Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Celeste Fernandez for Atlantic County Commissioner:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will therefore advocate for an “Office Bloc” ballot as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: I am in for people decisions and fairness. What our constituents decides I will support
Contract Vetting: I will rigorously review all county contracts to make sure they reflect fiscal responsibility and the values of constituents.
Comment: We have to ensure the vetting process is fair and benefit our constituents and county
Pay to Play: I will not exchange professional service contracts for donations to my campaign or the campaigns of my friends/allies. When possible, I will open contracts up for a competitive bidding process, instead of automatically renewing last year’s contract.
Comment: I want to bring transparency and a fair process. No dark money accepted or favor money
Ethics Reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information (e.g., investments) by candidates for county commissioner, as a means for regulating campaigns and limiting corruption.
Comment: It is very important to maintain personal (and elected official) information clear to avoid unethical behavior or misunderstanding.
Professionalism: I will commit my time and energy to full length meetings that make information accessible to the public. I will not support rushing through an abbreviated consent agenda.
Comment: Our constituents deserve our respect and time. We are representing them and their interests which should be our priority.
Meeting location and accessibility: I support using technology to make meeting attendance more accessible for residents, both publicly in person and via live-streaming of meetings (e.g., zoom) or other remote attendance options.
Comment: With new challenges comes the need for new solutions and making the meetings accessible for our constituents is important to me. We need their engagement and participation and their voices to be heard in any/all decision-making process.
Meeting Structure: I believe that county commissioners should hear from the public that they represent, and therefore I will not limit public comment beyond reasonable rules that make it possible for all who want to contribute, to do so (e.g., no more than 3 minutes per speaker). When possible, I will be responsive to public input.
Comment: I value our constituents input and concerns. They deserve the time to be heard.
Information reporting: I support easily accessible online meeting agendas and minutes. I support user-friendly budgets so residents can easily see how public funds are allocated. I support user friendly agendas that include explainers about resolutions being voted on.
Comment: It is very important for our residents to be informed on how their tax dollars are expended and where the funds are allocated in a manner that they can understand it.
Responsible County Administration & Oversight: I will work to ensure that the county entities and public services I oversee (such as libraries, parks, technical schools, community colleges, correction facilities, and infrastructure) are safe, professionally staffed, and appropriately funded.
Comment: I believe in taking care of our people, and our communities. I will ensure that the county entities and public services are well funded, run appropriately and with professionalism.
Appointments to Boards, Authorities and Commissions: I will appoint people with diverse perspectives to boards, authorities and committees, opening up government for greater participation, rather than selecting the well-connected. Because new ideas and voices are important, I will seek out new residents to fill these board positions and strive for diversity that represents constituents (e.g., in terms of gender and race), rather than having the same individuals serve for decades.
Comment: We serve a diverse county, our boards and commissions need to look and feel like the people they represent. I believe that diversity is our strength and we have to strive for it in every level of government.
More information about Celeste Fernandez:
Social media: Facebook @cfernandezatlanticcounty
Party affiliation: Democratic party
Date of Birth: 11/8/1971
Current Occupation: Small Business Owner
Education: Associate applied in Science Office System Technology (studies) Multi license, Multi state Insurance Professional, Public Relations, Real Estate, Sales, Mortgage and others related fields
Public/party service: I am a community leader who have been serving Atlantic county communities for over twenty years. I have been in the front fighting for our residents rights working on finding solutions of many issues that affect our communities. I know first hand the challenges and struggles our constituents have faced.