LIVINGSTON, NJ — Meet Michael Vieira, a 13-year resident running for Livingston Township Council in the upcoming election on Nov. 5.

Basic background:

Michael M. Vieira grew up in the City of Orange, attended Rutgers University Newark Campus and moved to Livingston about 13 years ago. He was selected by the Livingston Democratic County Committee in February 2019 to fill the Democratic vacancy left by a resigning council member.

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Vieira has worked as Director of Special Transportation Services for the County of Essex since 1988. He and his wife, Gabriela, have two children, Michael Jr. (20) and Samantha (18), who attended Livingston Public Schools.

Q: Why are you running for township council?

A: I am running for town council so I may continue to share my visions for Livingston.  Livingston is a great community to live and raise a family.   Our town has a reputation of having our daughters and sons stay in Livingston and raise their families.   

Since being sworn in as your councilman 8-months ago, I have had the honor to be a part of a fantastic team including our council members, town manager, town clerk, and all our township employees.  I am proud to be part of several accomplishments during the last few months including:  

  • Cleaning up the Livingston Circle,
  • Passing the Renewable Energy Aggregation,
  • Saving Open Space by purchasing the Strahman Farm Property on East Cedar Street,
  • Passing a township budget that was one of the best in recent memory,
  • Successfully addressing the Mt Pleasant and Shrewsbury Drive Traffic Light issues, and
  • Listening to and working for our residents

I want to be part of future discussions for our town.  Looking ahead, the town council will address moving the Public Works facility, sidewalk repair and replacements, preservation of the Livingston Mall, addressing the uses of plastic bags and straws and preserving additional open space with the negotiation of sale of the Horse farm on Northfield Road.

I am a proud Democrat but, I will tell you that the night I was sworn in, I made a promise that I would work for the ENTIRE town and every resident regardless of political affiliations.   I also promised that every decision I make and vote I cast is because I believe it will make our ENTIRE town stronger.  I am proud to be keeping this promise.

 

Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job?  What qualifies you for it?

A: From the moment I moved into Livingston, I became a community volunteer.  I joined the Livingston Transportation Advisory Committee, Vision 20/20, Bi-partisan Appointments Committee and the Complete Streets Committee. I was also appointed to the Livingston Zoning Board.  Additionally, I became involved with the Livingston Democrats, Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club.

I strongly believe that volunteering within the Livingston Community has made me a better councilman – a stronger councilman.  Becoming active and involved in your community, allows you to get to know your community and their needs.

Additionally, for the last 30 years, I have worked for the County of Essex.  The experience I bring to Livingston include leadership and administrative skills, knowledge of community and governmental needs, budget and grant writing skills and management and administration of multi-million dollar grants.   

 

Q: Tell us about your professional career and/or other ways you are involved in the community.

A: For 30 years, I have been employed by the County of Essex, I am responsible for their community transportation programs; senior citizens, persons with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged.   I am also involved in state and national community transportation organizations; the New Jersey Council on Special Transportation where I serve as its state President and the Community Transportation Association of America based in Washington, DC where I am a valued member sharing my transportation expertise with other transportation agencies throughout the country.

Prior to being sworn in as a Livingston Council Members, I was a township committee volunteer serving on the Livingston Transportation Advisory Committee, Vision 20/20, Complete Streets, Bi-Partisan Advisory Committee on Appointments and Livingston Zoning Board of Adjustment.  I am also a member of two strong community organizations, the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs.

 

Q: What should people know about you that they might not know already?

A:

Favorite Holiday: July 4th

Music:  Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Guns N Roses

Favorite Places to eat in Livingston:  Assado Portuguese Steak House, Calabria’s Pizza and Thavma Grill

Outdoor Activities: Love to Kayak, ATV Quading and Camping

Favorite Sports Team: NJ Devils Season Ticket Holder

Favorite Date Night With my Wife Gaby:  Dinner and a Movie

Favorite Vacation Destination:  Hawaii

Favorite Dinner:  Chicken Murphy

 

Q: What else would you like to say about Livingston? (The governing body, school system, business community, or otherwise?)

A: Those who know me understand that community means a lot to me.   Livingston is such a diverse community made up of many nationalities, religions, cultures and beliefs. In Livingston, I am proud that this diverse community can all live together, respect one another and we learn from each another.  If only the rest of the world could live like Livingston.

This article has been published as part of a series of profiles on Livingston Township Council Candidates. Click HERE to read the profile of opposing candidate Brandon Minde.