A woman who helped Mayor Felix Roque organize an unsuccessful recall effort against Sal Vega back in 2009, serving as a spokeswoman for his “Together We Can” campaign, has been pegged to help run the town’s parking authority.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Amiris Perez, also the executive director on the New Jersey Conference on Dominican Affairs, replaces Jamie Cryan – who was named the town’s new municipal administrator last month, as Hudson County View first reported.
Cryan was earning $90,000 a year before making the move to Town Hall, but it was not immediately clear what Perez’s starting salary will be.
Back in 2009, when Roque, also a pain management specialist and retired army colonel, was making his way onto the political scene in West New York, Perez served as the spokeswoman for Roque’s crusade against then-Mayor Sal Vega – Together We Can.
While the recall of Vega ultimately failed at the end of the year (h/t Politicker NJ), Roque upset Vega and the Hudson County Democratic Organization by narrowly unseating his fellow Cuban adversary in May 2011, per The Jersey Journal.
Perez occasionally worked on Roque’s campaign in 2010 and 2011, but was not seen as frequently after the recall came up short, according to multiple sources who asked not to be identified.
Roque told Hudson County View that Perez is a “community leader” that is “motivated and a team player.”
“She’s a bi-lingual community leader that I’ve known her for six, seven years – she’s motivated and a team player. She’ll be the assistant to the director, while Cryan will be on a leave of absence for a year. She’s very bright and motivated,” he explained.
Roque clarified that Cryan has not resigned as parking authority director, and while he will not be getting paid, will help Perez transition to and run the authority.
The mayor also scoffed at the notion that Perez’s appointment, which he says was approved by the board of commissioners for an annual salary of about $70,000 a year, is political.
“After the first election, she got married and had a child so we lost contact. But here, we needed somebody strong and motivated, so her face popped into by head. It’s never about politics: the board made the decision after the mayor made a recommendation. I would recommend her every single time.”
“I really believe she’s the right person for the job,” he stated, adding that he is extremely proud of the work Cryan did at the authority, taking the annual revenue from the red to the black.
Perez declined to comment when reached by Hudson County View on Sunday.