Gov. Phil Murphy (D) made a stop in West New York last night to praise new Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and his fellow board of commissioners at their inauguration ceremony.
“I’m here for the very simple reason to pay homage and respect to your next mayor the four extraordinary commissioners who will be sworn in alongside of him. This is a day of renewal, a day of a new beginning. This is about the future, and you could not have better leadership going into that future than your next mayor, Gabe Rodriguez, and those four extraordinary commissioners,” Murphy said to applause from a crowd of hundreds of people seated in front of Town Hall.
“God bless them. They will do the work that you need them to do. They will help us build that stronger and fairer New Jersey by building a stronger and fairer West New York.”
While Murphy was only able to stay for a few minutes, he was one of dozens of dignitaries on hand that included Assembly members Angelica Jimenez and Pedro Mejia (D-32), County Executive Tom DeGise, Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise, former West New York Mayor Sal Vega, ex-state Senate Majority Leader Bernie Kenny, Guttenberg Mayor Wayne Zitt and many, many others.
Rodriguez headed the “New Beginnings West New York” slate, which also comprised of Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo, Margarita Guzman, as well as first time candidates Victor Barrera and Yoleisy Yanez.
They enjoyed the backing of the HCDO, with their strongest supporter coming in the form of U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), a former West New York mayor who vowed to unseat Mayor Felix Roque last year.
On May 14th, he made good on his word when the New Beginnings team pulled off a clean sweep.
While the congressman was unable to attend the swearing in ceremony due to commitments in Washington, D.C., his wife, Adrienne Sires, a local board of education trustee, swore in Rodriguez and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner – Albio Sires’ right hand – was the emcee for the evening.
When it was his turn to take the microphone, Rodriguez sounded a bit whimsical as he asked the audience to reflect on this moment of achievement.
“I ask that you take a second. You take a second to capture this moment in your mind. To make note of where you are, and more importantly, what it has taken for all of us to stand here before you today,” he began.
“Planification, organization, even the aggravation: take into account all the hard work and sacrifice that was poured into to getting us here and taking this oath today. Ladies and gentlemen, be proud. Be proud of yourselves. Enjoy it. Savor it. Sometimes, and maybe more than just sometimes, hard work does pay off, and this is one of those times.”
Also as part of the ceremony, Mejia and Jimenez swore in Yanez, Freeholder Caridad Rodriguez (D-7) read the oath of office for Barrera, Vega swore in Cirillo and Amy DeGise stood with Guzman during her oath of office.