Taxes, Transparency, and Balance in Government

I will strongly advocate for commission transparency and balance in local government and want to offer new, creative solutions to the county’s budget. We need to think creatively about property tax reform. Cape May County residents deserve property tax relief. We need new thinking to change the ways our taxes are applied to the services residents need. Many local governments saw record increases in property taxes in 2023. We need leadership focused on long term planning and finding solutions to funding other than continuing to raise taxes on our residents.

We need checks and balances in government at every level.

Year-Round Residents; Year-Round Economy

Tourism is the backbone of our economy in Cape May County. This beating heart is made up of our residents, business owners, and workers who continue to make the county a popular vacation travel destination.

However, according to U.S. Census data, our County population has been in steady decline since 2000. We need policymakers who recognize the gap in affordability that forces hardworking small business owners and individuals to continue to look for opportunities elsewhere. More year-round residents living and working in the county will move us toward a year-round economy.

We can do better.

If we want to have a first-class tourism industry and diversified economy, we need affordable places for people who work here to live. Too often state grants for affordable housing have not come to Cape May County.

I have the experience, contacts, and energy to devote to this challenge. I have done this for individuals and families, and I know how to do this for the county.

Special Services and Education

As County Commissioner, I will be committed to fostering and improving our reputation as a caring community. Towards that goal, I will support community-based instruction programs and vocational programs that guide students into well-paying jobs after graduation. I will work with our commercial partners such as Atlantic Cape Community College, Congress Hall, Reed’s Farm, Acme, ShopRite, Cape May (County) Zoo, Cape May Tech, the FAA (internships and CMC Airport for UAS research) and others who support these education initiatives in our community.

Social Issues

Cape May County faces many social issues that affect every community, I pledge my support for policies that improve public school education, enhance mental health, help the homeless, expand addiction interventions, support people with disabilities, and foster the rights of women and minorities. I sat on the Board of Salt and Light Company, a non-profit agency who provided transitional housing for the homeless in Mount Holly. The innovative solutions I learned there could provide the foundation to help address this issue in Cape May County.

Our Community, Our Roads, Open Space, Parks, and Cape May Zoo

Our zoo and parks are a huge asset to our community. I would like to see us support our local workers with fair, living wages. I am acutely aware of the importance for us, as Cape May County residents, of environmental protection and climate change and I pledge to promote long-term strategies for sustainable infrastructure, and policies that limit beach erosion and ensure flood mitigation.

Economic Development, Local Business and our Military Community

I know we need to sustain and optimize our tourism industry, but we also need to build an economy beyond tourism. I will continue to build a bridge to the business community. We need a plan to build a stronger, more diversified economy and with the input and guidance of our business leaders and input from fellow residents, we can continue to grow and prosper.

I support and honor our veterans and active military personnel. Cape May County is designated as a Coast Guard Community, and we just celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Recruit Training at U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May!

It takes business smarts, experience, compassion and leadership to tackle our growing Cape May County issues and I am just the person to represent Cape May County as Commissioner. Do I have your support? Would you take a moment to donate to help me represent the interests of our residents and business folks?

I’m Patricia O’Connor and I ask for your vote this November 2023 for Cape May County Commissioner. 

I pledge to you: trust, truth and transparency.

Thank you! - Patricia O’Connor

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