West New York Mayor and Democrat Felix Roque has chosen to endorse state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13) over Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for re-election this year.
Menendez came out in support of Silverio "Sal" Vega in the election over Roque last May.
"I did seek multiple times to contact Menendez during the recall, and he avoided me completely, even though Sal Vega was taxing the life out of the residents of West New York," Roque said. "For the last four years I have not seen Menendez in West New York. The question is this: What has he done for West New York the last four years? What has he done for Hispanics the last four years?"
As for why Roque has chosen to support a Republican candidate, he said he supports Kyrillos' stand on policies such as the N.J. School Report Card and clean, transparent government. Kyrillos's politics are also aligned with Gov. Christopher Christie, whom Roque has supported since before he became mayor.
"I am a Democrat, there's no doubt about it, but at the end of the day I call a spade a spade and have to sleep with a clear conscience about my choices," Roque explained.
His endorsement of Kyrillos may put Roque at political odds with Union City Mayor Brian Stack, who is a supporter of Menendez. Roque responded, "I believe that Brian Stack is a role model for all of us as mayors. We can all learn from the way [Stack] treats his constituents." He added that he will also continue to support Democratic Congressman Albio Sires, a West New York native.
As for a comment Menendez made during the recall about Roque's political inexperience, Roque said, "The senator is right – I have no experience, but I have ethics, and I have morals."
West New York UEZ official fired for allegedly forging commissioner's signature
West New York's Urban Enterprise Zone Coordinator Alain Gomez was fired Feb. 3 after allegedly forging Commissioner of Public Affairs Fior D'Aliza Frias' signature on a vacation document, according to officials. An NJ.com article said that Gomez has already contacted several attorneys and will be pursuing legal action in the matter.
"Even though he's one of the nicest guys there is, everyone should follow the law," West New York Mayor Felix Roque said Monday. "Now he has to face the consequences for supposedly breaking the law, which does not discriminate."
A UEZ is a state-designated business district that receives state funding for capital improvements and security. It is designed to get people to shop in urban areas.
Gomez could not be reached for comment last week.
‘Zumbathon’ to be held to benefit UC fire victims
Myzumbabody and Musinc Entertainment will host a “Zumbathon” on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m. at José Martí Freshman Academy located at 1300 Summit Ave. in Union City in order to benefit the victims of the recent Bergenline Avenue fire.
Zumba is a type of Latin aerobic dance.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the event. For more information, call Marissabel at (201) 310-1020 or Musinc Entertainment at (201) 923-5706.
WNY Mayor Felix Roque calls tree-trimming a 'non-issue'
In November, the state's Department of Community Affairs investigated the fact that a West New York town employee apparently trimmed a tree in front of private property owned by Mayor Felix Roque. But the incident appears to have become a non-issue, Roque said on Monday.
"As far as I know," he said, "I haven't heard anything from the DCA. They don't have a case because it isn't a case."
The Parks Department apparently trimmed the tree using town equipment over several hours. Roque claimed he never asked the employee to do so, and Roque reprimanded him the following day.
Roque also paid the employee $100 for the work because, he said, "I don't need any favors."
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Susan G. Komen Foundation to hold race for the cure
Approximately 10,000 people – including runners, walkers, visitors, volunteers and staff – are expected to be on site for the 2012 Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure on Sunday, May 6. Race Day activities will include a 5K timed run, a 5K walk and a 1.5 mile walk.
On Sunday, registration opens at 7:30 a.m., the 5K Timed Run starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K/1.5 Mile Walk starts at 10 a.m. at the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange.
There will be a special Survivor Tent, Survivor Procession and Ceremony, an Expo area with free giveaways, an I AM THE CURE booth to learn more about breast self-awareness, food, a Komen for the Cure merchandise tent, and a Kids for the Cure area with face painting, a Moon Bounce, sand art, clowns and a coloring station.
Throughout the day, the ultimate American show band “The Infernos” will be performing from the main stage.
Since its founding in 1997, Komen North Jersey has awarded over $13 million in local community grants, and has directed approximately $5.9 million to the national Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grants Program for breast cancer research.
Online registration is now open. For additional information, to register, volunteer, start a team, or make a donation, visit www.komennorthjersey.org/race, or call (908) 277-2904, ext. 14.