Mayor Jason Cilento was born, raised and educated in Dunellen, NJ. He received his B.A. Political Science from Kean University and his M.A. Public Administration from Rutgers University. First elected to Dunellen Borough Council at the age of 20, he served in that position for nine years, elected as Council President in 2019, and sworn-in as Mayor on January 1, 2020. Cilento led Dunellen through the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery from Hurricane Ida, and has focused on infrastructure, redevelopment and environmental initiatives.
Cilento has attracted six new development projects and has facilitated US $38M in investments into the downtown. He has worked closely with NJTransit to make improvements to the Dunellen Train Station and has led the effort to improve Dunellen’s aging infrastructure by investing in sewer improvements, utilities, parks, and roads. Cilento has led an effort to obtain nearly $3M in grants to fund infrastructure, pedestrian safety and beautification projects in Dunellen. He has worked with a coalition of mayors along the Raritan Valley Rail Line to fight for direct service to New York City. Cilento has spearheaded three planning initiatives including the Master Plan Reexamination (inclusive of NJ’s first Climate Resiliency Plan), the Active Transportation Study by NJ TRANSIT’s Transit Friendly Planning Program, and the Complete and Green Streets for All policy by the NJTPA.
Prioritizing the environment, Cilento has worked to enact ordinances against polluting waterways and the overuse of public garbage receptacles from multi-use properties in an effort to prevent debris from harming storm water systems. He serves as 3rd VP of the NJ Conference of Mayors, and sits on committees for the NJ League of Municipalities. He sits as the only NJ republican mayor member of Climate Mayors, and Leaders for Climate Accountability, and leads with other mayors on the Mayor’s Alliance for a Clean Green Brook Waterway initiative. Cilento has focused on increasing community engagement through better communications, accessibility and inclusivity for residents and business owners.