years the Union County portion was a smaller than the municipal portion.

The low Summit taxes are free of accounting gimmicks. Summit is the only municipality in New Jersey – and one of the few in the entire country – to have a AAA bond rating from three different agencies. Union County has only a AA.

Summit is well run. Newsweek elevated our school system to 80th from 132nd in the country and 19th in New Jersey – 9th if we exclude charter schools.

Summit’s fiscal future is secured through the work of the team that brought in Celgene to take over the Merck facility. Because of prudent management, people want to move to Summit, and your investment in your home is protected.

The other side has not given the voter any reason to change. Vote on November 3, 2015 for the proven team of Dickson, Ogden, Dill and Smith.

Jim Bennett

Read Jim Bennett’s endorsement on

Patrick Hurley, Summit City Councilman

Smith Has the Real World Experience to Serve

To be an effective member of Common Council, it’s not about where you went to school, what you studied, or even how well you did academically. It’s not about party ideology or who you know, or whom you’ve had abstract, hypothetical, consultative conversations with.

It’s about the ability to lead and deliver results supported by a proven record of service. It’s about having real world experience that only time and the challenges of life can bring. The experience gained by the challenge of putting the needs of others before your own on the battlefield or at the dinner table. The experience, along with the day-to-day joys and frustrations, gained from the challenge of raising and educating a family in unstable economic conditions. It’s about the experience gained by the challenge of making critical, real-world, decisions that directly affect the lives of others and from which there is no turning back. The experience gained through trial and error when a leader realizes real solutions are not found in a textbook, flyers from special interest groups, or within the slides of a PowerPoint deck, but in the hard-learned lessons of life.

Only one candidate for Summit Common Council-At- Large has the required, critical, experience to serve on council. And, only one candidate has demonstrated an unconditional drive to serve at every level, at any time, whenever called, anywhere in the world. That candidate is Andy Smith.

Andy is driven by service. He has demonstrated a commitment to selfless, empathetic, service to the ideals that make our community, our country, and our families strong. From his years as an officer in the United States Army serving on the ground in the middle of a chaotic civil war in Bosnia, to starting and building a successful law practice, to serving on Summit’s Board of Health and Community Programs Advisory Board, to serving as Co-Chairman of Summit’s Memorial Day Celebration, to serving as a youth football, basketball and baseball coach, Andy has demonstrated a sincere commitment to service and gained the real-world experience necessary to be an effective and productive member of Common Council.

Please join me in supporting Andy Smith for Common Council At-Large on November 3.

Patrick Hurley – Member of Common Council

Read Pat Hurley’s Endorsement on

Dave Bomgaars, Former Summit City Councilman and Former Council President

Summit Needs Elected Officials Who Understand Union County Government

There is strength of experience in the Summit Republican ticket that many voting residents may not recognize, but they would certainly appreciate the value which that experience brings to the management of the City and to the Summit taxpayer.

Mayor Ellen Dickson campaigned for Union County Freeholder in 2010. Councilman Al Dill campaigned three times for Union County Freeholder, the last in 2005. Councilman At-Large Candidate Andy Smith campaigned for Union County Freeholder in 2011. Each won the Summit vote and the vote in the western, Union County municipalities but lost in the seventeen, overwhelmingly Democratic municipalities. In fact, former Summit Mayor Frank Lehr is the last Republican to serve as a Freeholder in 1996. While Candidate Mary Ogden has not campaigned for Freeholder, she has served a long tenure as the Chair of the Summit Republican City Committee and with the Republican chairs of the other 20 municipalities advocated Union County for expense controls.

The experience of having campaigned for Freeholder brings the knowledge of how the County is managed, how it spends your tax dollars, and how to get services for Summit. Remember, 28.4% of your tax dollar goes to Union County, compared to 21.4% to the City. These three candidates have stood numerous times at the podium in Freeholder Chambers at 10 Elizabeth Town Plaza and urged fiscal discipline in County budgets. Does this approach work? Yes, and with the help of testimony from other cost saving advocates, the County reduced staff and sold Runnels Specialized Hospital to reduce the tax rate increase from 10.50% in 2012 to 5.64% in 2015. However, these three candidates, when re-elected and elected will continue to advocate and urge the Freeholders to budget flat or with any increase under the State 2% cap, as does the City and Summit Board of Education, whose combined tax rate increase is 1.51% in 2015.

In contrast, none of the three opposition candidates have served in elective office, nor do they have a record of advocating before the Freeholders. They could have done so.

Ellen Dickson, Andy Smith, Al Dill, and Mary Ogden have the experience to work cooperatively, but forcefully, with the Freeholders. Experience and knowledge count! Each deserves your vote on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Dave Bomgaars
Summit Council President 2010-2011
Summit Board of Education President 2000-2001

Read the letter on