WNY overwhelmingly votes to have residents, not mayor, pick school board
Nov 10, 2013 | 2784 views | 0 0 comments | 114 114 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Tuesday night, the voters of West New York overwhelmingly approved a referendum to change from an appointed to an elected school board.

The vote in favor was 3,101, vs. 726 opposed, with 96 percent of the vote tallied.

The Board of Education election will take place next April.

It was just last April that a report from the state Department of Education alleged that Mayor Felix Roque injected himself into hiring in the school district, and that employees felt obligated to make campaign contributions. It alleged that supporters and relatives of Roque were treated favorably in promotions and employment, while perceived enemies were punished.

In an unrelated legal matter, Roque was recently tried on federal charges of hacking into an opponent's website, but was found innocent of those charges, while his son was found guilty.

Resident Frank Ferreiro led the charge to get the school board measure on the ballot, along with his group, Residents for a Better West New York.

The vote in April will be for five seats. The current board has seven seats, and three of those are expiring. The board will be expanded to nine seats, so voters will get to choose five, which could tip the majority against Roque, depending on who wins.

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