Myrli Sanchez, who ran for commissioner under Count Wiley’s West New York United ticket last year, replaced Mayor Felix Roque on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority after a unanimous vote by the board of commissioners on Wednesday night.
“She [Myrli] wanted to express her gratitude and thanks, taking a chance, we knew before that there was tension, but I think that [this is] for the betterment of the town,” said Rafael Sanchez, Jr., Myrli’s husband, addressing the board after the measure was approved.
Rafael Sanchez also noted that his wife was well-liked when she worked for the Parks and Public Property Department in town.
Myrli Sanchez told Hudson County View that she was unable to attend the public portion of Wednesday’s meeting since she was hosting a Bible study in the Bronx, but seemed enthusiastic to discuss her new position.
“I really appreciate the fact that the mayor extended his hand and took a chance even though we were on opposite sides for such a long time. I really appreciate it and I like this, I had a great time yesterday,” she said over the phone, explaining that she had to a chance to meet everyone at yesterday’s NHSA meeting.
“Itâ€™s a lot of facts, a lot of people asking questions and it’s not political. Itâ€™s a different environment compared to the meetings people are used to in town. I’m very excited and I think Iâ€™ll do a good job, I think I have the time for it.”
Over 10 months after Roque’s ticket swept the election, the Sanchezs showed a willingness to put the past behind by attending a Roque fundraiser at La Reggia in Secaucus – among a handful of other former Roque enemies including Board of Education Trustee Matthew Cheng and ex-Freeholder Jose Munoz.
Myrli Sanchez directly addressed any naysayers who believe her appointment to the board indicates the she and her husband “sold out.”
“Every resident of West New York should observe the decisions made in Town Hall. Itâ€™s the job of the public, the duty of the public, to be a part of the Democratic process. Itâ€™s my duty for the people who voted for me last year to pursue an opportunity to be an asset to the town and I think this is a great opportunity,” she said.
“I can look in the mirror and say that me and Ralph have never sold out, weâ€™ve been very loyal and focused with our time, money and lives.”
Myrli Sanchez again stressed this is about being an asset to the Town of West New York and nothing else.
“The authority is taking a lot of precautions and starting a program for low-income families to help out anyway they can to lower their costs. I was also encouraged to see there were a lot of agenda items related to West New York, they aren’t isolating money to one particular place.”
“I want to show what an asset I can be to West New York,” adding that she found the meeting to be a lot of fun and was glad to be involved with financial decisions that impact West New York.
Prominent Hoboken developer Frank Raia, a longtime chairman of the NHSA and ally of Wiley, saw his 27-year tenure on the board come to a close in January when the Hoboken City Council appointed Kurt Gardiner to the seat over Raia.
Commissioners for the NHSA, which serves Hoboken, West New York, Union City and Weehawken, receive a roughly $4,800 stipend to serve on the board.