South Orange Village Trustee Candidate Profile: Summer Jones

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The South Orange Municipal Election will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Up for election: Village President and three seats on the South Orange Village Board of Trustees (a six-person governing body). Terms are for four years. There is one candidate for Village President — Sheena Collum (incumbent) — and three candidates for BOT: Summer Jones (incumbent), Olivia Lewis-Chang and Jennifer Greenberg. The four are running together and unopposed. Candidates are invited to send profiles/statements. The following is from Jones.

Summer Jones

Summer Jones is running for her second term as Village Trustee, having been elected in 2019. She is currently the Chair of the Strategic Partnership and Citizen Engagement Committee and also serves on the Planning and Economic Development Committee and the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee, which she previously chaired. Summer also previously served on the Health and Public Safety committee.

As a resident and Village Trustee, Summer understands the importance of readily accessible and available information. Communication and transparency ensure that residents actively participate in county governance and development.

During her first term, Summer was instrumental in multiple projects, including 270 Irvington Avenue and 133 Fairview Avenue, relaunching the “Gaslight” newsletter, reimagining the Cameron Recreation Complex, and revitalizing Carter Park. She was also appointed Acting Village President when the Village President is unavailable to perform their duties.

Summer has also made notable strides in promoting diversity in our community by leading or actively participating in multiple local cultural events. This includes establishing a Black History Month program that highlights the impact of black and brown people in our community and actively assisting with creating programming around Women’s History Month, Juneteenth, Pride Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month.

Moving forward, Summer wants to continue focusing on improving the Village’s communication and technology. She would like to implement a Newcomer’s Hub to allow residents to have a single place to learn more about the place they decide to call home. She hopes to establish a better process for having reported issues resolved. Also, using her background in IT, Summer hopes to assist with the launch and promotion of the new South Orange website and continue the push to digitize all paper forms.

Alongside the new pedestrian safety committee that she helped launch, Summer wants to work closely with the town engineering firm and the South Orange Police Department to identify hotspots and help establish traffic calming in those areas and participate in any development projects to ensure that traffic studies are in place.

Since 2006, Summer has worked at Montclair State University and is currently the Associate Vice President for Technical Support Services within the Information Technology Division. Under her leadership, she leads a team of 35 full-time staff members and 125 student workers to provide technical support across the campus community. In addition to technical support across computer labs, mediated spaces, classrooms, and endpoint devices, she oversees a $5 million budget to manage technology projects, initiatives, and goals for the University.

During her free time, Summer participates in the community as part of the SOMA Book Club, SOMA Sports and Social (Intramural Softball), and the SOMA Tech Collective. She is also a valued member of the NAACP of the Orange and Maplewood. She loves to travel extensively and grow her vegetable garden.

The South Orange Municipal Election will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

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