West New York Mayor Silverio “Sal” Vega was born in Cuba and came to live in West New York when he was about a decade old. That year was 1967, and he went on to graduate from Public School 5 and Memorial High School in West New York. His father, Silverio, Sr., is now deceased, and his wonderful mother Marta, now 85 years young, still calls West New York her hometown.
Mayor Vega has two brothers, Carlos and Luis, and three sisters, Alina, Anolan, as well as Ana, who lives in North Bergen.
After high school, Mayor Vega became a student at the University of Tennessee and met his life-long friend, Guttenberg’s athletic living legend Brian Guaschino, and they both became track stars at the university. Mayor Vega in 1980 graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Mr. Guaschino tells us that he always remembers his friend “Sal” saying how much he wanted to get back to West New York, and give back to his hometown what he learned from life, and thus become an integral part of the Town of West New York.
In 1986, Mayor Vega achieved a master’s degree at New Jersey City University in Administration and Supervision, and had been fortunate enough to become an English as Second Language teacher at Public School 1 in 1980 after achieving his degree at the university in Tennessee. In 1985, he transferred to Memorial High School, entered into physical education, and began coaching track and soccer. In 1988, he became the Athletic Director, and holds this same position at the present time.
In 1991, Mayor Vega entered political life as a commission candidate on the team of the legendary Mayor Anthony M. DeFino and was elected. After Mayor DeFino retired from office, Mayor Vega became a bridge-builder, basically-speaking, and joined the Albio Sires commission team. Today Albio Sires is a congressman. Mayor Vega went on to become a Hudson County Freeholder in 1997 and Freeholder chairman in 1999 until 2006, then left that body to become a state Assemblyman from 2006-2008. However, the opportunity presented itself in 2006 to become what he always wanted to be, so that he could be close to the people he loved, and that was mayor of the Town of West New York. In 2007, he ran for a regular term as mayor, and did not run for a second term as an assemblyman. He says he will run for re-election as mayor in May, 2011.
Mayor Vega tells us that he just loves the profession of education, and how it can help a community and its children. He loves the West New York school system, and its recreational department, and likes to see the town’s youth become good citizens. He also dotes on the town’s senior citizens, which are, like his 85-year old mom, a treasure in the town!
With all his activities, you wonder where and if he finds time for leisure. Well, he does! Mayor Vega likes to jog early in the morning, at times with his old friend Brian Guaschino, 3 to 4 days a week. He has also taken up bicycle riding on weekends, riding up to 40 miles, because exercise builds up a good overall feeling on the mind and body, and clears the mind of stress. Thus a person on a daily regimen like this can meet the daily grind and stresses in life on a more secure and healthy ground, which in turn makes life worth living, and happier in one’s chosen life and profession and decision making, and in regard to the people they serve.
Now that’s what they call human and moral introspection, which is also good for personal morale. Only a physical educator would understand such a matter fully, and it seems that Mayor Vega does. Mayor Vega says that he enjoys meeting constituents who recognize him while he is out on his exercise regimen, and enjoys the conversations.
Mayor Vega also likes to read American history and the Abraham Lincoln era. He has traveled cross-country USA, to Central and South America and the Caribbean, and to Canada, Europe and Spain, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
As for music, he likes rock ‘n roll, country music, and Cuban music. His favorite performers are Bob Seeger, Andrea Boccelli, Celine Dion, and Celia Cruz, as influenced by his mother, whom he calls every day and visits several times a week. Moreover, in that regard, he proudly also watches over his daughter Kristen, who is a senior at Caldwell College in Morris County, who will be graduating in December, 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Well, what do people think of Mayor Vega? West New York Assistant Town Clerk Cosmo Cirillo said that the mayor truly exemplifies what it means to care for and be dedicated to the Town of West New York as a life-long resident and take pride in the work he is doing to benefit the community. The mayor’s Chief Senior Advisor Neil Carroll, who is also a professional fund-raiser and decades-old friend, said that the recent “sold-out” mayoral event is a true reflection of how well-liked a gentleman Mayor Vega is in the minds and hearts of his supporters. West New York resident and attorney-at-law John Tomasin, who is also a former Guttenberg Municipal Court Judge, tells us that he feels that Mayor Vega is doing a good job in his running of the schools, and the snow removal and street cleaning has been good, too. He’s happy thus far with results in these areas.
As for West New York Mayor “Sal” Vega, he says that his greatest award and reward is being told that he is doing a good job, and will continue to do his utmost for the town and the people he loves so much. You read it here! All The Best!

United States Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Lisa C. Klemisch, a graduate of the Union City school system, has been mobilized and activated at Joint Base Dix-McGuire-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Staff Sergeant Klemisch is a 25-year veteran in the military services. Congratulations!

Katerina Torres of Secaucus was inducted into the Tau Delta Chapter of Lamda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association Honor Society, as a student at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Best wishes!

Nicole Onello of North Bergen has been inducted into The Most Noble Order of the Peacock at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City. A high honor, best of luck Ms. Onello!

Cassandra Nicole Hinnen of Union City has been named to the Dean’s List at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Leaders of Tomorrow, make us proud!

President Jeffery Welz of the Weehawken First Aid Squad was recently honored by the Palisades Medical Center Foundation in North Bergen at their Star Stream Ball regarding his activities on behalf of the foundation. A worthy cause and a worthy awardee. Goes to show that good things happen to good people! Keep up the great work!

And so it goes … until next time …see you around town …MATT

Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items along with your photographs to Matthew Amato, columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, New Jersey 07030.

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