Jason F. Cilento – Candidate for Mayor of Dunellen, Middlesex County

Candidate information:

Phone number: (908) 720-4657
Party affiliation: Republican Party
Campaign websitewww.dunellensfuturetogether.com
Social media: https://www.facebook.com/CilentoRiosSigmon/

Date of Birth: November 13, 1989
Education: B.A. Political Science – Kean University and Master in Public Administration – Rutgers University 
Occupation: Risk Management for NY/NJ Regional Bank
Public/Party service: Jason ran and won for Council in 2010 and was sworn in as a Borough Councilman in 2011 and has worked tirelessly to represent the residents of Dunellen. In 2019, Jason was appointed to Council President, a position he was unanimously selected to by both Republican and Democratic council members. Along with serving as Mayoral-appointed liaison to numerous town committees and departments, Jason has:
– Assisted in securing grants for both the Fire Department and Dunellen Arts and Culture Commission
– Supported the designation of Dunellen as a Transit Village; which has assisted in Dunellen obtaining grants for the Victorian lighting downtown
– Supported the redevelopment plans of the Art Color site, believing it to be a vital piece of revitalizing Dunellen’s downtown and increasing revenue streams for our borough
– Advocated for the expansion of the Dunellen Little League Field to a 50/70, allowing for the growth of Dunellen’s baseball programs
– Developed a marketing booklet used to promote the borough as a member of the Dunellen Downtown Management Organization
– As a member of the Dunellen Downtown Management Organization helped initiate downtown beautification projects and establish the annual Dunellen HarvestFest
– Recently as a member of the Dunellen Downtown Management Organization, worked with volunteers in creating the Next Stop! Dunellen! an E-Newsletter to promote businesses and events in downtown Dunellen
– Created the quarterly newsletter, The Dunellen Report
– Established the Arts & Culture Commission in 2016
– Worked alongside volunteers to establish Dunellen’s Playground Committee
– Initiated the 2017 Community Survey and assisted as the liaison to the Bloustein School’s DID Study and the Transit Hub Study to establish a shared vision of Dunellen’s future
– As Police Committee Chair, I oversaw the interview and promotion process of Dunellen’s new Chief, Lieutenant, and Sergeants
– As a Social Media Committee member working to establish an updated website and creating a municipal social media presence
– Secured a national grant that organized community organizations to help build and install shade trees, pollinator plants and benches, as well as painting a footbridge to increase the vibrancy and accessibility of the walking path in Columbia Park
– As the Mayoral liaison to the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, I have been working with a bipartisan group of elected officials and advocates at the Raritan Valley Line Mayors Alliance (RVL Mayors Alliance) to petition and call upon state and federal representative to fully implement midtown direct trains during peak hours and weekends, as well as funding the Gateway Tunnel Project. We were recently successful at the RVL Mayors Alliance to have the state restore the off-peak midtown direct trains on the RVL beginning Monday, Nov. 4th.

Position on good government initiatives:

  1. Would you support reforming New Jersey’s Primary electoral ballots to give all candidates an equal chance of being elected? 
  2. Would you support measures to increase voter participation (eg. same-day registration, early voting)? 
    It depends. 
    I support early voting. I support efforts to increase voting by mail. I would be concerned of the costs, logistics and implementation of same-day registration. 
  3. Would you support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process?  
    We need to make all legislative districts competitive. One party rule has not been favorable for New Jersey. I believe a nonpartisan commission would assist in making all New Jersey legislative districts competitive for Republican, Democratic and Independent voters and candidates.
  4. Would you support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure on financial information and the release of income taxes by candidates for public office, as a means for regulating campaigns and limiting corruption? 
  5. Would you support reinstituting the statewide public advocate and making it a directly elected position? 
    The Governor of New Jersey is elected to manage the state. Advocating on behalf of New Jersey residents’ interests should already be part of the Governor’s job description. The legislature and judicial branch are the checks and balances to ensure the residents have an advocate for their voice. The reinstitution of the role, in my opinion, is creating another layer of bureaucracy that New Jersey simply does not need. 
  6. Would you support changing the nominating process for members of Commissions and Boards to have panels of nonpartisan experts nominate candidates, with full public disclosure of the candidates’ credentials, and to have the legislature vote on the nominations? 
  7. Do you support public funding of campaigns for all statewide offices, including the legislature? 
  8. Do you support making the state legislature full-time and prohibiting simultaneous holding of other paid positions? 
    I appreciate the sentiment of this question, however, I believe it will become difficult to find candidates to run for office if they have to give up their full-time jobs in the private sector.
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