The Atlantic Highlands Herald invited each of the candidates for office to school boards and governing bodies in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions about themselves to better inform our readers about their campaigns. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Politics Section.
November 2, 2021 – General Election
Profile Date: October 22, 2021
Candidate Name: Marc A. Leckstein
Age (as of Election Day): 48
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Position Sought (term): Borough Councilman
Party Affiliation or Banner: Democrat
- Juris Doctorate from Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University
(Graduated in 1998)
- Bachelor of the Arts from Monmouth University
(Graduated in 1995)
- High School: Red Bank Regional (graduated in 1991)
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: I have been a member of the Sea Bright Borough Council since 2012, a total of 9 years.
Campaign Website or Facebook page: Marc Leckstein
Why are you seeking office?
Having grown up in the immediate area, I have always loved Sea Bright. When choosing a place as my permanent home back in 2000, there was no question it would be Sea Bright where I would reside. I joined the Borough Council in 2012 in an effort to help improve my town and ended up post Super Storm Sandy finding myself thrown into a position of helping to lead the Borough toward its reconstruction. I am now seeking re-election to the Borough Council so as to be able to continue the work we began after the storm. We have definitely come a long way, but we still require proper leadership to finish the job. As a lawyer whose primary practice is in the area of land use law, I have the educational and practical experience to continue guiding the Borough in a positive direction by ensuring we see responsible development in the Borough which benefits our future rather than overwhelming it.
The two most important issue facing our (board, district, council, committee etc.) are ___, and ______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The two most important issues facing our Council are tackling flooding and educational concerns:
- Flooding has always been a problem for Sea Bright since even before its founding. Over the past few years we have been working closely with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) in the hope of changing that historical pattern and begin minimizing the problem.
Working with the DEP we have come up with a plan to ensure proper bulkheading measures along the Shrewsbury River. These efforts have involved my personally meeting with DEP officials to ensure that any development proposed along the riverfront will include appropriate bulkheading requirements. Additionally, last year I helped lead the effort within the Borough to enact a comprehensive Bulkhead ordinance which will require property owners to maintain their own private bulkheads. Bulkheading is key to our efforts toward keeping the town try.
We have also been working closely with the DOT toward keeping Route 36 dry. The flooding of the highway after a storm is completely preventable and the DOT knows this. Plans have been drawn up to install proper valves in the most hard hit areas of the highway and we hope to be able to see those efforts implemented within the next year.
- With respect to Education, I have had the pleasure this year to serve as the Chair of the Borough Council’s Education Committee. In that capacity, I have been working closely with Mayor Brian Kelly with respect to getting us out of the Shore Regional School District, a district which has consistently taken advantage of Sea Bright over the years by way of over taxation. In the place of Shore Regional, we are looking to join forces with Atlantic Highlands and Highlands and form a new Pre-K to 12th grade Henry Hudson Regional School District. Such a change, if implemented, would bring significant tax breaks to our residents. Getting to this point has not been easy and has necessitated multiple trips down to Trenton to meet with State Officials since state laws literally had to be changed. Those efforts appear to be paying off and we are now on the verge of finally making what has long been a dream become a reality.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
I want to be clear that our achievements in the areas of flood control, education reform and everything else which has been accomplished in town have been part of a collaborative effort engaged in by the entire governing body. No one mayor or member of council can claim responsibility for it all. However, I do believe my leadership abilities have played an integral part in the overall process. I have always sought to reach a responsible consensus with my colleagues and, if re-elected, I will continue to work in that fashion. The best interests of Sea Bright must always come before politics, and that is why I have adopted the moto of “Sea Bright First” as part of my campaign.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I would like to think the success of Sea Bright since Super Storm Sandy is evidence of my ability to handle this job. I also think the fact that I have been chosen by my fellow councilmembers to serve as Council President on three occasions, including this year, demonstrates the faith they have in me.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I would like to residents of Sea Bright to know that I am there for them 365 days a year, not just during campaign season. When approached with a problem, I will always do my best to try and resolve the issue for the benefit of all concerned. When asked a question, I will always respond with a truthful answer – even if it is not the answer you necessarily wanted to hear. If anyone wishes to contact me directly, please free to call me at (732) 747-1415 or e-mail me at [email protected]. It would be a pleasure to speak with you. Otherwise, I just respectfully ask for your vote so that I may continue working hard for the residents of Sea Bright as I have been doing these past nine years.