West New York, Secaucus candidates file for November school board elections

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HUDSON COUNTY— Candidates for November school board elections in West New York and Secaucus filed their petitions to run this week. At least nine people on three slates are running for three open seats in West New York. Six people are running for three seats in Secaucus. Terms in both towns last for three years.
In West New York, the “Your Children’s Future” slate filed their petitions with the Hudson County Clerk by the July 30 deadline, according to a press release. The slate submitted over 500 petition signatures.
Their candidates include current Board trustee Jonathan Castaneda, and former trustees Adrienne Kole-Sires, the wife of U.S. Rep Albio Sires, and Joseph Rodriguez, husband to Freeholder Caridad Rodriguez. Both Sires and Rodriguez have previously served on the board, Kole-Sires as a former board president. She was a French teacher at Memorial High School, and has 37 years of experience in the district.
Rodriguez played a crucial role in acquiring the former St. Joseph of The Palisades High School, which today is the West New York Freshman Academy.
Castaneda serves as a delegate to the New Jersey School Boards Association.
Kole-Sires’ inclusion comes at an interesting time, because her husband has declared his intent to oust West New York Mayor Felix Roque in the 2019 municipal elections. He is backing an opposition slate, West New York Stability 2019, to run against the mayor.
Board trustee Lorena Portillo is also running on a school board slate with residents Jesus Aristy and Carlo Fortunio. Portillo and the board have previously sparred over issues such as alleged voter fraud.
Last year, controversy brewed when former board candidate Jose Alcantara filed a complaint with the County Board of Elections, alleging Alex Navas, Portillo’s significant other who ran in November, did not actually reside at their stated West New York address.
However, the West New York Reporter did find the couple living at the residence last year.
A third and final slate includes George Payan, who has previously campaigned for Roque, Richie Acosta, and Cheryl Barona.
In Secaucus, incumbents Lou Giele, Joan Cali, and Norma Hanley are fighting to defend their seats from three challengers. They include Barbara Strobert, Mary Eccles, and Enrico Bolognino, who ran last year.
The general election is on Nov. 6.