U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) told Hudson County View that he will unequivocally be supporting West New York Mayor Felix Roque in the May 12 municipal election, which has Commissioner Count Wiley’s West New York United team questioning the timing of the $24 million housing authority renovation announcement yesterday.
Sires pulled no punches when asked if he would be supporting Roque in the May 12 municipal election.
“I supported him four years ago, I’ll support him now. He’s been my friend, I’ve known the family for a long time, [his] family in West New York, besides he’s my doctor also,” Sires told Hudson County View after speaking about a $24 million improvement project for the West New York Housing Authority.
When asked if it was an easy choice, the former West New York mayor from 1995 through 2006 responded clearly: “an easy choice.”
Sires also said that his friend and partner in Washington, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) does not have any relevance in this election, though is still extremely well received in West New York despite a 14-count federal indictment against him.
Shortly after the housing authority renovation was announced yesterday, Commissioner Count Wiley’s West New York United team accused Roque and Sires of collaborating for the incumbent’s “political benefit” two weeks before Election Day.
When asked about the timing before the WNY United press release was issued, Sires said that housing authorities were just recently approved for the second round of the Federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) funding program.
Still, WNY United feels the “crisis” the town faces with affordable housing should’ve been addressed a long time ago.
“The past three administrations have chosen to ignore the crisis that we face in West New York today for low income/affordable housing,” the slate said in a joint statement.
“As we speak, the homelessness rate in town increases daily because of the lack of such affordable housing. In contradiction, these same administrations have brought in numerous luxury developments that continue to the ignore the critical needs of our community.”
Roque campaign spokesman Pablo Fonseca brushed off the criticism, arguing that the mayor’s track record speaks for itself.
“This campaign is about promises made, promises kept,” he said.
“Stabilizing taxes, lowering the crime rate … expanding recreation plans for children … we’re going to continue to focus on the issues and not focus on the rhetoric.”