Volunteer for Summit

For more information, download an application form, or call the city clerk's office at 908 273-6400.

Every year, many Summit residents volunteer their time, energy, knowledge, and talents to benefit the municipality. If you have expertise or interest in a particular field, as well as the time and desire to volunteer, Summit needs you.  The number of vacant positions within each board/committee/commission are shown in parentheses.


Affordable Housing Committee

The New Jersey Supreme Court and New Jersey State Legislature have recognized in So. Burl. Co. NAACP v. Mount Laurel and the Fair Housing Act that New Jersey Municipalities have responsibilities to provide affordable housing for low and moderate-income households.  The committee was created to insure the development of low and moderate-income housing.  The committee forms recommendations to the City and the Planning Board on fair share housing plans and practices to present to the general public for input.  The Mt. Laurel COAH Regulations Subcommittee was established by resolution in 2005 and later became known as the Affordable Housing Committee.  

Aircraft Traffic Noise Advisory Board, Union County 

One member represents the City of Summit on the Union County Aircraft Noise Advisory Board.  The advisory board monitors the actions of the Federal Aviation Administration concerning air traffic to and from Newark International Airport, communicates with the New Jersey Coalition against Air Noise, and recommends appropriate action to the Common Council

Arts Committee - Mayor's Partnership for Public Art 

Explores art opportunities in Summit's public places, ways to involve other interested citizens in public art and grant opportunities to fund public art projects. It was created in 2003 and reestablished in 2004 by resolution.  

Community Development Revenue Sharing Committee

The Housing and Community Act of 1974 encouraged communities to apply for federal funds for community development.  To take advantage of this program, Summit, along with eighteen other municipalities in Union County, formed the committee.  Summit appoints two members and two alternates for a one year term.  Meetings are held monthly in the Union County Annex, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.

Community Disputes Resolution Committee (To volunteer, contact the Summit Municipal Court for information - 908-273-6166)

The rules governing New Jersey's courts permit municipal courts to refer minor neighborhood and domestic disputes to a community disputes committee for mediation. This reduces the burden on the municipal court because it permits disputes to be settled without the formality of judicial proceedings. Typical cases include simple assault, trespass, noise complaints, harassment, animal complaints, and malicious destruction of property. Because mediation replaces a formal court appearance, it is essential that the mediators attend all sessions.

Community Programs Advisory Board

The board, established by ordinance in 2007, serves in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and the Common Council concerning goals, objectives, plans and programs of the Department of Community Programs. The board consists of at least 9 and no more than 11 voting members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Council.

Education, Board of

Summit's schools operate under Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes. Within the framework of state statutes and regulations of the state board of education, the local board

  • determines policy
  • erects and maintains school buildings
  • authorizes expenditures
  • appoints the superintendent of schools
  • approves the selection of textbooks and personnel
  • evaluates the educational program
Emergency Management Task Force 

The Emergency Management Task force reviews the City’s response to local emergencies and provides recommendations to the Local Emergency Council.

Environmental Commission

The Environmental Commission oversees the protection and development of Summit's natural resources. It maintains an index of all open areas in the city and makes recommendations about their use for inclusion in the Summit Master Plan.  It may acquire land for the city by gift, purchase or grant.  

Fire Department Volunteer Division (apply directly to Fire Department)

The Volunteer Division is a vital arm of the Fire Department, providing additional personnel to assist at major fires. Service in the volunteer division often leads to a career in the Fire Department, since New Jersey law permits preference to be given to volunteers when a vacancy occurs in a full-time paid division.

First Aid Squad, Summit Volunteer (apply directly to Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad)

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing 24-hour emergency medical and ambulance services, as well as public education in first aid and CPR. It also provides standby service for various community events such as the Fourth of July celebration. The squad operates two 12-hour shifts, but duty hours are flexible. All required CPR and emergency medical technician training and uniforms are provided.

Health, Board of

The Board of Health was established in 1985, pursuant to Title 26 of New Jersey's statuses, to enforce state and local regulations regarding sanitation, pollution, communicable diseases, and other public health concerns.  The board is empowered to pass, alter, or amend public health ordinances, and to enforce local and state sanitary codes and other public health legislation of the state and federal governments.

Historic Preservation Commission

The Historic Commission has the responsibility to promote historic preservation in Summit by maintaining and updating a survey of historic sites, making recommendations to the planning board, and reporting annually to the mayor and common council on the state of historic preservation in the city.  

Housing Authority

The Housing Authority acquires, leases, operates, constructs or repairs housing projects, and fixes rents. It also determines whether there is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary low-income housing.  The authority also acts as Summit's central relocation agency, a redevelopment agency pursuant to state enabling legislation, administrator of the federal Community Development Revenue Sharing Program and the city's agent for the New Jersey Senior Citizen and Disabled Tenant Condominium Protection Act.  

