The “Sires Team for West New York” is calling out the “WNY Forward” slate over the number of the petitions submitted to the municipal clerk’s office at the filing deadline yesterday.
“Cosmo Cirillo and his team need to come clean with the people of West New York and explain why they said they have obtained 12,000 petitions when only a fraction of that number were actually submitted to the Town Clerk,” Sires team spokesman Phil Swibinski said.
“If the rest of these petitions they say they have gathered actually exist, they should prove it by allowing the media or an independent authority to inspect them. The WNY Forward team is playing games with the people of West New York.”
His remarks comes after the Sires slate submitted 15,000 signatures to the clerk’s office yesterday, which was followed by the Cirillo-led team announcing they collected 12,000 signatures.
However, it turns out they only submitted about 2,500 petitions to the clerk’s office, which they explained in a statement that only 241 certified petitions are required to make the ballot.
“Thinking of our public resources, our team thought it was prudent to deliver enough valid petitions to ensure our candidates are valid to run for public office. Wanting to protect their privacy, it was also unnecessary and not required to reveal thousands of private citizens’ personal information who support our team but are fearful of retaliation by our counterparts,” WNY Forward said in a statement.
“Making our supporters’ information public may expose them to a vulnerability that we would prefer to avoid. Our Team for a Better West New York will continue our outreach throughout this campaign to make sure that we reach every resident and ensure their voices are heard. We will continue to focus on issues that really matter and will have an impact on the lives of the residents we serve.”
In response, Swibinski said it was “outrageous and insulting” to residents to suggest that Sires, a former congressman, assembly speaker, and mayor would result to voter intimidation tactics, as well as that an independent observer like the clerk or a journalist should be able to review their petitions.
“If the Cirillo Team can’t be trusted to be transparent and truthful about a simple task like collecting nominating petitions, how can the people of West New York trust them to lead the community?”
This marks the first time that the two competing West New York factions engaged in any sort of fisticuffs, all but ensuring it will be an entertaining road to Election Day on May 9th in the non-partisan contest.