No dice on West New York recall
Despite a concerted effort to collect signatures to recall Mayor Roque and the other commissioners loyal to the mayor, West New York Commissioner Count Wiley has come up short with the city clerk, invalidating more than 40 percent of the more than 6,500 submitted.
Pablo Fonseca, spokesperson for Mayor Roque, said the signatures were discounted because they did not come from registered voters.
An additional challenge to those signatures of registered voters has the potential to reduce that number further, Fonseca said.
Wiley and his allies brought petitions to Town Hall on Sept. 18, asking to recall Roque, Fior D’Aliza Frias, Caridad Rodriguez, and Ruben Vargas. Wiley and the four others make up the town’s five-member board of commissioners. (In the mayor/commissioner form of government, Roque is a mayor and commissioner at once.)
Wiley called for a recall in August, 2012, after Roque and the commissioners voted to remove him as commissioner of public safety and other issues.
This rejection came after Roque was declared not guilty of conspiracy to hack into a recall Roque website in 2012.
Of the 6,350 signatures submitted to recall Frias, only 3,486 were accepted. Of the 6,412 signatures to recall Rodriquez, only 3,607 were accepted. Of the 6,493 signatures to recall Roque, only 3,820 were accepted. Of the 6,426 signatures to recall Vargas, only 3,603 were accepted.
Based on the last election, which saw 21,030 voters come to the polls, Wiley needed to collect 25 percent or about 5,257 signatures of registered voters.
Wiley said he has 10 days to correct any deficiencies in the process.
At that point, the clerk would set a date for the recall election, which could be in December, but most likely not occur until after the New Year in January or February.
When first starting the campaign in 2012, Wiley said he invested $50,000 of his own money into his campaign to run against Roque in a recall election. Wiley hopes to replace Roque as mayor.
This is the second recall election Wiley had taken part in. Ironically, he was part of a failed effort by Roque four years ago to unseat then Mayor Sal Vega.
Wiley said those accepted in the current recall are about 700 to 800 more than when Roque tried to recall Vega, and that the rejection sometimes included groups of names due to technicalities that had nothing to do with the signatures themselves.
“If there were blank pages in the back of a number of pages, the clerk rejected those pages along with those that had signatures on them,” Wiley said.
In some cases, all the information on each pages was not filled out, which his workers intend to correct. He said his team will look back at the affidavits to provide additional information that will allow the clerk to accept signatures that may have been hard to read.
“When we went to court with the last recall we got a lot of our signatures back,” Wiley said, predicting that this will happen again. “We have some work cut out for us, but we’re not quitting. Last time, we came up only 14 signatures short after we went to court. We only need to make up about 1,400 to recall Mayor Roque, maybe 1,500 to 1,600 for the others. We will correct what we can correct in the ten days we have. After that we’ll go to court. We’re not quitting on this.”
Fonseca said the Mayor Roque is focused running the city.
“He wants to work towards lowering taxes, redoing the parks and roads,” he said. “He is not concentrating on politics. He is very grateful for his victory in court and concerned about his son’s future, but he has a job to do in West New York, and he is going to do that.”
NAMI Hudson holding presentation Oct. 8
NAMI Hudson, a nonprofit group for loved ones of people with mental illness, will hold a presentation, “Plan NJ,” on Oct. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hoboken Community Mental Health Center, 506 Third St. Parking is available behind the center.
Plan NJ (Planned Lifetime Network of NJ) is a non-profit organization that helps consumers and their families answer the question, “Who will care for my loved one when I am gone?” Plan NJ can help families with monitoring, advocacy, guardianship, coaching, guidance, permanent repository, community and private trust administration, and benefits administration.
“Plan NJ can help with a one-time effort that will assist in helping with the financial, legal, and social resources needed for the consumer's future,” said Agnes Byrne of NAMI. “After the plan is created, there is an opportunity to update as needed.”
There is a cost involved, but it is within the reach of most families, according to Byrne. Financial assistance and scholarship may be available.
For more information, call Kristiana Kalab at (862) 754-6654 or NamiHudson@msn.com for more information.
Volunteers wanted for Hudson Medical Reserve Corps
If you would like to volunteer during public health emergencies and natural disasters in Hudson County or elsewhere, the Hudson Regional Health Commission (HRHC) Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is looking for you.
MRC units are made up of locally based volunteers (with or without a medical background). They include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Other community members, such as interpreters, chaplains, office workers, and legal advisers, fill vital support positions.
Volunteers give a minimal amount of time and have the choice to respond locally only or to be deployed outside the county. MRC volunteers were an important part of the Superstorm Sandy response. They gave more than 450 hours, helping at shelters and acting as translators.
Volunteers participate in various trainings and drills throughout the year, enhancing their preparedness skills, and heightening their ability to respond to many different types of events.
Hudson County’s Emergency Management, police, fire, EMS, and public health professionals are working hard to identify, train for, and respond to emergencies that could impact those who live and work here, but more help is needed.
For more information, visit the HRHC website at www.hudsonregional.org and click on “Medical Reserve Corps” on the menu bar on the left. Interested individuals can also call Monique Davis, Hudson County MRC coordinator, or Christina Butieb-Bianco, assistant MRC coordinator, at (201) 223-1133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.