HACKENSACK, NJ – Bergen County Republican Freeholder Candidates are kicking off the fall campaign with a series of events to drive home their message about the need for new, responsible leadership for county government.
“Bergen County is suffering from undisciplined spending and irresponsible leadership by the all-Democratic County Freeholder board,” said GOP Freeholder Candidate Corrado Belgiovine, a councilman from Woodcliff Lake.
Belgiovine is running with Alyssa Dawson of Westwood and Kathleen Cericola of Waldwick for three seats on the freeholder board, each with three-year terms. They pledged to:
- Reduce spending and taxes.
- Reduce the size, scope and growth of county government.
- Bring full transparency to county government.
- End the cronyism that leads to wasteful spending.
- End irresponsible borrowing.
- Protect citizens and communities by enabling police to cooperate with federal immigration officials (ICE).
“Taxpayers desperately need to break from the one-party control of Bergen County government that grows bigger and costs more money every year,” said Belgiovine, a real estate and property management industry professional. “The Democrats are growing county government into a tax-eating monster.”
The 2019 tax levy is $419.4 million; an increase of $49 million MORE than the last Republican budget in 2014. One party rule has also led to a dramatic increase in borrowing. As a result, Bergen County is ranked third of 3,143 counties in the NATION for property taxes as a percentage of median income.
Dawson, currently Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, says that as a result of Democrats controlling every county elected office, government transparency has all but disappeared.
“The Democratic Party controls all the boards and commissions in the county and they are continually increasing the size and scope of county government which increases taxes. The Democrats create projects that reward friends and donors with contracts, jobs and consulting fees that add up to millions each year," Dawson said. She noted the county payroll now exceeds 3,200 employees that cost taxpayers $176 million a year in salaries.
“We will bring transparency to county government and lift the veil of secrecy that Bergen County Democrats hide behind,” Dawson said.
NOT REPRESENTING BERGEN
The Republican candidates say the Democratic freeholders are marching in lockstep with the extremists in their party on issues such as immigration and education funding to the detriment of county residents. They noted the hypocrisy of the Bergen Democrat freeholders acquiescing to Gov. Phil Murphy’s edict that prohibits police from cooperating with federal immigration officials; while the county takes $16 million a year from federal taxpayers to house immigration detainees in the county jail.
“The Democratic freeholders are afraid to stand up for Bergen County residents; they put their party extremists ahead of the people who elected them,” candidate Cericola said.
She pointed to the failure of the Democrats to use their positions to challenge the state’s education funding formula, which shortchanges Bergen County school children and taxpayers by hundreds of millions of dollars a year – as an example of the freeholders’ failure to fight for Bergen residents.
“The shortage of state school aid for Bergen County is hurting our children and our senior citizens, who must shoulder the burden of ever higher school taxes because of insufficient state aid,” said Cericola, who has a master’s degree in accounting.
“We will fight for Bergen County ‘s children and families,” Cericola said.
About the Candidates
Corrado D. Belgiovine has lived in Woodcliff Lake for the past 12 years with his wife, Joy, and their three daughters. An actively involved resident and volunteer softball coach, Corrado was elected to the Woodcliff Lake Town Council in 2013. He was reelected in 2016, and during his six-year tenure, he twice served as the council president and acted as the liaison for a number of committees including:
- Administration and Finance
- Department of Public Works
- Buildings and Grounds
- Parks and Recreation Public Information and Education (Elementary and High School)
- Board of Health
Corrado also led a number of new technology initiatives such as televising/recording all of the mayor and council, zoning board and planning board meetings; updating the borough website; and installing a new records management system for the police department. He was also a driving force for launching the now annual Oktoberfest and Pear Blossom Festival community events.
Corrado, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Hoboken and grew up in Palisades Park. He graduated from Paramus Catholic High School and attended Rutgers University in Newark. Corrado has worked in the real estate and property management industry for 25 years and is the owner and broker of record of The Alexander Group NJ, based in Jersey City. He is a director for the Hudson County Multiple Listing System and a member of the Liberty Board of Realtors.
Alyssa K. Dawson is a resident of Westwood, NJ. She is a graduate of Immaculate Heart Academy High School and went on to play college basketball at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Soon after graduating college, Dawson went straight to the public sector, serving in the Christie administration under Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.
After three years in Trenton, Dawson was brought on at Evergreen Partners, one of the Northeast’s leading crisis communications and public relations firms. In May of 2018, Alyssa was appointed to the Westwood Borough Council, where she served until January of this year.
In December 2018, Dawson was tapped to be Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi. Alyssa was named #38 on the 2018 Insider Out 100 LGBT Power List and #20 on the 2018 Insider Top 100 Millennials in NJ Politics. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the New Jersey Young Republican Federation and is the State Committeewoman of the Bergen County Young Republicans.
Alyssa has always been very involved in the Westwood community. She is a Westwood Recreation Basketball Coach for girls in the seventh and eighth grades. She is also an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Westwood.
Kathleen “Katie” E. Cericola is a life-long resident of Waldwick who currently works as an accountant. Katie is a 2016 graduate of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University where she was an honors student. She graduated with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Professional Accounting.
While at Seton Hall, she was a cheerleader rising to serve as team captain. She has become a distinguished member of her field and a leading economic scholar, known for her short videos on a variety of pressing topics. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Bergen County Young Republicans and Vice Chairwoman for the Organization for Economic Growth. A community volunteer and active civic leader, Katie continues to give back by coaching local cheerleaders in her community.
Katie contributes both stories and issue-driven videos for SaveJersey.com. Through this platform, Katie gives her take on the current issues affecting the state of New Jersey.