I am Maureen Leidy, a proud democrat running for Freeholder in District 2 which includes: Chelsea, Chelsea Heights, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Linwood and Somers Point. I am running against a longtime ineffective incumbent, Maureen Kern, who for 16 years has done little or nothing to promote the lives of the residents of Atlantic County, people like you and me, living paycheck to paycheck. I am the Maureen that will fight for you. I am the Maureen that is one of you.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that economic development is the key to Atlantic County’s future. Voters must appreciate the vast responsibility Atlantic County Freeholders are tasked with, such as the fiscal affairs, budgets, grants and other financial oversight of Atlantic County. Next time you think nothing changes, consider that. As seen from the disasters of the past, we cannot solely depend on the benevolence or manipulation of the casino industry. Certainly the casinos are major venues of employment and growth, however we must be more diverse to maintain and further develop our economy.

Economic development is the key to Atlantic County’s future. For this we must have proactive Freeholders who will work with county partners like the Airport Development initiative. We also must dedicate ourselves to education. This is indeed our future. I applaud Governor Murphy’s recent signing of legislation that Atlantic County’s Community colleges offer free tuition to all residents. It is imperative that our County leaders work with State leaders to promote these initiatives. The Stockton project is a progressive testament to what can happen when all financial hands are on deck. (3)

My entire professional life has been deeply involved in financial management for large and sophisticated profit and nonprofit organizations, among other things the administration of Boards of Directors, the maintenance of budgets for contracts, corporate books and records, foundations and trusts as well as sophisticated portfolios for grants and state and private contracts. This is what I do and have been doing successfully for the past 30 years.

I have a demonstrated track record of successfully negotiating and successfully interacting with both people who support my positions, people who do not and people who need to be educated in the facts. The ability to communicate and believe facts and resolve problems in the best interests of the citizens of Atlantic County must be a priority.  I have always played nice with others and as a proud Democrats will not be bullied but will continue to fight misogyny, zenopobilcs, psychotic narcissists, nepotism and right wing fanaticism in Atlantic County politics. I have been an active fighter my entire life for basic rights and the equality that should be inherent in a democracy and giving a voice to those who have trouble or have been denied speaking. But I admit that I am angry and appalled at those who remain silent while the rhetoric and actions of their party undermine democracy.

Make no mistake – although I am a novice to politics as a candidate seeking election to a public office, I have spent my entire life fighting for the rights and dignity of others. I will never remain silent on gun control, zero tolerance for immigrants and fighting the rampant plague of opioid addiction. This hits home for me as my beautiful daughter is an addict fighting this insidious disease that not only ruins lives and families but also has a disastrous effect on the community in terms of crime, poverty, foreclosures and unemployment. We need to and must do more in the way of prevention and assistance.

I love living in Ventnor, Atlantic County but I worry as I approach retirement age that I will not be able to stay in my home because of the ever rising property taxes. We must study our property tax situation with new eyes and new priorities and protect our large senior population dependent and on fixed incomes.

In today’s precarious political environment, I pledge to you that I will be a tireless advocate for the beauty of our oceans and the quality of our air. The beaches and ocean in Atlantic County are our greatest asset. We must take all steps necessary to  ensure its viability from prohibiting off shore drilling to flood protection to the protection of our County’s beautiful parks, bays, basin and reserves.