MORRIS COUNTY — Heather Darling, a 43-year Morris County resident, is running for the open Morris County Freeholder seat this November. Heather fully understands the role of a Freeholder and is prepared to take on the tasks associated with that job specifically. She will be focusing exclusively on County issues and leave state and federal issues like minimum wage and immigration enforcement to the appropriate governing bodies. She is a fiscal conservative interested in preserving the character and values of Morris County in a manner that is affordable and beneficial to our residents while upholding the Constitution, according to her oath of office, in performing her duties as Freeholder. While she intends to bring a fresh perspective to the Freeholder Board, she is aware of issues within the county. The three main categories that are central to Heather’s goals are the promotion of economic growth and job creation; fiscal responsibility and free enterprise and professional integrity and transparency.
Promote Economic Growth and Job Creation
Heather Darling has a plan to attract and retain business in Morris County that she would like to work with the current members of the Freeholder Board in implementing. Once in effect, Darling’s plan will lower residential taxes by bringing business back to Morris County. Her plan includes drawing big business back to Morris County which will also inspire small business creation ultimately adding ratables into our tax base, easing the tax burden on residents. Heather also plans to work with the County College of Morris, Morris County School of Technology and local businesses to develop programs designed to supply a skilled labor pool for the benefit of businesses and, in turn, create viable economic opportunities here in Morris County for our youth and those seeking re-training in new fields. Darling believes that programs for seniors, special needs individuals and veterans must continue and cannot be cut for other projects. The only way that Morris County can grow while maintaining our existing services is to bring in more business.
Fiscal Responsibility and Free Enterprise
Heather Darling’s goal is to cut unnecessary spending by the County. A main campaign issue of Darling’s is the disrepair of our county roads. Darling believes that infrastructure is best maintained by doing it right the first time to eliminate unnecessary patching and repairs. Heather would like to see more shared services between municipalities to bring savings without hindering services. She does not believe that towns should be forced into such systems to their detriment but that, where the benefits are shown to far outnumber the detriments, towns will likely choose to share services on their own. Heather Darling also believes in promoting a true competitive bidding process as she believes that a free enterprise system will foster better quality jobs at an affordable price for Morris County.
Professional Integrity and Transparency
Heather Darling intends to be a voice for the people of Morris County. She intends to help others, not herself. For example, the cost of health insurance for county employees has become a significant issue that has been the subject of many studies and work sessions. Heather vows not to enroll in the County offered health care plan as a Freeholder, nor does she intend to take the stipend offered to those who opt out of the County health insurance. She will pay for her own insurance as she does now resulting in immediate savings for the County. Being a political outsider, Darling intends to bring a fresh outlook to the Freeholder Board from the perspective of the community. Heather intends to involve the citizens of Morris County in the discussion of issues by being a listener first and by including the fair opportunity to offer comments directly related to issues of discussion.
During her extensive community and public service volunteer posts, Heather has gained experience working on various boards and committees giving her a taste of public administration. She served as vice-chair of the Roxbury Economic Development Committee, Zoning Board of Adjustment member, Environmental Commission member, board member of the Roxbury Chamber of Commerce, and as president of a group of volunteers to implement a dog park in Roxbury. She is also an alumnus the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Morris program designed for those looking to become future leaders in Morris County with an eye toward public and community service.
Professionally, Heather Darling is a highly accomplished, organized and detailed attorney with a proven track record of successful results for clients. As an attorney, Heather volunteers her time as a Special Civil Mediator and Early Settlement Panelist in the Morris and Sussex County Courts along with her participation in both State and local public defender programs where lawyers are paid a fractional rate to assist those who cannot afford representation. She has volunteered with the Morris County Housing Partnership and the County College of Morris Women’s Center. In addition to being the principal of The Darling Law Firm, she is also the President of her family’s real estate business. Darling knows through experience what it means to deliver quality service at affordable prices within a balanced budget, manage employees and seek bids for commercial projects.
Although she is a businesswoman, not a politician, Heather has been involved in Morris County politics for some time, having served as President of the Roxbury Republican Club for the most recent four years and Secretary of the Club for the nine years next preceding. She also served on the Board of the Morris County Women’s Republican Club. Heather’s other affiliations include associate membership in the Italian American Police Society of New Jersey, membership in the Morris County 200 Club, past service on the board of Noah’s Ark animal shelter, membership n Rockaway UNICO, participation in the Morris County Clerk’s Operation Give Back program offering discounted services to veterans and she is a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church.
Heather Darling received her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, NJ in May 2002 where she participated in the Fair Housing Clinic program. Darling was admitted to membership to the NJ Bar in 2003, NY Bar in 2004, and PA Bar in 2013. She is also a member of the Morris County Bar Association. Prior to attending law school, Heather graduated from the New York University, Stern School of Business receiving her Bachelors in Science in Finance and International Business. While attending Stern, she was elected to serve on the Student Council. Darling worked in the New York and New Jersey financial markets for the next four years until joining her father’s real estate business. Originally from central Pennsylvania, near Williamsport, she moved to Morris County at the age of five with her father after her mother’s passing. Darling matriculated through the Roxbury school system, played on recreation and sports teams consistently and graduated from Roxbury High School. Formerly a competitive bodybuilder, Darling is accustomed to bringing dedication and commitment to her daily life as well as standing up to criticism and negativity directed at those who are leaders.