With over 11,000 votes counted, and no opposition, the Union City First slate won reelection on May 8. In Union City’s form of government, five candidates run for the Board of Commissioners, and then choose a mayor from among themselves. It’s likely that re-elected Commissioner Brian Stack will remain mayor.
The slate also featured incumbent commissioners Lucio Fernandez, Celin Valdivia, and Maryury Martinetti. New candidate Wendy Grullon also won, a Union City Board of Education member. She will replace Commissioner Tilo Rivas, who has been serving since 2002 but decided against running for reelection this year. He said he wanted to spend more time with his family, and focus on his county freeholder position.
“It’s not always easy every day being the mayor, being the commissioner,” Stack told constituents at campaign headquarters after the numbers were tallied. “It’s hard to please everybody all the time. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
According to the county Board of Elections website, the totals are: Stack, 11,211; Valdivia, 10,020, Grullon, 10,000; Martinetti: 9,920; and Fernandez, 9,896.
Union City union head suspended after undercover video released
The Union City Board of Education has suspended one of its teachers, who had also served as an official with the Union City Education Association (the teacher’s union), after a right-wing organization released an undercover video that purportedly shows her downplaying an alleged incident where a teacher supposedly had sex with a student, as well as an attack by a teacher on a student.
In the video, the employee also makes offensive comments against district students.
The employee on the video apparently refers to a “whole dirt-bag class” at a local high school.
The Union City Board of Education released a statement saying, “The board finds the comments that were made deeply disturbing and inappropriate because they in no way reflect the views, and core beliefs and values, of our school district, or of the professionalism of our educators, and other employees. Accordingly, we have suspended the employee pending further investigation.”
The board noted that it has no governing control over the UCEA, and it is a separate entity from the union.
Project Veritas is known for trying to catch people and entities on undercover videos, and trying to expose public officials. It frequently targets teachers’ unions.
The group also recently tried and failed in its attempt to discredit a long-time American media company. Last November, during an election, the group posed as a person making a claim against a U.S. senator, and headed into the Washington Post offices to apparently trick them into writing a false story. But the Post followed protocol and investigated to make sure the story was legitimate, and saw through the ruse.
The New Jersey Education Association has accused the organization of “a long history of releasing deceptively edited videos.”
Two Union City high schools make U.S. News best schools list
More than 100 New Jersey schools ranked among the best high schools in America, according to the 2018 rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Two schools in Union City and one in West New York made the list, receiving a “Bronze” designation.
Jose Marti Freshman Academy, at 86, and Union City High School, at 101, were both included. Additionally, Memorial High School in West New York was listed 89.
To determine the rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the social science research firm RTI International. A variety of data sources, including the Common Core of Data, College Board and the International Baccalaureate, were used.
A four-step process was used to rank all eligible schools. The first two steps were to determine whether students were performing better than statistically expected in the state and whether minority were performing at or better than the state average for minority students, which was the second step. The third step required schools to meet or surpass a certain graduation benchmark and the final step was to determine college readiness.