Lackawanna Coalition

The coalition is a group whose main function is to act as a conduit between its principle member and NJ transit, and to keep these members informed of developments relating to rail service on the Morris and Essex lines.  Members of the coalition have excellent technical knowledge and years of experience working in the locomotive industry.  As a key transportation hub, Summit is highly dependent upon excellent mass transit connections that link residents to job markets in Manhattan and along the 78-24 corridor.  Summit's representative is appointed by Common Council.  The Coalition meets monthly. 

Library Board of Trustees

The Summit Free Public Library Board of Trustees is appointed to
  • hold in trust and manage all property of the library
  • hire personnel
  • make proper rules and regulations for the governing of the library
  • do all things necessary for its maintenance.

Naming & Sponsorship Committee

The committee was created to review the proposed Naming and Sponsorship Guidelines and make recommendations on it to the Buildings and Grounds Committee and then to make recommendations regarding naming and sponsorship issues per established guidelines herein to promote good will and assist in providing financial benefit to the community.  The Common Council appoints nine members to this committee.  Six citizens and one Summit Downtown Inc. (SDI) representative are appointed for three-year terms. The Mayor and a Buildings & Grounds committee member are each appointed for a one-year term. The City Administrator (or Department of Community Services Director) serves an indefinite term. Meets as needed.

Parking Advisory Committee, Summit 

The committee was created to advise the city's staff on day-to-day issues involving all aspects of downtown parking and to advise the Common Council on policy issues related to parking in Summit.  The Common Council appoints twelve members - seven community-at-large members serving two-year terms and the following members serving one-year terms:  Council President, General Services Committee Member, Council Member on Summit Downtown, Inc.  The City Administrator and the Parking Services Manager serve indefinite terms.  Meets as needed.  

Passaic River Greenway Task Force

Common Council appoints seven members to examine the recommendations of the Passaic River Coalition and provide a proposal to the Mayor and Council on how to best proceed with the creation of a greenway along the Passaic River.  Members are appointed for an indefinite term.

Planning Board

The Planning Board adopts a master plan for the physical development of the city, reexamines the plan every six years, and acts as a consultant to the common council and other local government agencies on potential projects covered by the master plan.  The board also reviews all proposed land use regulations and capital improvement programs.  It acts on applications for subdivisions, site plans and conditional uses.  

Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Advisory Board

The police athletic league advisory board manages the affairs of the P.A.L., a non-profit charitable organization which runs numerous programs for the youth of Summit.  Its goal is to promote activities that foster lifelong health, community spirit, and feelings of good will between the children and the police officers of Summit.

Police Department Auxiliary Division
The Auxiliary Division assists the Police Department in safeguarding the security, health, and welfare of the general public. Auxiliary police officers must complete a course of instruction at the County Police Academy.

Recycling Advisory Committee 
The Recycling Advisory Committee assists the City in improving its recycling efforts to reach its goal to increase recycling rates in Summit by 50%.  One year terms.  Meets as needed.

Rent Commission
The Rent Commission hears complaints in landlord-tenant relationships, educates landlords and tenants about laws affecting them, recommends methods of settling disputes, and suggests appropriate actions to the Common Council.

Shade Tree Advisory Committee

Members of this committee are appointed by the Common Council and are charged with creating an inventory of the City's significant and landmark trees.  The committee also makes recommendations for the preservation of landmark trees and to provide input on the City's Tree Management Program.

Technology Advisory Committee 

This committee serves to analyze potential use of wifi capability within the downtown.  Its mission is to explore enhanced use of technology within City Hall and analyze potential use of mobile technology and the idea of a Summit "App."  It will recommend opportunities for use of social media within the City and address other ongoing technology issues which may arise.  Membership includes five Citizens-at-Large who serve a one-year term; the Mayor, a Council Liaision and the City Administrator, or at his discretion, the Director of the Department of Community Services. Meets as needed. 

Transportation Advisory Board, Union County 

The board is the local element of the sub-regional transportation planning structure authorized by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.  Its members work towards providing a transportation system that most effectively meets the economic, social, energy, and environmental needs of Union County and the surrounding region.  Representatives are appointed by Common Council. The board meets monthly, except August, at the Union County Annex 300 North Ave. East in Westfield. 

Zoning Board of Adjustment

The Zoning Board of Adjustment, is a quasi-judicial body that interprets the zoning laws, and hears and decides the following cases

  • appeals of alleged errors in any order, requirement, decision, or refusal made by the Zoning Officer in enforcing the zoning regulations
  • interpretations of the zoning map
  • applications for bulk variances for properties where no other review is involved
  • applications for use variances