Public calls on WNY BOE to name a school after Mayor Anthony M. DeFino


Two women who spoke during the public portion of Wednesday’s West New York Board of Education meeting implored the board to name a school after the late, beloved Mayor Anthony M. DeFino – who served as mayor between 1971 and 1995. 


“Alright, can I give you something to consider then?,” asked resident Dorinne Auriemma, who could not get a clear answer from the board on why U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) had schools named after them in West New York.

“Consider the fact that you name two new schools after two gentleman: one who had really nothing to do with West New York at all, despite the fact that Bob Menendez and I are friends, I don’t see why he got a school named after him.”

“If you’re gonna consider naming a school after someone, what was wrong with naming a school after Anthony M. DeFino? Former Mayor Anthony M. DeFino. The man was a public servant for 24 years for this town: he was a freeholder, he was a county surrogate … this man and his administration gave you the annex at [School] No. 1, gave you [School] No. 2 … ”

Kerry Culhane, a teacher at the West New York Middle School, agreed naming a school after DeFino was the right direction to move in.

“There should be a school named after Mayor DeFino, because to many of us, he’ll always be the mayor of West New York,” she said.

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  1. Dorinne, Menendez got a school named after him because he help Mayor Roque beat the federal hacking charges. Menendez is very close with the current US Attorney plus the judge on the Roque trial was Senator Chummer Brother in Law… Chummer is very close with Menendez. Scarinci now controls WNY. So Put 2 and 2 together and you have the whole formula. Only when Sires dies or moves to florida you will see a school named after Defino.

  2. Thank you very much for reporting this story Mr.Heinis.It has been very disheartening over the past 18 years to silently endure a systematic and what I believe intentional disregard, disrespect and ignorance of my fathers contributions, dedication and service to the people of West New York and Hudson County.11 years after his retirement from six straight undefeated terms, his picture was erected, by a different Mayor than his successor.11 years…during those 11 years my brother Michael passed away,1 of my father sisters my Aunt Anne passed away and my father’s best half, my mother Patricia passed away.I only wish she could have seen his service recognized and respected after most of her life was superceded by my fathet being a servant to the people.If you do not think recognition matters, ask who and why these two schools were named prior to their terms even being completed?and far be it from me to say that they don’t deserve to have something named after them, it is my place as the only living son and the namesake to ask why my father is being ignored?

  3. The PEOPLE have ALWAYS shown respect to my father’s memory and service,the above comments are directly intended for the powers that be. Shame on you.

  4. Since there is no official group that I know of known as “Wiley for Mayor”, the person using this pseudonym chooses to hide behind it, like a coward, much like “Maria Pasquale”

  5. Those two politicians got schools named after them so Roque can get political support from them. He is a POS with no class.

    He won’t want a school to be named after DeFino because a dead man can’t do anything to help him. That would be a waste of a school that Roque is saving to name after some other political crony when he needs it.

  6. Dorinne and Kerry are correct. A school should be named after the late great Mayor DeFino. Sires did nothing to deserve having a school named after him. Funding for schools built or authorized to be built during his mayoral tenure were paid by a state schools construction fund as per WNY being an Abbott District. It is also gauling that Sires boasts he is re-introducing a bill to enhance park and recreation sites when he gutted Memorial Park and our beloved recreation center and basketball courts to provide space for the Middle School. Maybe if he did not give developers prime land for pennies on the dollar, we would have more recreation spaces, facilities, and the 2009 tax hike he caused through reckless fiscal mismanagement would not have happened.

  7. Wiley will never be Mayor. Tony Defino was lucky not to be jailed. If he was sane and ran again the Dirty Cops he employed would have rolled over on him. These are just the facts. The skin of his teeth was not thick enough to say if his medical condition was well enough.

    Patrick you will be deflated if you really think Wiley is the answer for WNY.

    • 869-XX41, To those who knew Mayor Anthony M. De Fino, we all remember his phone number. A man that lived the Mayor’s office 24 hours a day. You could call him, his number was listed in the phone book. He loved West New York and right now is probably rolling his in grave with what has happend to WNY’s name. He especially loved our senior citizens and our children.

      I grew up poor, and WNY recreation provided many avenues and experiences that my parents could not afford. My first trip to Great Adventure was through WNY Recreation and yes, for those that remember, Chester swam in the fountain, LOL.. The summer trips to Great Adventure, different lakes, parks and games were great experiences. WNY Recreation was home! We were cared for by great people, may they rest in peace, Mrs B and Mrs. Mc Eldowney.

      Does Tony De Fino deserve something names after him. Absolutely, personally I recommend two of his great legacies in no particular order:

      1) Dont understand why the previous admn named the new housing building @ 434-62nd Street after President Clinton!. Tony Loved our seniors, re-name it.

      2) Build a new Recreation Center and place his name on in in BOLD letters.

      But more importantly than naming a building, take care of our children and seniors with the finest programs that can be provided.

      Rest in peace Mayor De Fino you are missed. So often, As WNY struggles, those who knew you miss your leadership.

  8. Talk about Corruption! Many Diaz works for the North Hudson Action Corp and he was indicted for dealing with drugs from the colombian drug cartel. His wife was just appointed to an important board in the state. The Hudson Mafia at his best with Padrino Menendez, capo scarinci and consiglieries Many Diaz, Roque and Albio Sires… stop voting for the Hudson Mafia!