Focus on Our Future: Mike’s Priorities for Ocean County
“I am running to ensure all residents can enjoy the highest possible quality of life in the many wonderful communities we call home in Ocean County.
As a businessman, elected official, and founding supporter of needed charitable causes my combined real-world experience and civic leadership have prepared me to serve you as Ocean County’s new commissioner.
My passion to serve you is fueled by our need to aggressively promote economic growth in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected all of us in ways big and small.”
Priority #1: Bringing New Jobs to Ocean County
My top priority is attracting new jobs to Ocean County as there is no faster, more sustainable way to improve our local economy.
My plan calls for development and support of the new wind industry off the coast of Ocean County. While still in its nascency, as hundreds, then thousands of wind-turbines are installed, the construction and maintenance of this multi-billion-dollar project will require a robust skilled labor pool to keep the turbines running and energy flowing.
Construction of these turbines will occur just 16 miles off the Ocean County coastline, and in addition to the 15 years of construction jobs and 30 years of maintenance jobs, I propose that we begin preparations to fund the development of at least three seaports to support the commercial navy to maintenance them, furthering the economic benefit this industry represents to Ocean County.
With tested real-world experience in development, energy conservation, and public infrastructure projects, I know the companies to partner with in port development and have relationships with their teams to lay the groundwork for what I foresee resulting in over 5,000 well-paying jobs that could last over 40 years.
Priority #2: Ensuring Infrastructure Meets Ocean County’s Growing Needs.
Ocean County’s Engineering Department has done a great job in overseeing the support of our roads, bridges, and other improvements throughout Ocean’s 33 municipalities. With a conservative approach over the years, we have saved money and kept our infrastructure safe and maintained.
However, our development of new, clean industry will require road improvements. Bridges will require enhanced maintenance, as well as road widening to permit better flow of traffic and commerce between our shore towns and docks.
Lakewood and the widening of the southern stretch of Rt.9 is but one example of such improvements. Traffic moves relatively smoothly from Rt. 88 north most times of the day, but south of Rt. 88 to Toms River, traffic comes to a stand-still throughout the day. That this was the case even during the Covid-19 Pandemic when traffic was at historic lows underscores the need for the widening of Rt. 9 as this extreme congestion will return once our schools, businesses, and other public spaces return to full operation in coming months.
The widening of Rt. 9 and similar improvement projects take years to develop. They require a commissioner who cares and has the experience to see them through.
My experience developing property in Ocean and Monmouth counties included development of a lot of roadway – I know which people in Trenton and the DOT to get in touch with to design the Rt. 9 expansion and other projects.
As a Brick Councilman, I helped guide the approval of Exit 89 on the Garden State Parkway and was involved in the two Rt. 70b left-turn extensions, improving traffic through Brick Township today.
As your next commissioner, I’ll get Northern Ocean County moving again.
Priority #3: Preserving Public Greenspaces through Smart Growth.
Preservation of public lands is a top charge of any Ocean County Commissioner. We enjoy a great park system throughout the Ocean County, but as the county has developed, less land is available to buy with our green acre tax.
However, some towns have purchased property that sits undeveloped and some of them may wish to add to Ocean County lands, using any revenue to support their local budgets or other development plans.
I believe the county should be considering these purchases in the future and planning for development into county parks so more of our residents have opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at home, in their own county.
The acquisition and renovation of the Traders Cove Marina and Park property during my service as Councilman for Brick Township is an immediate example of how this type of arrangement could benefit Ocean County.
Once a public eyesore being considered for sale to developers interested in building high-density condominiums, we prompted the municipality to purchase, clean up, and repurpose it as a township marina and recreation area.
Today, I can happily report this project not only provides valuable benefit to the community, it’s also self-sustaining, with financing coming from recreational fees associated with its use, rather than draw upon municipal coffers. There are other such opportunities along our right of ways adjacent to the Barnegat Bay that are ripe for proper development and viable use.
As your next commissioner, I’ll lead the charge to ensure responsible growth while also safeguarding future generation’s ability to enjoy the quality of life these cherished greenspaces have given us.
Priority #4: Holding the Line on Taxation for Ocean County Residents.
Runaway taxation kills economic growth, and my final priority is keeping Ocean County taxes stable, especially for our Seniors.
This critical priority goes well beyond my pledge to oppose tax increases for our residents.
I believe we can effectively prevent residents from leaving, encourage new business to open, and improve Ocean County’s economy by successfully implementing my first three priorities:
- Bringing New Jobs to Ocean County will increase the overall economic activity in our communities, and along with it, increased revenues that relieve pressure to raise taxes.
- Ensuring Infrastructure Meets Ocean County’s Growing Needs will bring new jobs, help attract new residents, and encourage commerce. Overseeing these projects with a critical eye will also control cost, relieving strain on municipal budgets, and the pressure to raise taxes.
- Preserving Public Greenspaces through Smart Growth requires jobs to develop parks and recreational facilities, proper management of these new attractions will help them become self-financed.
Working in tandem, the duo of new jobs and conservative management will serve as a powerful bulwark against the ever-present threat of disruptive taxation.
“As a commissioner, I am committed to the idea of keeping Ocean County at the top of the list of places to reside, work, and start your business in. My interests in serving as your commissioner are to focus solely on the future of Ocean County and our residents.
If you believe, as I do, that we can make our great county better with new jobs, stable taxes, improved infrastructure, and clean spaces for all residents to enjoy healthy lives, then I ask not only for your vote, but to join my campaign for Ocean County’s future.”