Category Archives: Vincent Solomeno

Vincent Solomeno for Freeholder: My statement from the hearing: Why I oppose the Monmouth County budget.


Vincent Solomeno, Candidate For Monmouth County Freeholder, attended the March 9th 2010 public hearing on the proposed Monmouth County Budget at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury.

Solomeno read into the record the following statement as to why he opposes the proposed budget that the Freeholders have offer-up. The statement can also be found at his facebook site:

Good evening, my name is Vincent Solomeno, and I’m a property taxpayer from Hazlet. I first want to thank the professional staff for the time spent preparing this budget proposal.

That said, members of the Board, it is my hope that you reject this proposal. Monmouth County residents simply can’t afford this level of spending. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and produce a budget with significant savings.

This is no normal time—the worst economy in generations. Clearly, the status quo is unacceptable.

Yet as I read the budget proposal, a number of areas go unaddressed—areas that if cut can result in significant savings for taxpayers. Unfortunately, this budget is more of the same, when that’s exactly what we can’t afford.

This budget does not consider the potential savings of combining the purchasing departments of the county and the parks system—a redundancy which costs taxpayers money.

This budget does not consider the savings to be had by combining our two motor pools.

And at a time when many private-sector workers are seeing their salaries cut or their wages frozen, this budget does not consider the savings to be had by freezing the salaries of non-contractual personnel earning over $100,000.

The important question I hear from my neighbors is, “Why?”

Why doesn’t this budget end the practice of awarding no-bid contracts for professional services? Doing so would increase efficiency, guarantee transparency, and save taxpayer dollars.

Why doesn’t this budget honor the intent of the cap law? Monmouth County families know it’s time to do more with less. You wouldn’t hand a credit card to a shopaholic, so why, in these economic times, should the county spend significantly above the cap, when all it means for residents is higher taxes and more spending?

I understand the enormity of the task before you. We may disagree over specific priorities, but we all know—just like Monmouth county families know—that in this time of stagnating wages, layoffs, and rising property taxes, it’s time to make tough choices.

This budget doesn’t make those tough choices. We don’t live in a fairy tale, and we can’t wish our problems away. We simply can’t afford tax increases year after year. Enough is enough.

Monmouth County families are struggling. We owe it to them to cut this bloated budget and bring them real property tax relief. I hope you have the courage to do just that.


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Filed under budget meeting, Democratic Candidate, Facebook, Hazlet, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Vincent Solomeno

Solomeno, Monmouth County and Pancakes, Mmm… Perfect Together

Vincent Solomeno, Democratic Candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder, sent me the following note attacked with a video from a pancake breakfast fundraiser that he held last Saturday. He asked me if I would post it here on the blog and I was more than happy to do so.

Since deciding to run for Monmouth County Freeholder, I’ve visited with elected officials, party leaders, and private citizens to hear their ideas and concerns. In communities from Matawan to Brielle and Allentown to Oceanport, I’m consistently hearing that people have lost faith in government’s ability to solve the public policy challenges that grow more pressing with each passing day. I am seeking the nomination for Freeholder because I believe we can do better. We can restore trust in government by continuing the change begun in 2009 and demonstrating through our actions, not just our words, that Monmouth Democrats are serious about reforming the way Freehold does business.

I am optimistic about the future of Monmouth County and it will be my honor to be part of an effort that translates that optimism into real results. Right now, I’m working to build momentum for a grassroots campaign that involves citizens of all stripes. I am grateful to the Hazlet and Union Beach Democratic Clubs, who threw a pancake breakfast for me last Saturday. We turned out 80 people, raised some money, and demonstrated that politics does not have to be consigned to the professionals. I hope to hold similar events in other parts of Monmouth in the weeks ahead, but in the mean time, I encourage you to check out a video of my remarks recorded by a supporter and posted to YouTube.

Kind regards,

Vincent Solomeno

P.S. If you haven’t already, please check out my web site –
www.vincentsolomeno.com

You can also connect with Vincent Solomeno by becoming a Facebook Fan or by following him on Twitter

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Filed under Democratic Candidate, Facebook, Hazlet NJ, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Twitter, Vincent Solomeno

Solomeno For Freeholder: Why I’m Running

Like so many others, I was disappointed with the outcome of the election last November. While the implications of that day have yet to fully reveal themselves, it is clear to me that this moment demands increased citizen involvement in the public policy process. In short, it’s time to engage.

