By Will Morey, Freeholder
How is it that we have come to a place where deception seems so routinely expected in politics? Shouldn’t those holding or seeking elected positions demonstrate adherence to a higher standard of forthrightness?
I have a business friend, Brendan Sciarra, with whom I’ve worked on community issues over the past few years. After leaving the Republican Party, Brendan became the Democratic Party Chair in Cape May County and is now running for Freeholder. I think we worked well together, so I’m curious as to how I’ve now become a target for half-truths, innuendo, and personal slander. Yes, Brendan is now a political party leader, so should I just chalk it up to partisan politics? I don’t think so.
In my view, elected office on a local level should be 100% about community first and how to improve it for all residents and taxpayers. It is for that reason I continuously worked with Brendan and invited his input in the new Rio Grande Gateway project and the County’s Wildwood-Pacific Avenue/Downtown Redevelopment Initiative. Great projects get done when good faith and active collaboration rule.
You may have seen Brendan’s (and Liz Casey’s) political advertisements featuring these two headlines: “Morey Subject of Retaliation Suit” and “A Second Investigation Underway Involving Freeholder Will Morey.” These headlines refer to a lawsuit brought by a senior level County employee approximately one year ago. Let me address this directly.
You will not find a headline that closes the loop on the story, but the loop is easy to close, and sadly Brendan and Liz know but haven’t shared those facts. Very simply, the suit was “dismissed” for failure to state a claim. Even more compelling, it was amended, refiled, and again “dismissed” by the court. Metaphorically, the suit didn’t make it past the front door of the Courthouse because there was no basis for it.
There are times when one must be guided by principle, refuse to be bullied, and not bow down to the threat of litigation because it’s easier to do and averts publicity. That was the scenario in which I found myself and to which I responded and stand sincerely behind. The good news is, after a period of struggle, the parties involved recognized the working relationship “fit” was simply not productive, a recognition that led to a mutually agreeable separation, an outcome best for all involved.
While vigorous issue-oriented campaigning is fair, I will not allow myself to regress to the level of “fighting fire with fire,” which threatens to scorch the earth of our communities. Instead, I intend to bring water to the fire and stay focused on what matters, delivering tangible community betterments. For me, elected office just isn’t worth holding any other way.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll be reviewing what I think you really wish to hear, namely, what the heck have I done and what are my vision and goals for a better community. In my experience, substance is what really matters, so to that end, you’ll hear more about the following:
- The County’s newly adopted Comprehensive Bridge Improvement and Replacement Plan.
- Well-paying jobs and careers in technology sectors made possible by the newly completed first building in the Tech Village Campus.
- Redeveloping the County Airport into the Cape May Air + Innovation Port.
- The County’s engagement with municipalities on the redevelopment of distressed areas (Pacific Avenue/Downtown Redevelopment).
- The County’s COVID Recovery Task Force’s work to open and now support suffering businesses.
- Open Spaces Trust’s – Creative Placemaking Initiative.
- The County’s new “Coastal Shift” marketing campaign directed at attracting technology and innovation businesses to the County.
All this and much more are happening because we’ve engaged diverse people to work together and stirred them to contribute their best.
I’m happy to speak about any of the above and can be reached at my cell: 609-425-5000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ordered and paid for by the CMCRRO, 2123 Dune Drive, Avalon, NJ 08202.