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.