LETTER: West New York BOE trustee a hypocrite for no-showing meeting


In a letter to the editor, West New York resident William Giles says that Board of Education Trustee Jonathan Castaneda is a hypocrite for no-showing a meeting last week that ultimately did not happen due to a lack of quorum.

West New York Board of Education Trustee Jonathan Castaneda (left) being sworn in on January 6, 2016.
West New York Board of Education Trustee Jonathan Castaneda (left) being sworn in on January 6, 2016.

Dear Editor,

Just before the 2016 elections West New York BOE Trustee Jonathan Castaneda penned a letter to the editor of this publication decrying the actions of some fellow trustees saying, “Why are members of this board not showing up to do the job they were elected to do?”

Further stating, “It was certainly nothing other than a slap in the face of our democratic values and our community” and “I was ashamed that members of our board felt it was alright to hold our governing body, our teachers and children, and democracy hostage.”

In a stunning display of hypocrisy, Trustee Castaneda (that champion of our Democracy and its values) was a No Show (along with 4 of his fellow trustees) at the very first meeting of the BOE since the election.

Those who did attend were Trustees Portillo, Cheng, Parkinson and Gonzalez. This was one short of the required 5 to have a quorum so the meeting was cancelled.

It is unclear why the others did not attend or why one BOE meeting (the meeting before the election where they moved heaven and earth to secure a quorum) was more important than the one after (where a majority of the current BOE Trustees treated it with a rousing meh).

Shouldn’t all BOE meetings be of equal importance?

BOE President Parkinson (who Trustee Castaneda hailed as a great leader in his letter) once again failed to find 4 of his allies on the BOE to attend and thus ensure the quorum was met.

This coupled with the 5 BOE Trustees who failed to attend displays to all of West New York their lack of interest/commitment when it comes to our schools and our children.

Trustee Castaneda, when you get back from Atlantic City or wherever it is you went (rather than showing up to do the job you were elected to do) please set our Democracy free!


William Giles
Resident WNY


  1. There is a huge difference between being absent for a meeting (which everyone is entitled to) and choosing to walk out so that there is no quorum (which there is no excuse for).

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