I’m running for Monmouth County Freeholder because I believe we can do better. Since November, I’ve visited with elected officials, party leaders, and private citizens to hear their ideas and concerns. They share my belief that we can regain our Democratic majority on the Freeholder Board through an energetic grassroots campaign that focuses on stabilizing property taxes, preserving open space, and aggressively pursuing opportunities to bring new businesses – and the jobs that come with them – to Monmouth County.

My decision to pursue the nomination is the first step on a road that I hope will lead to victory come November. I intend to build a campaign of people, not power brokers. A campaign defined not by sound bites, but substantive ideas. And perhaps most importantly, this will not be a campaign defined by one person, but by citizens joined together in the pursuit of a common goal: a green, safe, and affordable Monmouth County.

As I’ve said to those I’ve spoken with in the short time since taking this decision, I have no illusion about the many challenges that lay ahead. Yet the obstacles I face in the coming campaign are nothing compared to those facing Monmouth County and our fifty-three municipalities. Quite literally, we can no longer afford the status quo. Indeed, I firmly believe that the present circumstances requires Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike to set aside petty differences, roll up our sleeves, and work together for the public good.

I am optimistic about the future of Monmouth County and it will be my honor to run alongside Judge John D’Amico in an effort that translates that optimism into real results. In the mean time, I encourage you to keep me on my toes. Let me know what I’m doing right, what you think I can be doing better, and please be sure to visit my web site at www.vincentsolomeno.com.

Thank you.

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Filed under Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, New Jersey, Vincent Solomeno

Solomeno First To Throw His Hat In The Ring For Dems In Monmouth County Freeholders Race

Hazlet Resident Vincent Solomeno, has become the first Monmouth County Democrat to officiall announce his intentions to seek the Party nod to run along side Freeholder John D’Amico.

Solomeno made his announcement with a brief posting on his Facebook page that simply stated “Vincent Solomeno is running for monmouth county freeholder.” this afternoon after posting earlier in the week that he had a big announcement to make on Friday.

Last night he posted the following Youtube video:

For those of you who do not know Vincent, he was named one of “50 Rising Stars in New Jersey Politics” by Politicker New Jersey, he has managed or worked on local, state, and national campaigns. He has worked for Congressman Frank Pallone.

In 2006, Vincent became a Truman Scholar and in 2007, he was selected as a J. William Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands where he earned a Master of Arts in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. A Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG), he is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve and is training to become a Combat Engineer.

So when Vincent has an opinion about something it’s worth listening to, he is not some loony liberal trying to push mandates down our throats. He is an extremely intelligent and distinguished member of the Monmouth County community who’s thoughts and ideas should be considered.

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Filed under Democrat, Freeholder Candidate, Hazlet, Vincent Solomeno

Letter: Brady and Tinker Kick-Off "Silly Season" In Hazlet

I know October is the silly season of local politics, but Republicans Jim Brady and Dave Tinker are playing fast and loose with the facts in their campaign for Hazlet Township Committee. They recently dropped a flier on my doorstep which — in addition to attacking Democratic Mayor Kevin Lavan and Deputy Mayor Joe Belasco — sets forth their so-called “mission” for Hazlet.

A laundry list of banal generalizations, in it they promise to “lower taxes, less government spending, stop overdevelopment, preserve open space, promote green technologies,” and “promote government reform.” All important issues. So important in fact, that Mayor Lavan and Deputy Mayor Belasco have been working on them since their election three years ago.

After three years of Republican mismanagement that saw double-digit increases in municipal taxes, Lavan and Belasco stabilized them. As a result, homeowners saw the lowest municipal tax growth in a decade.

And while Republicans talk about reducing spending, Lavan and Belasco have actually done it. By aggressively pursuing shared service agreements, they saved over $200,000 through the elimination of the Hazlet Sewerage Authority, outsourced the health department to Monmouth County for a savings of $260,000 annually, and reduced salary and utility costs by shortening the township workweek from five to four days.

