The Jimenez Factor in West New York

So much about politics is about who gets what job, so if it looks as if one fellow may have two jobs, it attracts attention.This, not surprisingly, is a Hudson County tale and the man involved is Michael Jimenez, who as town attorney in West New York is also handling some municipal administration duties.

In no way is it common for the same individual to supervise a town’s day-to-day affairs and also dole out legal advice. Defenders of the move say it’s temporary because the previous administrator quit and that a new administrator will be hired by the time the town’s 2019 budget is done. This usually occurs in the spring. And they note that Jimenez is not getting two salaries, nor has he been officially named acting administrator. He’s just helping out with administrative chores if needed.

Last week Mayor Felix Roque filed ethics complaints about what he said are Jimenez’ dual positions with the state Division of Local Government Services and the Office of Attorney Ethics Committee.

With soaring rhetoric, Roque said in a statement that, “As the mayor of this great municipality, it is my duty to make sure that all the laws and regulations are followed. I am appalled at not only the illegal conduct of Mr. Jimenez, but also at the fact that Commissioners Rodriguez, Cirillo and Guzman have failed to take action.”

Here’s the politics.

The three commissioners named by the mayor form a majority on the five-person town commission. And they are running with two others against a five-person slate headed by the mayor in the May election. So, this clearly is a way for the mayor to cast some aspersions on his opponents. It’s always helpful to get the state to do that, if possible.

And this probably isn’t the type of thing his opponents are going to take lying down. As one source observed, there may be questions raised eventually about some of the mayor’s hires.

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