West New York Mayor Felix Roque and former Freeholder Jose Munoz formally ended their feud, both expressing excitement about the future after the board of commissioners appointed Munoz to the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue Board.
The resolution was unanimously approved (5-0) at another meeting essentially devoid of controversy last night.
Roque, who will be in Ecuador over the weekend to help earthquake victims, told Hudson County View after the meeting that he has forgiven Munoz for what happened in their rocky past.
“[It’s] very simple: I look at the big picture. I concentrate on what’s important and what’s important is this town. He cares about this town. So, we both had different opinions, now we’re actually coming together, like many people out there: we’re thinking about the better good.”
Munoz was the key witness for the government in a federal hacking case against Roque and his son, Joseph, who allegedly to take down recallroque.com. The mayor was acquitted of all charges in October 2013.
The former freeholder, who now works at the Hudson County jail, also had a bright outlook on the opportunity to serve on the board.
“I thank Mayor Felix Roque, and the West New York Board of Commissioners for giving me the opportunity to again serve the community,” he said in an email.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Roque on issues that are important to the residents of our town. It is important to move West New York forward.”
Coincidentally, Munoz replaces Joe Roque on the board, who will now serve on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority instead. Munoz’s term expires at the end of the year, while Joe Roque’s runs until April 21, 2021.
Both boards offer a roughly $5,000 stipend to their members.
The North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue Board also has appointees from North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and Guttenberg (the five municipalities the department serves) and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner serves as the board chairman.
For those following along closely, a peace treaty between Roque and Munoz doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
In January, the Town of West New York settled a superior court lawsuit between Roque and Munoz for an undisclosed amount.
Sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the settlement “wasn’t a substantial figure” and was” well under a $100,000.”
Then last month, Munoz was one of several old Roque enemies who attended the mayor’s fundraiser at La Reggia in Secaucus.