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The Important Road to Building Consensus

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Will Morey and Jeff Pierson.jpg

Will Morey and Jeff Pierson

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By Will Morey & Jeff Pierson, Freeholders

We thought it appropriate to share more about ourselves, our differences, and how we work together as part of the current Freeholder Board. 

Before we do that, however, please permit us to make a few observations concerning our opponents' positions in this election. It's been curious that our opponents try to capitalize on what they portray as infighting on our current Freeholder Board, and yet also characterize the Board as "speaking with one voice."

Our opponents frequently reference well-connected insiders; we think they are referring to the modest number of County employees who have worked their way up into leadership positions and are compensated accordingly. It may be important to share for clarity and context that a Freeholder salary is $17,973 and has been for many years. Incidentally, regarding what our opponents call Cadillac benefits, all employees from entry-level to leadership have access to the same health benefit plans. 

Constructive criticism is constructive. Respectfully, the vague and poorly supported accusations from our opponents, matched with vague ideas and notions for change are not constructive and not responsible.

Back to us!

Jeff is a retired Brigadier General from the U.S. Army, with 42 years of military service. His background as a leader, strategic planner, trainer and administrator, as well as serving in various community roles on Upper Township Committee, Township Zoning Board, as a Life Member of the Marmora Volunteer Fire Company, and Undersheriff Cape May County, and more, bring a unique insight and steady hand to the Freeholder Board. Jeff's current role as Chair of the Cape May County Coast Guard Community Foundation is indicative of his care for our veterans and service members and willingness to volunteer his time.

Although Will now has substantial experience as a Freeholder, his background is principally business and corporate governance. He worked his way up through various positions at The Morey Organization, a multi-faceted company founded in 1969, where he is now the CEO. In addition to many community leadership roles, Will has chaired IAAPA, the 5,000 member company (including entities such as Disney and Universal) Global Association for the Attractions Industry, a position which requires clear communication and integration of a worldwide membership with diverse backgrounds and ideas. A "fierce collaborator," Will has brought his business experience to bear in County government and now focuses on creating meaningful, durable change and tangible improvements throughout the community.

To integrate the perspectives brought to our Freeholder discussions by five varied backgrounds, we advocate that Board members work to address issues through a consensus building process; that is, we urge the Board to discuss and come to a comprehensive agreement, rather than simply looking to achieve a three vote majority. Board members must understand the needs and reservations of all members (which, by the way, represent the needs or reservations of constituents) so that the Board can account for them in any policy or decision being discussed. Ultimately, when possible, we're hopeful that all Board members will contribute to and enthusiastically support Board decisions.

We certainly acknowledge that our Freeholder discussions don't always go perfectly smoothly, as you would expect from any group of five people tackling important and complex issues. Fact is, full consensus is not always possible and not the central point. The important point is that we are committed to an active effort to stir communication within the Board and to see that a broad set of community viewpoints are considered in our policies and programs.

So, do we disagree amongst ourselves, or do we speak with one voice?  A little of both, and we see this as appropriate and beneficial.

At the end of the day, together we recognize a responsibility to stimulate and enable free flowing perspective, not politics, to inform good policy so that the voices of our constituents are heard, and our communities are best served.

Ordered and paid for by Morey and Pierson for Freeholder, 943 Central Ave, Ocean City 08226.

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