Democrat Luciano Vying for District 4 Freeholder Seat
West Caldwell resident Democratic candidate for open seat on County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Leonard M. Luciano of West Caldwell is the Democratic candidate for the open three-year District 4 seat on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Luciano has served as Acting District 4 Freeholder since the seat became vacant in August when Linda Lordi Cavanaugh stepped down after 13 years on the board. His Republican opponent is Cedar Grove Mayor Joseph Chiusolo. The election is next Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Luciano, 30, has been employed as an Educational Media Specialist since 2003 by Newark Schools, where he also works as an After School Youth Development Program Teacher. He is a doctoral candidate at Seton Hall University.
The candidate has served as a Commissioner of the Essex County Utilities Authority from 2007-2011.
The District 4 Freeholder represents 11 municipalities, including Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell and West Orange.
Patch asked the candidate to share his experience and qualifications. The following statements were submitted by Luciano.
I offer the board a breath of fresh air. At 30 years old, I have worked tirelessly to participate in government over the last seven years. My energy, passion and enthusiasm have led me to run for office locally, which earned me a reputation as a candidate that gave his all in hard-fought campaigns. My work ethic was noticed by the current County Executive and members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders and I was humbled to be nominated and appointed Commissioner of the Essex County Utilities Authority where I served from 2007-2011. In this government office, I tackled a multitude of issues including overseeing our county’s solid waste removal, found ways to increase county-wide recycling, and achieved saving taxpayers millions of dollars on waste “tipping fees”.
I have gained first-hand experience in the duties and responsibilities of a Freeholder and I’ve become actively involved in the problems facing District 4 taxpayers. I have been sure to take a fiscally conservative approach to all county expenditures and I am confident that if elected to a three-year term, I will not need apprentice training when I take office in January.
I am in the process of opening a satellite office in West Essex to provide constituents an easier means of meeting with me. I am also working on a Resolution that I hope to introduce to the Board of Freeholders very soon that would require the County of Essex to do any/all business with “American Made” companies. Our economy in this country is at an all-time low, jobs are being lost to companies overseas, and I believe all levels of government should ban together to keep business here at home!
[As Acting District 4 Freeholder,] I voted to support a contractual extension and agreement with the Federal Government to house ICE detainees back in September that will bring in revenue of $27 million a year to our county for the next five years. Our county couldn’t afford to say no to this contract because we need the revenue to put our people to work. Dozens of other neighboring counties and states would have jumped at the opportunity to take this contract because it helps create jobs, such as food service workers, transportation workers, corrections officers, social workers, etc. I had much input on reasonable and respectable conditions that these individuals would live under while detained at our county facilities.
[If elected,] I hope I can help make county government a force for economic growth and tax stability while continuing to make the County a great place to live, work and raise a family. I would also like government to be more transparent and continue to encourage people to get active, especially the younger generation of Essex County.
Top priorities include:
-Recruiting businesses to our County and local communities to provide more jobs and increase our tax base.
-Streamlining operations to reduce costs and continue to look for innovative revenue streams that save money.
-Enforcing and enhancing ethics laws and “pay-to-play” regulations.
-Support a strong public school system so everyone has access to a quality 21st-century education.
-Expand county senior services so our elderly population can enjoy a comfortable retirement.
-Protect our county park system, wild life and natural resources to keep our recreational areas the best in the state.
I have a lot of faith. We live in a great country where people are given a chance to follow their dream and achieve their goals. I have always followed mine and I live it to the fullest every day. As an educator and influencer of the minds of young students, I continue to remind them of a quote by one of the greatest presidents, President Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe you can and you are halfway there."
For more information, visit the candidate's website at www.lenluciano.com.