A vacant lot has evidently become a top campaign issue in the race for mayor of West New York, with Town Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo and former U.S. Rep. Albio Sires issuing competing plans on what should be built on the intersection of 64th Street and Broadway.
In a press release from yesterday, Cirillo and his team announced that they would work to turn the lot into a community recreation center, something they said West New York hasn’t had for decades.
“A new recreation center would bring new life to the Town of West New York,” Cirillo said. “We will never see an available property like this again in town and this is a golden opportunity to build a beautiful multilevel structure with plenty of parking for the community included.”
But Sires, who is seeking to make a comeback as mayor after previously serving from 1995 to 2006, argued instead that the lot, which is owned by the New Jersey School Development Authority, should instead be used to build a new school. The plan for a new school has already been approved and has state funding behind it, Sires said, while a recreation center could go somewhere else instead.
“We can have both a new recreation center and a new school in town,” he said. “Why would we even consider turning away millions of state dollars that are already committed for West New York that might never be available again for a new school? That doesn’t sound very forward thinking.”
The two mayoral candidates and their associated township committee slates will face off in the May 9 nonpartisan election to succeed Mayor Gabe Rodriguez, who is running instead for the State Assembly this year. All ten candidates will compete on the same ballot, with the five winners selecting the mayor after the election.