Will Pauls Op-Ed in the Boardwalk Journal

As published in the May 2013 edition of the Boardwalk Journal…

I’m Will Pauls, the recently nominated Republican candidate for Atlantic County Freeholder At-Large. I couldn’t be prouder to run on a ticket lead by Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno that includes distinguished public servants like Frank Balles for Senate, John Amodeo and Chris Brown for Assembly as well as John Bettis and Rich Dase for Freeholder. This is a critical and defining moment for our region and as such we must elect the very best leaders at every level of government.

For more than half a century I’ve lived right here in Atlantic County, through the good times and the bad. Over the last few years, we’ve all watched South Jersey struggle as our region continues to face some of the highest unemployment in New Jersey.

I believe we need a strong Freeholder At-Large who will work with our local officials all day, every day, and not just in an election year. The stakes are simply too high for our region to continue with business as usual and accept the status quo simply because it’s politically more convenient.

We’re fighting to preserve the American Dream so our children and grandchildren can have the same opportunities we had. Atlantic County can absolutely still offer that. I believe in our region, its people, and its promise for the future.

Growing up in Atlantic County, Mom and Dad instilled in all of us a love of God, family and country, as well as a strong commitment to our local community.

Shortly after graduating from Absegami High School in 1973, I married my high school sweetheart Ginny. Ginny and I built upon the foundations that our parents provided towards living out the American Dream. Together we raised three children, our two sons Shane and John, and our daughter Jennifer. We’ve also been blessed with four grandchildren whom we adore.

For 20 years, I worked as a Journeyman for the Atlantic City Ironworkers, Local 350. As a Journeyman, I saw the building of the Casino Industry first hand. These were exciting times for our region and its residents. We had great hopes for the future and the opportunity to earn a decent living in order to support our families.

Iron working can be a dangerous occupation. When I started working in the steel industry we didn’t have all the safeguards and regulations we have today. While we have made great strides in enhancing safety for our workers, there were times when you didn’t know if you were going to make it home to your family. The hard reality is I have lost some dear friends over the years whether in day to day development projects or during emergency repairs and reconstruction efforts.

That’s why in addition to serving on the Atlantic County Republican Committee, I am currently the President of the South Jersey Building Trades Council and the Ironworkers Local 350. I’ve been honored and privileged to represent these hard working men and women who have literally helped build and sometime rebuild our community.

I’m also active in and have enjoyed serving on the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, Atlantic County Planning Board, Regional Development Authority of Atlantic County, and the Atlantic County Community Development Corporation. Throughout the years, I’ve developed strong working relationships with many business and community leaders in every corner of Atlantic County.

I love Atlantic County and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Fighting for you is my way of giving back to the community that has given so much to me and my family.

Whether it was covering shifts at the family restaurant or later working on structural steel high above Atlantic City, I have spent my entire life in the private sector. These experiences have provided me with the understanding of not only the challenges facing working families, but what it takes to create family sustaining jobs in Atlantic County.

I know the issues and I’ll bring fresh ideas, a strong work ethic and the same passion I’ve always had for Atlantic County to the job of Freeholder. I’ll work hard each and every day to ensure Atlantic County gets back on its feet and thrives once again. You deserve nothing less.

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