TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove invites all candidates to submit statements and to advertise on TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove's daily news site. Candidates may submit a maximum of one candidate statement per week (including photos up through the week before the election (May 9.) Publication of candidate statements is at the sole discretion of the editor. No statements will be published from the Sunday before the election through the election.

Community. It is a meaningful word.  A thoughtful word. And it is a word that precisely describes the heart and soul of Cedar Grove.  Before I discuss who I am as a candidate, I want to talk about who I believe WE are as residents of Cedar Grove.  We are not just a town, or a municipality, or a group of people who share the same zip code, we are a Community.  A special Community.  We are residents who share common values, common beliefs, common interests, and most importantly, a common love and passion for Cedar Grove. 

It’s not the buildings, or the stores, or anything tangible that make us a Community, it is the passion and support for our fellow residents that I see every day that make us a very special Community. It is how we rally behind our fellow residents in times of need, how we support our residents of all ages, how we shovel our neighbor’s snow, come together for charitable causes, and how we work together as one Cedar Grove.

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So, when I’m asked why I decided to run for Town Council, the answer is quite simple.  It is for those reasons. I am inspired by our residents, by their generosity, support, and genuine excitement and passion for Cedar Grove.  I have never seen a Community so close and so strong, and that is why I want to serve you on the Town Council.  I truly love our Community and everything that we stand for, so that is why I am running for Town Council.

I’d like to provide a little more background on myself, my involvement in the Community, and my vision for our future and I welcome you to call my cell at 551-486-3099 or e-mail me at Vargo4Council@gmail.com with any comments, questions or concerns.

My Background

I am a dedicated father, husband, and active member of our Community. I married my high school sweetheart, Chelsea, in 2008.  We have three children together – Aidan (6), Preston (3), and Jaxson (9 months).

I graduated with a degree in Political Science from Montclair State University and have a law degree from Rutgers University School of Law where I graduated in the top 10 in my class.  I currently work as National Legal Counsel at a national construction company, and in 2015, my wife and I followed our life-long dream of opening a daycare, and opened right here in Cedar Grove.

Fiscally Responsible For Our Community

Before we touch on any issue or topic, one of the most important items on my agenda will be taxes. Every decision that we make, every topic that we consider, will be balanced against the fiscal impact to our Community.  Cedar Grove is fortunate to have the lowest municipal tax rate in Essex County for the past three years.  With our changing landscape, it is absolutely critical that we maintain our prestigious distinction.  As a business-owner in Cedar Grove with my wife Chelsea, and as National Legal Counsel for a national construction company, I understand the intricacies of balancing a budget and the importance of understanding where and how every dollar is spent.  And, I pledge to maintain that same level of scrutiny for every dollar spent in Cedar Grove.

Involved In Our Community

I am an active member of the Cedar Grove Zoning Board since early 2016, and co-founded the Downtown Advisory Committee, informally called “Discover Cedar Grove”. I am proud to coach baseball in Cedar Grove, and to donate to various charitable organizations specifically located in Cedar Grove.

While you may or may not know me personally, there is a good chance that you are familiar with my house on Union Street.  Every year, I decorate my house with over 35,000 Christmas lights and organize efforts to collect for Toys for Tots.  In 2016, the Community rallied behind us and helped us collect over 1,000 toys and monetary donations -- totaling over $11,000 worth of toys and cash that were donated to Toys for Tots. 

Advocate For Our Community

With the changing landscape of Cedar Grove, and constant inquiries to develop Cedar Grove’s remaining open space, we need someone who will stand up and Put Our Community First! Cedar Grove was saddled with the Hilltop Development, and now must plan and prepare for the future. I spoke out against the Hilltop at Town Council meetings, and expressed my views on the new park, and I promise that the commitment to protecting our Community will not end. In order to keep Cedar Grove the town we all know and love, we must be prepared and we must plan for the future.  This will require a long-term approach and the planning must start now.

We must continue to advocate to preserve the remaining open space in Town.  This will be a never-ending task, but we must remain resilient and keep the best interests of Cedar Grove in mind at all times. And, I promise to do just that!

Dedicated To Our Community

My advocacy for Cedar Grove did not end with the Hilltop.  Shortly thereafter, I quickly shifted focus to the revitalization of the Downtown area of Cedar Grove.  I co-founded the Downtown Advisory Committee in Cedar Grove’s Pompton Ave Business District, with the focus on creating a safe, warm, and inviting environment where residents can dine, shop, and enjoy all that Cedar Grove has to offer.  To do this, it is critical that we work closely with our local police and the State to improve the safety of Pompton Ave for pedestrians and drivers, work with the Community to create events (such as a street fair) in our Downtown, and beautify our Downtown with community involvement.  My ideas will not use tax dollars, so we look forward to working together to raise funds for some of our Downtown initiatives.

I thank you for reading this statement and kindly ask for your vote on May 9th.

Please remember to vote line 4A. I promise that I will continue Putting Our Community First!