LETTER: West New York BOE should rescind latest $95k hire, candidate says


In a letter to the editor, West New York Board of Education candidate Nicholas Behncke says that the school district should rescind their $95,000 hire of town Commissioner Gabriel Rodriguez. Behncke-Rodriguez

Dear editor,

At the September 6, 2017 meeting of the West New York Board of Education, the Board voted to appoint Town of West New York Commissioner Gabriel Rodriguez to a position titled Accounting Manager at $95,000 per year.

Five Trustees voted yes, three Trustees voted no and one Trustee abstained. The deciding vote was cast by Jonathan Castañeda who serves as chief of staff to West New York Mayor Felix Roque.

Mr Castañeda vote is an obvious conflict of interest and an ethical violation. Mr Castañeda has previously abstained from voting on all matters that involve the Town of West New York, including shared service agreements.

It is also my understanding that Commissioner Rodriguez has no accounting experience at all and this position of Accounting Manager was newly created.

I urge the Board to reverse this decision because it is in the best interest of the children of West New York and the taxpayers of West New York whose property taxes have increased relentlessly the past few years.

As the head of the West New York Teacher’s union said at the meeting, $95,000 would allow the district to hire another teacher to alleviate crowded classrooms.


Nicholas Behncke


Editor’s Note: Behncke is running on the Save Our Schools ticket with Melinda Saunders and Alex Navas.

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  1. When I lived in West New York we never had an “accounting manager.” It was the job of each Commissioner to account for money allocated to and spent by his or her department. Why does a town with an already severely bloated employee list, most of whom are political appointees, need another fake job created for a guy that Mayor Roque owes political favors to?

    Thank God I got out when I did, before WNY became unrecognizable as a lower middleclass community and now part of the Third World.