SUMMIT, N.J., August 3, 2023 – The City of Summit announces the resignation of Councilmember Susan Hairston, effective September 6, 2023. Councilmember Hairston has decided to step down from her position on the Summit Common Council and as its current President Pro Tempore before the end of her term in December 2023 to pursue a fellowship opportunity with The Leadership and Society Initiative (LSI) at the University of Chicago.
The LSI is a prestigious program designed to support accomplished executives in their transition from longstanding careers to purposeful leadership roles in society. Being selected for the fellowship opportunity is a notable achievement, and it reflects the dedication and commitment Councilmember Hairston has consistently demonstrated throughout her career and tenure as an elected official.
Over the past four years on Common Council and during her decades of public service, Councilmember Susan Hairston has been an invaluable asset to the City of Summit. Her unwavering dedication to the public good, combined with a passion for community development and improvement, has left a lasting impact on the city and its residents. She was instrumental in guiding the Safety and Health Committee through the pandemic, implementing various initiatives that contributed to the sustained strength and prosperity of the community. More recently, she worked with the Office of the City Clerk to develop training materials for volunteers to help them more effectively serve on Summit’s boards, committees and commissions.
A life-long Summit resident, Councilmember Hairston has shown unwavering leadership and a genuine commitment to the betterment of Summit. During her decades of volunteer service, including a term as Summit Board of Education President, her vision, dedication, and advocacy have touched the lives of countless residents and have contributed significantly to making Summit a vibrant and thriving community. Councilmember Hairston’s dedication to service has extended well beyond Summit’s borders. She has been appointed to several government and non-profit boards, including the Center for Effective Philanthropy Advisory Board, the Union County Board of Taxation, and Union County College’s Board of Governors.
“Common Council and I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Councilmember Hairston for her outstanding service and commend her on this prestigious fellowship opportunity with the LSI at the University of Chicago,” explains Summit Mayor Nora Radest. “While her presence will be deeply missed in city government, we are confident that her future endeavors will continue to have a positive impact on us all. Please join us in congratulating Councilmember Susan Hairston on her well-deserved fellowship opportunity and thanking her for her remarkable service to the City of Summit.”
The Common Council is expected to vote on the appointment of a new council member at its September 19 meeting.
UPDATE at 2:50PM: to clarify, Councilmember Hairston is not running for reelection and the Ward I seat with be filled in January by one of the two candidates running in that ward now. In the meantime, council will appoint someone to fill the Councilmember’s spot but it will not be either of the candidates. Since Councilmember Hairston is a Democrat, the SMDC will put forward three names for consideration and then the entire council will vote to select a temporary replacement who will serve the remainder of the term.
Additional information on Summit Common Council is available here.