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West New York School Board election is Nov. 7.

first_imgVoters will head to the polls Nov. 7 to fill three open spots on the West New York school board. Eight people are running for the three spots. Two slates – each featuring three people – are on the ballot. There are also two separate candidates. Voters can choose any three.Children First is the slate backed by West New York Mayor Felix Roque. The slate features Jose Mendoza, who owns a marketing company in town; Maite Fernandez, president of the West New York Little League; and Board V.P. Damarys Gonzalez, the lone incumbent this year. Gonzalez is also the administrative assistant for the West New York Department of Public Safety. The slate has touted its efforts in the district this year, including renovation of the Harry L. Bain Public School and the opening of the Freshman Academy. × The Save Our Schools slate debuted last year as a grassroots alternative to Children First. It features Alex Navas, a resident who ran last year; Melinda Saunders, who also ran last year; and Nicholas Behncke, a frequent board critic. The group has criticized the board’s spending habits and has pushed for independent, third party testing of water, mold, and asbestos in the district’s schools, after Newark schools were found to have elevated lead in their water last year.Candidates John Smith, who unsuccessfully ran last year, and Johanna M. Ortez, round out the remaining contenders.Smith, who is a parent, calls himself an “outspoken” candidate who “pulls no punches” at board meetings.He cites political interference, lack of central air in district classrooms, and a need for a water filtration system in WNY schools, as the biggest issues.Board members Steven Rodas and Dennise Mejia are vacating their seats. When the West New York Reporter tried getting voting hours from the town clerk’s office, the office directed the Reporter to call the school board. A person answering at the board office said she believed the voting hours were from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., but was not entirely sure. She requested contact information so the board could call back with the information. However, when asked for her name, she again requested the caller’s name instead.last_img read more

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