Let’s Not Play Fast and Loose with the Facts

October 10, 2022

TAPinto Summit

By Jim Bennett

It is disappointing that Phyllis Sank presents Summit voters with an October 3, 2022, letter to the Editor that plays fast and loose with the facts about Delia Hamlet. Let’s correct the record.

On April 10, 2021, a 19-year-old Summit Woman found herself abducted and forced into the trunk of her kidnapper’s car  – close to where Delia’s three children had been playing at their father’s home. If the woman had not been able to dial 911 from inside the trunk using her cell phone, the outcome might have been tragic.

As a mother, Delia was critical of the police for two principal reasons. First, there was no Nixle report of the kidnapping. Second, authorities issued public statements after the crime proclaiming that the abduction was only attempted. These statements were incorrect. The kidnapping was anything but attempted – it was successful, and there is video proof.

Delia helped organize a neighborhood group to stop this kind of crime and encourage truthful and timely communications from City officials. Delia invited Phyllis Sank to the group. Sank initially participated but then withdrew. Police Chief Steven Zagorsky sat in on discussions with Delia and others about these issues. Following a rash of thefts and attempted thefts that went unreported to the community by the City, the group hired an unarmed private security firm for a while. Chief Zagorsky and the City knew of the private security team’s presence and goals before it started work.

Since the abduction, Fernwood neighbors tried to close off the connection between Fernwood and Route 24, but the State would not approve the closure. Since the closure was not possible, Delia and others have been pushing to put a median at the end of Fernwood Road, where it runs into Route 24. A similar median exists at the end of Canoe Brook Parkway. A median would deter criminals from crossing over to the Route 24 ramp immediately across from Fernwood.

The City approved this median many months ago in a public City Council meeting, but the administration is still working on the project. However, you can be sure that if Delia had been on Council, there would be a median at the end of Fernwood Road today.

Phyllis Sank’s distortions about Delia and her efforts to enhance safety are shameful and do not belong in Summit’s public discourse. Rather than attack her, we should instead thank Delia for her service to our community. Delia Hamlet deserves your vote in November.

Jim Bennett, Summit