West New York Public Affairs Commissioner and Mayoral candidate Cosmo Cirillo has announced the third member of his council ticket ahead of the May municipal election.
Incumbent Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez is not seeking re-election, rather he is running on a slate for the new 33rd Legislative District with State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack and North Bergen Revenue and Finance Commissioner Julio Marenco.
The “Moving West New York Forward Team” has declared that Hiram Gonzalez is the fourth member of their team in addition to Cirillo, Revenue and Finance Commissioner Margarita Guzman, and outgoing Assemblywoman for the current 32nd Legislative District Angelica Jimenez. He is a lifelong West New York resident, having graduated from Memorial High School and going into the United States Marine Corps.
After the Marines, Gonzalez went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Montclair State University. Since then, Gonzalez has worked in finance, also involved in community service coaching the West New York Recreation Basketball Program for more than a decade as Program Coordinator, as well as a volunteering with the West New York Little League and sponsoring his own team there.
Cirillo believes Gonzalez’s background in finance and community service will be an asset to the team. Throughout his career, he worked as a Staff Accountant at Lifetime Networks, a Finance Manager for the National Football League, and as the Assistant Finance Director for the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
“The Gonzalez family has a long and rich history in WNY and Hiram has constantly demonstrated his desire to give back to our hometown and nation,” Cirillo said in a statement. “After graduating from Memorial High School as a proud Tiger, he selflessly joined the United States Marine Corps and honorably served while rising to the rank of Sergeant. A proud alumnus of Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Hiram has spent the entirety of his adult life working within the field of finance, gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge. He has been a coach with our Recreation Basketball Program for over a decade, and currently serves as Program Coordinator.”
‘Moving West New York Forward Team’ grows
According to LinkedIn, Gonzalez is the Assistant Finance Director in Guttenberg, where Cirillo is the Business Administrator. He said he wanted to give back to the community when he started his family in West New York, leading to his involvement in the Little League and Recreation Basketball.
“When my wife and I decided to get married and raise our family in West New York, I knew I wanted to do my best to give back to the community that gave my family so much,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “My many years of community service have been very rewarding and I feel blessed each day to positively impact so many lives.”
Gonzalez is excited to join the team and further contribute to the community. He is the only member of the slate so far who is not already an elected official.
“I am overjoyed to be running with an individual that I have seen firsthand do all he can to support the youth of our community,” Gonzalez said. “Cosmo has constantly gone above and beyond to support our recreation programs, not only through the resources of Town Hall, but also by being physically present to cheer our teams on and be a great role model… I have not been politically involved in the past, but serving with a team led by Commissioner Cirillo is an opportunity that I cannot pass up. He will be an outstanding Mayor that will help West New York prosper.”
The “Moving West New York Forward Team” plans to share their plans for the future of the town in the lead up to the election. Meanwhile, former Democratic Rep. Albio Sires of the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey has declared his intention to run for Mayor too, setting up a showdown between the former three-term Mayor who just spent 16 years in Congress and the incumbent Commissioner.
Sires has not announced any running mates thus far. However, Commissioner of Parks and Public Property Victor Barrera and Commissioner of Public Works Yoleisy Yanez are rumored to be joining Sires’ bid for Mayor.
To make things more interesting, former Mayor Dr. Felix Roque has been hinting he may also run for Mayor alongside with former Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Tommy Mannion and potentially others. Roque, who was ousted by Rodriguez in 2019, has not officially announced anything but is anticipated to declare his candidacy at an event on January 19.
Voters will head to the polls for the municipal election on May 9. In West New York, the top five recipients of votes are elected to the Board of Commissioners, where a Mayor is then elected by the board.
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