Choice Is On the Ballot and Delia Hamlet is the Right One for Summit

September 27, 2022

TAPinto Summit

By Rachel Kramer

I’ve been a registered democrat for the entirety of my adult life and up until very recently, I could be what some might consider a “blue, no matter who,” voter. This changed in the Spring of 2021 when the Summit Common Council introduced an ordinance to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, in the middle of a pandemic. This is also the time that my path would cross with Delia Hamlet, Ward 1 Common Council candidate.  Delia and I began attending council meetings together, and we began speaking with landscapers who continued to communicate that their business was being negatively impacted, both to us as a listening ear, and to Common Council, continuously requesting a reversal on the ban or making it optional, to no avail. The answer, in short, was that the limited months were the compromise. 

I was shocked at the reaction of our elected officials when they were confronted with a perspective that was different from theirs, and the way that they spoke to hard-working individuals who came to meetings to express their disapproval. Unfortunately, this would only be a glimpse of what was to come when just a few short months later Summit had moved on from GLBs and BSW became the focus of the city’s attention.

We experienced a lot of the same issues with BSW, on a much bigger scale; an opaque process, minimal communication, incorrect information from hired experts, dismissal of Summit residents that were truly trying to help, and a complete disregard of facts, over and over and over again. After more than 5 months when hundreds of residents spoke out against BSW, wrote e-mails, and signed petitions, on June 21st, Council Person Danny O’Sullivan introduced an ordinance to send the amended redevelopment plan to the Planning Board for approval. This was not someone who had been “listening.”

I run around our city a lot and whenever I come across a sign that says, “choice is on the ballot,” I think about that in terms of the Summit we all know and love. This November choice is on the ballot, and Ward 1 residents can choose a candidate who will prioritize communication, collaboration, and a sense of community by putting Summit and its residents first. Summit would be incredibly lucky to have Delia Hamlet representing them and I hope that when you cast your vote on Tuesday, November 8th, or sooner, you make the choice for someone who is willing to listen, willing to compromise, and willing to do the hard work.

Rachel Kramer, Summit