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.

OPPORTUNITIES BY BOARD/COMMITTEE/COMMISSION - as of April 16, 2014

Affordable Housing Committee
Forms recommendations to the City and Planning Board on fair share housing plans and practices to present to the general public for input.

Aircraft Traffic Noise Advisory Board, Union County - (1 vacancy)
The committee monitors all actions of the Federal Aviation Administration concerning takeoff and landing patterns at Newark International Airport as they affect Summit. This committee represents Summit on the Union County Aircraft Noise Advisory Board, 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 - (8 vacancies)
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. 

Community Development Revenue Sharing 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
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
Serves in an advisory capacity 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 - (5 vacancies)
The Emergency Management Task force reviews the City’s response to local emergencies and provides recommendations to the Local Emergency Council.

Environmental Commission - (1 vacancy)
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.

Fire Department Volunteer Division
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
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 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 - (2 vacancies)
The Historic Commission has the responsibility to promote historic preservation in Summit maintaining and updating a survey of historic sites.

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.

Lackawanna Coalition
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 - (1 vacancy)
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 - (1 vacancy)
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.

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.

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 - (1 vacancy)
The Recycling Advisory Committee assists the City in improving its recycling efforts to reach its goal to increase recycling rates in Summit by 50%.  Indefinite 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 - (4 vacancies)
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 - (2 vacancies)
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 - (1 vacancy)
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