Summit hires new administrator

SUMMIT, NJ — With goals such as improving the city’s downtown development, technology services and leadership in mind, Michael Rogers was recently appointed as Summit’s new city administrator following a month-long search.

Rogers, one of six candidates for the job, was selected by Mayor Ellen Dickson and the Common Council in a council meeting on Tuesday, July 28, according to city officials. And Dickson said Rogers, who worked from 2006 onward as the business administrator for Morristown, is a natural fit for Summit.

“He had experience with a town that’s somewhat similar to Summit, one that had issues with downtown redevelopment, parking garages, a post office,” said Dickson. “We’re hopeful, considering his background. And he has a master’s degree from NYU in public administration and public policy analysis, he has a law degree from Seton Hall and a B.A. from Arizona State. So he has a terrific educational background, a good 10 years of experience, and he was really interested in coming to Summit, and we were very happy he accepted the offer.”

The city administrator is the chief appointed official in the municipality, according to a press release from the city, with more than a few tasks in the job description. Those responsibilities include managing business affairs, recommending policy to the council, reporting on current operations, developing operating and capital budgets, and overseeing operations and achievement of council goals and objectives, according to the press release.

Summit officials believe Rogers’ experience in Morristown, where he helped launch a town-wide “transformation” as a business administrator, has helped prepare him for the next step of his career.

“As evidenced by the dramatic transformation of Morristown, Michael Rogers brings great energy, experience and a proven track record to the City of Summit,” said Common Council President Robert Rubino. “As city administrator, he will play a critical role in executing the bold vision of the governing body and be an immediate and viable asset for Summit.”

Summit began its search for a city administrator after the retirement of longtime official Christopher Cotter on Tuesday, June 30, according to a Summit press release.

The end of that search comes on the heels of other new appointments in Summit government, where a “new generation” is coming up, said Dickson, including a new deputy clerk, city CFO, and head of community services.
They will have the opportunity to begin working with Rogers starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“My 10 years spent as Morristown’s administrator has been a time of remarkable growth and community revitalization,” said Rogers in a statement. “Throughout my career, I have effectively managed an internal organizational transformation and improved financial conditions for the town. I am prepared to build on the excellent foundation established here in Summit to generate further economic and demographic growth and success in this preeminent community.”

Included on the agenda of improvements, said Dickson, is the city’s use of technology — getting new servers, a more accommodating website and improving the city’s use of mobile technology — and helping businesses prosper, just as they have in Morristown.

“We feel like we have underinvested in technology in the city, and we’re looking to really beef up our effort in technology to help with a lot of services that the customers depend on,” said Dickson. “We’re constantly looking at ways to help our downtown businesses flourish, and Morristown has done quite a bit with their businesses flourishing downtown. We were very happy with the selection process. We’re proud of who we chose and we can’t wait to get started on Sept. 8 with the new city administrator.”