Lavan and Belasco also put the brakes on overdevelopment. They took builders to court to protect quality of life and secured record amounts of grant funding to preserve what little is left of Hazlet’s precious open space. They did more than simply list these issues in a flier around election time, they delivered results and improved the life of our community.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tinker and Mr. Brady are recycled candidates touting a recycled way of doing business. When Republicans last controlled the Township Committee, they raised taxes, increased spending, sold open space, recklessly borrowed millions for the new town hall, and most damning, found themselves ensnared in an FBI investigation that led to the arrest of their hand-picked mayor on charges of corruption.

Every time they run for an office, Tinker and Brady say anything to get elected. It comes as no surprise that their recent flier is consistent with that track record. Which is a shame, because a lot remains to be done for the people of Hazlet. Mayor Kevin Lavan and Deputy Mayor Joe Belasco are working to stabilize property taxes, preserve open space, and improve recreation for young people. They deserve three more years to complete what they set out to do.

Vincent Solomeno
Hazlet

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Filed under Democrat, Hazlet, Opinion letter, Vincent Solomeno

Democrats on right side of affordable housing debate; Republicans only offer re-establishment of regional contribution agreements

The following commentary appeared in today’s Asbury Park Press and was written by Vincent Solomeno. Vincent is a life long bayshore area resident and a Monmouth County Democratic committeeman from Hazlet.

For those of you who do not know Vincent, he was named one of “50 Rising Stars in New Jersey Politics” by Politicker New Jersey, he has managed or worked on local, state, and national campaigns. He has worked for Congressman Frank Pallone.

In 2006, Vincent became a Truman Scholar and in 2007, he was selected as a J. William Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands where he earned a Master of Arts in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. A Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG), he is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve and is training to become a Combat Engineer. 

So when Vincent has an opinion about something it’s worth listening to, he is not some loony liberal trying to push mandates down our throats. He is an extremely intelligent and distinguished member of the Monmouth County community who’s thoughts and ideas  should be considered:

Democrats must be able to transform the statewide mandate of the Council on Affordable Housing or else be ready for Republican criticism that may diminish Democratic support among suburban voters.

Ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan recently traveled to Freehold to stump for votes in his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor. He likened his campaign to the American Revolution and compared Gov. Jon Corzine and the Democratic majorities in the Legislature to the tyrants of Europe and Asia.

The 21st-century Gen. George Washington continued with a blistering attack on COAH and promised that, when the general election is through, the self-financed Corzine will be living in one of the program’s 40,000 units.

November’s election not only will determine who occupies the front office in the state Capitol. It will test New Jersey Republicans’ ability to make inroads into the Democrats’ legislative majority. Unless Democrats present a compelling narrative for affordable housing, COAH and its cumbersome regulations have the potential to unite the feuding factions of the GOP and erase Democratic gains in suburban battlegrounds.

From a policy perspective, the need for affordable housing remains as clear today as it was when the Supreme Court ordered state action on the issue in 1984. According to the U.S. Census, New Jerseyans pay 30 percent or more of their income for housing, the fourth highest percentage in the nation. However, members of both parties recognize that in its current form, COAH often results in continued overdevelopment and an increase in property taxes.

Democrats in the Legislature have indicated their willingness to take on the challenge. As chairman of the Economic Growth Committee, Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, introduced legislation (S2485) that directs the state Housing Commission to consider the impact of its assessments on local property taxes.

Lesniak also wants COAH to provide housing not only to low-income individuals, but to those in the middle class who do not qualify for the program but nonetheless struggle with New Jersey’s high cost of living. Called “work-force” housing, the change would allow individuals such as secretaries, firefighters and recent college graduates to qualify for assistance.

In his recent State of the State address, Corzine indicated his willingness to “allow for maximum flexibility and ample time for collaborative review” of affordable housing plans. The governor and Democrats will face the challenge of articulating the need for COAH regulations to a public leery of continued development.

Affordable housing may be an issue that Republicans can use to their advantage, but thus far they have offered no policy alternative other than S2292, a bill re-establishing the regional contribution agreements that circumvented the intent of affordable housing in the first place. Their advocacy of a return to the failed status quo does nothing to address the real problem.

