The top issues facing Cape May County are the LACK OF DIVERSIFIED ECONOMIC BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES and the OPIOID CRISIS. Studies have shown how the two issues are connected. As elected officials we must strive to improve the overall quality-of-life by diversifying the county’s economy so we are not solely dependent on tourism for year-round success while working together to stop wasteful spending and make smart financial decisions. Brendan and Liz believe in a regional approach to economic development by partnering with neighboring counties to target manufacturers and suppliers of emerging industries such as aviation and agritourism.
America has an addiction crisis, opioid deaths are now killing more Americans than car accidents and Cape May County is not immune. Addiction affects families of all ethnicities and socioeconomic status. The opioid crisis has shattered the lives of countless Cape May County families. Whether Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, young or old addiction threatens our families and we must do whatever it takes to solve this epidemic.
As Freeholders Brendan and Liz will relentlessly fight for the tools and resources our law enforcement, medical providers, and drug prevention workers need to combat this crisis while tenaciously advocating for State and Federal funding for education, treatment facilities, and the expansion of programs that fight the epidemic.
Cape May County has the highest percentage of veteran population of any county in the state. Our veterans are the heroes of our nation. It is our duty to honor the sacrifices they have made by ensuring we support our service members while active and long after they leave the military.
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOSYSTEM
Being a peninsula makes our county one of the most vulnerable areas in the state as we witness the effects of a changing climate. It is imperative that we take immediate steps towards sustainability.
The county is well-positioned to make this a top priority using the framework of Sustainable Jersey. Established by the College of New Jersey, the N.J. League of Municipalities, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the N.J. Board of Public utilities, the non-profit provides tools, training, and financial assistance to support communities pursuing sustainability programs.
Of the 16 municipalities in the county, 14 participate in the program, most of which received certifications for their achievements. As Freeholders, Brendan and Liz will work with our local green teams and environmental commissions to address issues such as beach erosion and dredging in making Cape May County a showcase for Sustainable Jersey communities.
FIX THE PAST AND LEAD THE FUTURE
Prohibit Nepotism and conflicts of interest of county officials.
Compensate and promote employees based on merit, not favoritism.
End political job rewards with a fair hiring practice.
End a One-Party rule with transparency and free-thinking.
Bring down steep hikes in county spending.
Prioritize bridge and road repairs.
Make the county a showcase for Sustainable Jersey Communities.
Ensure Cape May County receives its fair share.
Homelessness can be an invisible issue, but Cape May County is facing a growing chronically homeless population. Numerous charitable organizations like the Cape Community Church, Cape Hope, the Branches, and Family Promise do exceptional work offering food, clothing, support and more to the homeless, disabled, elderly, and marginalized. Although charitable organizations do what they can more support from the public sector is required to solve this issue.
Brendan and Liz believe everyone is entitled to live with dignity and nobody living in Cape May County should go without food or shelter. They will advocate for the creation of a County Rescue Mission to ensure those who have fallen on hard times do not slip through the cracks and receive the resources they so desperately need.
NEPOTISM AND FAVORITISM
Recent events have highlighted relationships to family and friends among government officials and staff. It seems everyone has a relative or friend on the county tax rolls. New regulations need to be put in place to regulate nepotism throughout the county.
Nepotism by county officials leads to conflicts of interest. The family relationships of county employees need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis with specific safeguards put in place to avoid conflicts. Merit in compensating, promoting, and hiring county employees must replace the current practice of favoritism based on nepotism and politics.
Brendan and Liz will fix the past by leading the future with new mandates to treat employees fairly, eliminate favoritism, and the never-ending lawsuits that keep the Freeholder Board in a constant state of dysfunction sending our tax dollars down the drain.
TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Brendan and Liz will prioritize bridge and road repairs. Beyond public safety, investments in our roads and bridges are critical in keeping our tourism economy strong. We have been told police officers are instructed to take their seat-belts off “just in case” when they cross the Middle-Thorofare Bridge from Wildwood Crest to Cape May. Look at what happened in Avalon and Sea Isle when the Townsend’s Inlet Bridge was closed during the peak summer season due to safety concerns. Local businesses can attest to their financial losses and the overwhelming need for bridge repair.
However, the county taxpayer will not be able to pick up the tab by themselves for much-needed county bridge and road repairs. The State and Federal government are going to have to step up. Brendan and Liz will be unrelenting in their pursuit for State and Federal funding making sure Cape May County receives its fair share.