The West New York Collision Between Sires and Cirillo

WEST NEW YORK – The last time he ran for office, Albio Sires got 10,633 votes in this congested and largely Hispanic Hudson County town.

That was a “mere” 7,000 or so more than his opponent. This was the 2020 election for the House in CD-8.

Such support is why Sires is happily running – again – for mayor of West New York, a job he had from 1995 to 2006.

The real story is not that Sires is popular in his hometown, but that he gave up a safe seat in Congress to run for mayor.

It’s not exactly upward mobility, but then again, maybe not as odd as it first seems.

The polarization in Washington is extreme and Republicans now control the House. It’s true that GOP control is not as pronounced as some predicted a year ago, but being in the minority is being in the minority.
Back in January when I saw Sires at a county-wide event in Jersey City, he talked about building a new library, noting that the current library across from town hall is old – to say the least. He also talked about creating a pedestrian walkway to connect the main part of the city with the newly-developed waterfront area.

The town has the commission form of government, meaning five commissioners – the entire governing body – are elected every four years in May. The election this year is May 9.

For a while, it looked like Felix Roque, another former mayor, was going to run for his old job, but he backed out.

That leaves as Team Sires’ only opponent a slate headed by Cosmo Cirillo, a current commissioner. It calls itself WNY Forward.

In case you are wondering, current mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, who ousted Rique in 2019, is giving up his seat to run for the state Assembly.

So much about Hudson County politics revolves around personality, alliances past and present and feuds past and present.

Still, a few issues have developed.

One is the library. All seem to agree that a new one is needed, but opponents of Sires say plans are already in the works to build one.
And then, there’s the vacant lot. That’s news in itself; open land of any kind is scarce in these parts.

This property is along Broadway between 64th and 65th streets.
The WNY Forward slate wants to build what it calls a “state of the art community recreation center” on the land. This plan will include more parking, which is a perennial need throughout much of Hudson County.

Team Sires sees things differently. It wants a new school to be built there. It notes that the land is owned by the state’s School Development Authority.

As is to be expected, Sires and his team are getting endorsements from local notables.

Brian Stack, who is both mayor of Union City and a state senator – dual office holding is a Hudson County tradition – says of Sires, “I need a partner I can work with and count on.”

More recently, Sen. Bob Menendez, who grew up in Union City, endorsed Sires. The senator said there’s a lot at stake and that “West New York needs Albio Sires for mayor.”

Candidates like to trumpet such endorsements, but the bottom line is that neither Stack nor Menendez have a vote on May 9.

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3 responses to “The West New York Collision Between Sires and Cirillo”

  1. Alphabetically, of the ten candidates running for Commissioner, the top eight qualified to hold that office are:
    Arroyo, Barerra , Cirillo, Gonzalez, Guzman, Jiminez, Parkinson, and Sires. Of these six, I will vote for Sires first, Cirillo second, and will also vote for three of the remaining six candidates on my top eight list. This will be the first election since 1951 that a split ticket will have been elected.

  2. Do some homework. Assemblywoman Jimenez helped secure $12.5M for a new library almost 2 years ago and WNY has passed an ordinance in fall of 2021 for a bond for a new library. It is a fact that a new library is already in the works, not a contention of Sires’ opponents.

    Also, Cirillo, Jimenez and Commissioner Guzman all supported Sires’ in his Congressional bids and similarly Sires’ supported each of them in their current roles. Maybe it’s worth investigating why they’re not running on a unified ticket?

    It would be great if the media rolled up their sleeves a little and provided some context to help voters get background on the candidates and issues.

  3. You sound like you are a West New Yorker. So am I. Indeed you would be best served by doing your own homework. The media has indeed told us who wants to have the Library built at the Amvets site, and who wants it built on the Schlessinger’s site, but you will have to use your God-given talent to dig for it. You also raise a good question as to “why ‘they’ are not not running on a unified ticket?” Certainly 10 can’t. Yanez has decided not to run. Rodriguez cannot because of a law passed ( with Stack and other recent dual office holders grandfathered) that precludes individuals from newly becoming dual office holders. You will have to draw your own conclusions why two incumbent Commissioners are running on one side, while one is running on the other side. You really should consider that there are ten good people running for election here, not just 3,4, or 5.

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