Silverio "Sal" A. Vega (4 September 1956 in Cardenas, Matanzas, Cuba)
Cuban American Democratic Party politician, who served in the New
Jersey General Assembly from 2006–2008, where he represented the
33rd legislative district and served on the Law and Public Safety
Committee. He also served as the Mayor of West New York. Vega lost
a re-election bid May 10, 2011 to challenger Dr. Felix Roque.
1.2 Recall of Mayor Vega
1.3 2011 election
3 External links
Vega has been a resident of the Town of West New York since 1967, when
he emigrated from
Cuba with his family. He received a Bachelor of
Science degree from the
University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee in Physical
Education. Vega has served a school administrator for the West New
York School District. Since 1987, he has been Athletic Director for
his alma mater, Memorial High School.
Vega had served as a Legislative Aide to
New Jersey State Senator
Bernard Kenny. Previously, Vega had been appointed to the Board of
Adjustments and the Rent Control Board by the Town of West New York,
and to the Board of Trustees of the Hudson County Schools of
Technology (formerly Hudson County Vocational-Technical). Vega was a
Commissioner for the Town of West New York, serving as Public Safety
Director from 1995 until 2006. Previously, Vega was the director of
the Department of Revenue & Finance, from 1991 to 1995.
Albio Sires was elected to fill the seat in New Jersey's 13th
congressional district that had been vacated by Bob Menendez, Sires
stepped down from his positions as Mayor of West New York and in the
General Assembly, where he represented the 33rd legislative district.
Vega was chosen to replace Sires as mayor of West New York. The
Democratic district committee voted on November 21, 2006 to choose
Vega to replace Sires in the Assembly, with Vega taking office on
December 11, 2006.
Chairman Vega represented the freeholder interests for the Hudson
County Schools of Technology as a Member of the Hudson County Board of
School Estimate, and for the Community College as a Member of the
Hudson County Community College
Hudson County Community College Board of School Estimate. He also
serves as Chairman of the following committees: Finance, Budget and
Administration; Insurance Commission; Public Safety and Department of
Corrections; and as Alternate on the
New Jersey Association of
Counties (NJAC). He serves as a Member on the Economic Development and
Before being named to the Assembly, Vega represented District 7 on the
New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders. District 7
includes the Town of Guttenberg, the Township of Weehawken and the
Town of West New York. Vega served his eighth year as Chairman of the
Board of Freeholders, the longest serving chairman in county history.
Vega resigned from his position as Freeholder as of 5:00 p.m. on
November 21, 2006, and West New York Commissioner Gerald Lange, Jr.
replaced Vega as Freeholder.
Recall of Mayor Vega
On June 9, 2009, West New York physician and resident Dr. Felix Roque,
along with a group of 20 supporters filed petition papers with the
West New York town clerk to recall Mayor Vega and his four
commissioners. Dr. Roque's movement, also known as the "Together We
Can" campaign, was given a period of 160 days to collect signatures
from 25% of the registered voter population. Together We Can Pending a
successful recall petition, Dr. Roque intended to run against Mayor
Vega during the upcoming Mayoral elections. Roque was spurred to
this action by the town's high taxes.
On April 27, 2010, official court proceedings began regarding the case
of Committee To Recall Silverio A. Vega; Gerald A Lange; Lawrence
Riccardi; Alberto Rodriguez, Michelle Fernandez-Lopez From The Office
Of Commissioner Against Carmela Riccie, In The Capacity Of Recall
Election Official of The Town Of West New York. During the first day
of trial, appointed judge Hon. Maurice Gallipoli, adhered to the fact
that the recall committee had successfully acquired more than enough
signatures required to initiate a recall based on the testimony and
lengthy analysis of the single witness Carlos Diego J. Perez
Monasterio. Numerous challenges were raised by the defense with the
inclusion of resident's signatures not matching the Statewide Voter
Registration Database which prompted Judge Gallipoli to grant the
Recall Committee a second day of proceedings to fix affidavit forms
required to include the names of the 110 registered voters deemed
invalid by Town Clerk Carmela Riccie.
During the second day of trial, after the acceptance of the fixed
affidavit forms, the 110 registered voter's signatures were granted to
the committee only to have a number of other issues introduced by the
defense with the supporting testimony of Town Clerk Carmela Riccie.
These new challenges disallowed the submission of over 400 valid
signatures into the total therefore reducing the number below the mark
needed to initiate the recall. The lack of a timed evidence submission
to the contrary by the committee's attorney, Arthur Neiss, into court
prompted Gallipoli to disallow any testimony that would have
reinstated the number of signatures in question back in the final
total. Based on this decision to disallow any new testimony, Judge
Gallipoli ruled that regardless of the amount of signatures above the
number required, the committee was being penalized for the failure to
comply with the case management order. 444 signatures that would
otherwise had been counted, were to be deducted from the grand total.
This proved to be the fatal blow in the Committee's, case which
reduced all totals below the needed mark and being granted a dismissal
by Judge Gallipoli.
On May 10, 2011, Vega and his Board of Commissioners lost the election
to Roque and his commissioners, surprising many in the community.
Vega's spokesman and political consultant Paul Swibinski attributed
the election results to the raising of taxes in February 2009, while
other sources felt that results were attributable to the fact that the
Hudson County Democratic Organization did not assist Vega in fending
off Roque's challenge.
^ a b Assemblyman Vega's Legislative Website Archived 2012-05-31 at
the Wayback Machine.,
New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 12,
^ Hudson County Freeholder - District 7: Silverio A. Vega Archived
2002-06-22 at Archive.is, Hudson County, New Jersey. Accessed January
^ "Vega is eager for challenge in WNY, Trenton", Jersey Journal,
November 28, 2006
^ Roque, Dr. Felix. Together We Can, accessed May 11, 2011.
^ Gibson, Denise. "Papers filed with West New York clerk to recall
Vega, 4 others", NJ.com, June 9, 2009
^ a b Sanabria, Santo. "Roque slate wins by large margin", The Union
City Reporter, May 15, 2011, Pages 1 and 7.
^ Arrue, Karina L. "Judge allows WNY recall effort time to fix forms",
NJ.com, April 28, 2010
^ Arrue, Karina L. "A 'NO' VOTE: WNY recall effort is nixed in court,
but Roque says he'll run" Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine.,
NJ.com, April 30, 2010
Assemblyman Vega's Legislative Website,
New Jersey Legislature
Hudson County Freeholder biography
New Jersey Legislature financial disclosure form for 2006 (PDF)
New Jersey Legislature financial disclosure f