What does the future hold for West New York’s ex-Deputy Mayor Silvio Acosta?


Controversial former deputy mayor of West New York Silvio Acosta may be creating a civil war within Mayor Felix Roque’s administration. The question is: will anything change this time around? 

Facebook photo.
Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Roque has dealt with his fair share of trials (literally) and tribulations during his just over four years as mayor of West New York, though he still remains a formidable force, with a loyal group of supporters, in North Hudson.

While he’s a long ways off from Nick Sacco or Brian Stack territory, he remains beloved by a significant portion of his constituents up and down Bergenline Avenue, among other areas in town of course (not to say his critics don’t still exist).

Regardless what type of leader you think Roque is or isn’t, it’s inarguable that a significant amount of his criticism has come from Silvio Acosta, a longtime friend of the mayor/pain management specialist who was the deputy mayor during the majority of his first term in office.

While Acosta had been known by West New York politicos for years, helping the feds nail then-Town Construction Code Official Franco Zanardelli for taking bribes back in July 2008.

Anyway, Acosta’s name really didn’t hit the mainstream until my predecessor at The Jersey Journal revealed that Acosta, who was also Roque’s chief of staff at the time, owed over $500,000 in building violations, causing friction between Roque and the building department.

The fines were estimated to accrue to over $1 million and that property has since been purchased by Armando Alvarez, the chairman of the West New York Parking Authority.

Construction Code Official Tom O’Malley and his wife Kim were unceremoniously removed from the department about a half a year later, but they were both brought back last summer as part of a lawsuit settlement.

Moving on, Acosta was appointed to the board of education on April 17, 2013, replacing Joe Rodriguez – the husband of current Freeholder (D-7) and then-Commissioner Caridad Rodriguez – and by November 18 of the same year, resigned as chief of staff and became acting superintendent of the department of public works.

The history lesson is almost over, I promise.

Then, on July 7 of last year, Acosta resigned as the deputy mayor, giving the reason that “pressing time commitments make it impossible for me to continue to serve as your deputy mayor.”

Acosta resigns

While there’s plenty of other fun facts that happened in the past 13 months or so, here’s where West New York and Acosta stand today:

Roque is under indictment for a second time, allegedly helping orchestrate a $250,000 bribery scheme with a medical imaging company, but just about no one who lives in town seems to care right now.

Nevertheless, the powers that be in West New York want to keep it that way and the increasingly anxious anti-Acosta faction believes that a certain Silvio is going to become a liability sooner than later, so it’s time to get him out of town hall once and for all.

Now of course, rumors are, at best, a dime a dozen here in Hudson County, but on Friday afternoon when I saw the agenda for the August 19 West New York Board of Commissioners meeting, check out what resolution number 16 was:

WNY DPW super1

For those who still believe my Photoshop skills are impeccable and I make up a lot of wild and crazy scenarios based outside of reality, here’s a larger shot of what the agenda looked like around 2 p.m. on Friday:

WNY DPW super2

That didn’t last for long though, because once I called town hall for a copy of the resolution, it had already been pulled:

WNY agenda Aug 15


In a matter of minutes, which my sources tell me was about an hour-and-a-half tops, resolution 16 went from a politically charged measure that would quickly become the talk of the town … to standard road improvements (yawn).

According to some pretty reliable sources, the original resolution called for a search committee so that a deputy DPW superintendent could be hired, then trained, for several weeks late this year as Acosta rode off into the sunset some Hudson politicos have nightmares about: retirement.

As it turns out, Roque was the one who pulled the item off the agenda, sources say.

After looking at all the facts, this means one of two things:

1. The other four commissioners hit Roque with a little juke-and-jive move and never clued him in about what the latest Acosta eradication plan was.

2. Roque initially begrudgingly agreed to the plan to bid a slow farewell to Acosta, but quickly changed his mind when he got an angry phone call from his longtime friend and political pal.

A big indicator of how strong the push will be to remove Acosta from local government by next year will be who is on the Roque-supported board of education ticket for the November 3 election.

Three terms, all of the three-year variety, are up for grabs and the only live dog in the fight appears to be incumbent Matthew Cheng.

Yet, the real question is will Wendell Oms be a part of Team Roque this time around?

Oms is the police partner of Michael Acosta, Silvio’s son who is currently suing the police director, so the anti-Silvio contingency is fighting tooth and nail to ensure Silvio Acosta doesn’t gain any more influence on the nine-person board.

If Oms makes the cut, the battle begins within West New York one more time as Acosta laces up the gloves for another scrap: in case you haven’t been paying attention, he’s not the type to go down without a fight.

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  1. Acosta is a liability to the Mayor and the Taxpayers . He is responsible for Many of the law suits that were settled for wrongful discharge including the construction code official and his wife . He has been a liability for the mayor for years . You have to wonder why the mayor kept him around unless he knew where the bones are buried he has cost the taxpayers plenty. His appointment to the board of education was a disgrace, and his son’s law suit against the police director is a joke.

    • I totally agree. If we wait long enough it will mean the end of Roque. Not by any indictment or the FBI but by Silvio Acosta, and his son who has also cost the Town plenty of money and is still a huge liability. The entire Acosta family should stop using the Town of West New York has their battle field to get whatever they want. I do not understand how the Mayor who is such an intelligent person allows this to hurt a Town that is totally behind him.

    • Instead of calling people POS why don’t you try to do something for the town? instead of just staying at home like a bum & replying to town articles behind a keyboard, sign up to run as well. Everyone has an opinion about Roque, the Acostas & Oms but seems like everyone else is a coward sitting at home complaining, you want change but don’t do anything for it but sit their a.. at home & complain about the town, now that’s what you call a REAL POS!

  2. Obviously this is about Silvio and his right hand man Pablo Fonseca wanting to keep their hand in the cookie jar. Mayor Roque needs to wake up and finally see what is going on around him. Silvio and Pablo are like two hungry sharks swimming around Roque’s sinking raft in the middle iof the ocean waiting for it to finally go down so they can finally devour Roque once and for all!
    What our Mayor needs to realize is that he wouldn’t be on that raft if not for Silvio & Pablo sinking his ship! Mayor, you need to finally wake up and realize that these two “operatives” do not want to see you survive. In fact they have been actively lobbying for Comm. Cosmo Cirilo and others to replace you!
    Mayore Roque, you once drew an analogy between Pablo Fonseca and a U.S. Army Sniper but it now seems that you are the one in his sights!
    Mayor you are a good man that needs to rid himself of false friends like Pablo Fonseca & his boss Silvio Acosta!

  3. Amazing how a guy like this still has a job. How come everyone in a leadership position is afraid to stand up to this guy. From I everything I read about him and the
    people around him, he is no good. Shame on those who remain silent while this guy does what he pleases.

  4. Donald Scarinci’s came in and corrected all the problems Acosta created but it cost the town and taxpayers big bucks . He has to go , it’s long over do . Fire his butt , give him a taste of his own medicine . Just can him. He has made so many enemies for the adminastration and people will never forget it.

  5. What the ACOSTAS have cost the Town of West New York the last couple of years, these are the NJ.Com headlines:
    WNY approves $97,000 settlement in sexual harassment case against deputy mayor’s son,

    West New York’s new deputy mayor owes town more than $500k in fines for illegally adding apartements to building he owns.

    Plus a combined salary between Mr. And Mrs. Acosta of $190,000 a year plus medical coverage.
    That’s a total of $787,000, not including legal fees at a cost to the Town or the pending lawsuit Mr. Acosta’s son has against West New York.
    Do the numbers and its plan to see THEY HAVE TO GO, or they are going to bleed the Town DRY…..