, the Republican candidate for common council in Ward II, issued a statement via his blog Friday afternoon in response to questions regarding comments of his that he deleted from articles on Summit Patch.
"Here’s a summary of the positions I took, as a resident and taxpayer, both in public and on The Summit Patch last year (I am not sure which opinion I expressed where so I’ll try to cover them all) and I deleted solely for professional reasons associated with expanded professional duties I assumed late last year," he said in the statement.
"At the time, I had no intention of running for any elected office," he said in the statement. "Now that I am running for Summit Common Council in Ward 2, I agree residents have a right to know where I stood on the key issues I opined on last year."
Below are Hurley's responses to where he stood, and stands, on various issues:
I was (and am) against the Overlook helipad for three reasons:
- First, with my expertise as a former Naval Aviator and rated commercial pilot in both airplanes and helicopters, I felt the proposed approach pattern did not provide sufficient clearance from the airspace above and the terrain below setting up a possible mid-air collision scenario in the skies above Summit with commercial aircraft as large as a 757.
- Second, Overlook could not articulate how they would, or could, limit the number of flight operations.
- Third, the residents in the affected neighborhoods didn’t, and still don’t, want it.
2. Habitat for Humanity:
- I was against the Habitat for Humanity project and I do not feel the Zoning Board acted in the best interest of the people of Summit in granting the excessive, and unprecedented, number of variances to approve the project.
- Based on my experience as a former Chairman of the Summit Housing Authority, I felt there were other ways to meet the New Jersey State Supreme Court mandated COAH obligation other than City Hall forcing this project on the residents of east Summit most of whom didn’t want it either.
3. Public Safety:
- I called for greater transparency in the priorities of, and asset allocation by, the leadership of the Summit Police Department. Specifically, I called on police leadership to explain the rational behind the deployment of police resources and explain the specific threats and vulnerabilities faced by the residents of Summit driving these priorities.
- I challenged the police department’s response to the public outcry after last summer’s murder using a 2007 benchmarking study highlighting only a tripling of traffic summons issued since 2004 and, at the same time, not addressing apparent gang activity or why Summit has not reported any gang activity to the state police since 2004.
- I questioned city officials and the county prosecutor for implying the murder was a direct result of the police not being allowed to fill two open vacancies on the force but then not explaining, quantitatively or qualitatively, the rationale behind their thinking.
- I was critical of the city’s response to a pedestrian death by my house in September 2009 and I expressed my frustration over the refusal of city leadership to address the situation. I believe that death could have, and should have, been prevented and that the city has done little to make the intersection safer. Another fatality is, in my mind, only a matter of time.
- I also made it clear I salute anyone who pursues a career in law enforcement and, as a former naval officer, I put our first responders on the same pedestal as our military personnel but I also hold them to the same high standard.
4. Board of Education:
- I challenged excessive administrative expenses that detract from the value of our children’s education. For example, do we need a Superintendent, AND an Assistant Superintendent, a Budget Director AND an Assistant Budget Director? Why are we paying our Human Resources director far in excess of comparable private sector market compensation for a similar position?
- I adamantly opposed the use of Planned Parenthood materials in our schools. I see it as an anti-Catholic and, if you research it origins, a racist organization. As a politically polarizing organization it has no place in our school’s sex ed curriculum anymore than the National Rifle Association has in teaching constitutional law in our schools.
- I believe we should explore moving to an elected school board.
- As an admissions officer for a very competitive school (U.S. Naval Academy) I know what it takes for our children to be academically competitive. I also know Summit schools, while very good, have declined in state competitive rankings in recent years. I not only expect our high school to be ranked higher, I expect it to be ranked first.
- I questioned the paid parking proposal last year based on two factors. First, a “fee” charged by a governing body to citizens is a tax, and, second, I believe whatever gets taxed, we get less of unless there is something to offset it. In this case we’d be taxing shopping (and probably get less of it) and taxing our residents. I don’t believe we should be taxed every time we have to run into town in what amounts to an “errand tax.” I know there’s a solution out there and I agree the issue needs to be discussed and further vetted by the public.
- I supported Tom Getzendanner’s right to due process as I would for anyone accused of a crime. Due process, like free speech, is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans.