28 months after resigning from the position, veteran political operative Pablo Fonseca has returned as the West New York spokesman after a vote by the Board of Commissioners Thursday night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Fonseca, through his company, Fonseca Consulting Group, received a retroactive, one-year public relations contract with the town after a unanimous vote (5-0) by the commissioners.
“The Town shall pay a monthly rate not to exceed $5,000.00 for public relations services provided in accordance with the request for proposals,” a copy of the approved resolution says.
The resolution further states that “prior approval of all expenses including printing, mailing, video productions and media insertions” must be pre-approved before purchasing/ordering and the contract runs between January 1st and December 31st of this year.
“I’m honored and I want to thank the mayor and board of commissioners, I’m looking forward to working with them and doing a great job, providing the residents and our officials a great work product,” Fonseca said over the phone.
His company beat out two companies that significantly underbid him: Vision Media and Ingenio Multicultural Marketing and Advertising.
Vision Media, a Secaucus-based firm best known for their work in North Bergen, asked to be compensated $4,000 a month, while Ingenio, run by West New York Board of Education Trustee Jose Mendoza, had a monthly ask of $3,900.
Those figures were obtained through an Open Public Records Act request for all requests for proposals for the public relations bid in West New York.
With that said, Fonseca will earn the same salary as his immediate successor, Natalia Novas, who briefly served as town spokeswoman from late 2015 until mid-2016.
At the time, Fonseca cited “new opportunities” and the ailing health of his mother, who has since passed away, as his reasons for resigning.
Novas was eventually replaced by Mopi Montero, who left the post by early 2017 and the position had remained vacant ever since.
Fonseca has a long history with Mayor Felix Roque: running his successful re-election campaign in 2015 and also managing the administration-backed Children First board of education slates since November 2014.
In those three years, the Children First Team has won of 11 of the 13 seats left in the hands of the voters, though Fonseca played a less significant role last year as he was spearheading Hoboken Freeholder (D-5) Anthony Romano’s unsuccessful mayoral run.
In a phone interview, Roque explained why he felt Fonseca was the best man for the job, despite not being the lowest bidder.
“He’s well-known in the county and he’s done a great job for me … he’s the kind of guy who can do the marketing, get the word out, he’s bi-lingual. Crime is down, taxes are stable, we expect no tax increases in the next two years, so that, with the growth on the waterfront, we need someone to get the word out.”
“My opinion is you get what you pay for. I owe it to the taxpayers to promote West New York throughout New Jersey and throughout the world. I think he’ll do a great job for us, to know he’ll be promoting the town makes us feel good.”