Baldwin 8-12-21

Lorraine Baldwin, center, who, in January 2021, was appointed to fill a vacant seat on Cape May City Council held by now Mayor Zack Mullock, announced her candidacy to continue serving on the city council. 

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CAPE MAY - Council member Lorraine Baldwin announced her candidacy for Cape May City Council Aug. 12. 

According to a release, Baldwin was appointed in January by unanimous consent to fill the council seat vacated by Zack Mullock, in his successful mayoral run, pending the November election.

Mullock said Baldwin was his first choice for the seat. 

“You know where Lorraine’s heart is,” he stated. “She loves Cape May, and although we do not agree on every issue, she is a team player who brings a mutual respect to every issue.” 

Baldwin is running on a platform message of “continued progress.” She was the leading council member on the Fire House Task Force charged with moving ahead with the beleaguered firehouse project. Construction of the proposed new firehouse is slated to break ground this fall, in a year in which the new council approved a budget with no tax increase.

One of her first tasks was to help register residents for Covid vaccinations. She has since led the way on various projects, among them the construction of the Shade Structure, at the Cape May Elementary School, which provides a shelter for outdoor learning and a waiting area in inclement weather. The project was funded by a private grant, which had been languishing for six years and that had a stipulation that it be used for educational purposes. 

Other projects started previously but seen to completion under the new administration are the Soldiers and Sailors Park and purchase and installation of SDL software, making Cape May’s construction office more user-friendly. 

Inspectors now have iPads, which talk directly to the construction office computers, as well as communicating with the applicants in real-time. The new software allows inter-department availability and is designed to streamline the construction permit process. Now, residents and professionals can check the status of their permits themselves. 

The beleaguered Sewell Tract project, which had been languishing in the courts for decades, was finally settled this year, and thus returns the land to the taxpayers. 

“The city saved taxpayers millions by removing taxpayer-owned properties from the city’s Recreational and Open Space Inventory (ROSI) List,” stated Baldwin. “In January, we immediately formed a task force and reached out to all parties involved in the decades-old litigation. Now, we are back on ‘tract.’ ”

Just this past month, the city was able to restore all four wells to working order, something that had not happened under the previous administration, and at a cost savings to the taxpayers. Previous engineering reports stated that new wells would have to be dug at considerable expense to the taxpayers. That no longer is the case, nor is the city buying water from neighboring Lower Township, as was previously the case.

In announcing her candidacy, Baldwin stated, “I love Cape May, and I want the opportunity to serve the city. I also believe much can be accomplished by bringing to the council table a spirit of cooperation with the intent to get things done. As a note, I’d like to add that I will not accept money from special interests.”

Baldwin spent her childhood summers on the corner of Beach Drive and Jackson Street – home of the 50-cent Hot Dogs, which her parents, the late John Clark (Clarky) and Mimi Morris, owned. Her parents were prominent members of Cape May’s business community. They owned several businesses, among them Clark’s Restaurant, Clark’s Bike Rental, Clark’s Hot Dogs and Frozen Cokes and Mimi’s Summer Casuals.

Baldwin currently works as a case manager/learning disabilities learning consultant at Ocean City School District. She holds a BA, as well as a master’s degree from Rowan University and an educational leadership, Ed.S., from Seton Hall University.

She served on the Dennis Township Planning Board for 20 years (mayor’s designee for four years and a Class 1 member for 16 years). She served on the Dennis Township Environmental Commission for six years. She was a member of the Dennis Township School Board for three years and served as secretary for the Dennis Township Zoning/Planning Board for one year.

For 10 years, Baldwin served as the South Seaville Camp Meeting Real Estate secretary and served on the South Seaville Board of Directors. She was a Girl Scout leader for nine years and Boy Scout Troop 56 Committee member for five years.

She has been married to Pete Baldwin for 32 years. They lived in Cape May County, Dennis Township, for 23 years, where they raised their two children, Drew and Ashley. She has always considered Cape May her home. 

She and her husband moved back to the island after their children were in college.

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