Recall in West New York gains momentum as mayor plays down his failed administration

Rafael Román Martel

The situation in West New York is rapidly deteriorating, and now the posibility of firings of which we were previously aware will bring to the city dirtier sidewalks, another fresh bouquet of potholes and, the worst: less security in what are already dangerous streets.

After the publication of our first issue of The Pulse of West New York, where we highlighted the egregious lack of Spanish-speaking employees in City Hall and that Spanish-speaking citizens were not tended to in their native language in a city with an overwhelming Hispanic majority, Mayor Vega has employed the services of two new individuals, one of which, at least, is conversational in the language. On the other hand, since Friday January 9th strong rumors have circulated among municipal circles that the mayor is getting prepared to fire 50 workers—some in the DPW and even a few in the police department. We will clarify whether or not these are true by citing the political significance of these rumors. Residents would lose 50 government employees and would gain two in the case that Vega decides to eliminate those on the alleged list. You can get better odds of winning in Atlantic City than as an employee in West New York trying to keep your job if those numbers are accurate. And yet all of the mayor’s political acrobatics, tricks, and investigations do nothing to cloak his lack of leadership.

Sal Vega le negó a su propia comunidad cubana un permiso para celebrar la tradicional parada cubana en West New York
Sal Vega did not allowed his own Cuban community to celebrate its traditional parade in West New York

Regardless of whether they are true, it is pertinent to ask who is responsible for circulating these rumors. Where do they come from? We only know that they have their origin in a source at City Hall. If Sal Vega has to fire 50 employees, he’s already preparing the ground for his attack. If he’s not going to fire them, he is at least making them squirm just enough for them to express nothing but eternal gratitude to the mayor for not being thrown out in the street when the rumors are proven false. With this technique, if any government workers disagree with Vega and decide to save face and dignity by disassociating with the mayor’s indefensible incompetence, he can say, “I saved your job, and this is how you pay me?” This is a prime example typical political manipulation that Vega has learned in his career as a hitchhiker to the Hudson County political machine.

Sal Vega maintained a squeaky-clean record as Albio Sires’ moppy-haired sidekick, but Vega is no leader, and since he has had to assume real responsibilities, the city has been falling into the deepest crisis of its history.

Read full article and much more on the next issue of The Pulse of West New York!


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