New Jersey is a “blue” state and New Jersey Republicans are a party rife with ideological divisions. Criticism of COAH presents them with an issue they can rally around. However, they will need more than rhetoric and stale policy to convince voters they can solve the problem. Democrats have demonstrated a willingness to ease the burden on municipalities without abandoning a commitment to providing affordable housing. The remaining challenge for lawmakers is to deliver reform.


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Filed under Affordable housing, Asbury Park Press, COAH, Frank Pallone, Fulbright Scholar, Gov.Jon Corzine, Hazlet, Monmouth County Democrats, RCA's, State of the State Address, Steve Lonegan, Vincent Solomeno

>Democrats on right side of affordable housing debate; Republicans only offer re-establishment of regional contribution agreements

>

The following commentary appeared in today’s Asbury Park Press and was written by Vincent Solomeno. Vincent is a life long bayshore area resident and a Monmouth County Democratic committeeman from Hazlet.

For those of you who do not know Vincent, he was named one of “50 Rising Stars in New Jersey Politics” by Politicker New Jersey, he has managed or worked on local, state, and national campaigns. He has worked for Congressman Frank Pallone.

In 2006, Vincent became a Truman Scholar and in 2007, he was selected as a J. William Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands where he earned a Master of Arts in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. A Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG), he is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve and is training to become a Combat Engineer. 

So when Vincent has an opinion about something it’s worth listening to, he is not some loony liberal trying to push mandates down our throats. He is an extremely intelligent and distinguished member of the Monmouth County community who’s thoughts and ideas  should be considered:

Democrats must be able to transform the statewide mandate of the Council on Affordable Housing or else be ready for Republican criticism that may diminish Democratic support among suburban voters.

Ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan recently traveled to Freehold to stump for votes in his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor. He likened his campaign to the American Revolution and compared Gov. Jon Corzine and the Democratic majorities in the Legislature to the tyrants of Europe and Asia.

The 21st-century Gen. George Washington continued with a blistering attack on COAH and promised that, when the general election is through, the self-financed Corzine will be living in one of the program’s 40,000 units.

November’s election not only will determine who occupies the front office in the state Capitol. It will test New Jersey Republicans’ ability to make inroads into the Democrats’ legislative majority. Unless Democrats present a compelling narrative for affordable housing, COAH and its cumbersome regulations have the potential to unite the feuding factions of the GOP and erase Democratic gains in suburban battlegrounds.

From a policy perspective, the need for affordable housing remains as clear today as it was when the Supreme Court ordered state action on the issue in 1984. According to the U.S. Census, New Jerseyans pay 30 percent or more of their income for housing, the fourth highest percentage in the nation. However, members of both parties recognize that in its current form, COAH often results in continued overdevelopment and an increase in property taxes.

Democrats in the Legislature have indicated their willingness to take on the challenge. As chairman of the Economic Growth Committee, Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, introduced legislation (S2485) that directs the state Housing Commission to consider the impact of its assessments on local property taxes.

Lesniak also wants COAH to provide housing not only to low-income individuals, but to those in the middle class who do not qualify for the program but nonetheless struggle with New Jersey’s high cost of living. Called “work-force” housing, the change would allow individuals such as secretaries, firefighters and recent college graduates to qualify for assistance.

In his recent State of the State address, Corzine indicated his willingness to “allow for maximum flexibility and ample time for collaborative review” of affordable housing plans. The governor and Democrats will face the challenge of articulating the need for COAH regulations to a public leery of continued development.

Affordable housing may be an issue that Republicans can use to their advantage, but thus far they have offered no policy alternative other than S2292, a bill re-establishing the regional contribution agreements that circumvented the intent of affordable housing in the first place. Their advocacy of a return to the failed status quo does nothing to address the real problem.

New Jersey is a “blue” state and New Jersey Republicans are a party rife with ideological divisions. Criticism of COAH presents them with an issue they can rally around. However, they will need more than rhetoric and stale policy to convince voters they can solve the problem. Democrats have demonstrated a willingness to ease the burden on municipalities without abandoning a commitment to providing affordable housing. The remaining challenge for lawmakers is to deliver reform.


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Filed under Affordable housing, Asbury Park Press, COAH, Frank Pallone, Fulbright Scholar, Gov. Jon Corzine, Hazlet, Monmouth County Democrats, RCA's, State of the State Address, Steve Lonegan, Vincent Solomeno