UPDATED: Hudson County Commission Chairman Vainieri Reacts To Jersey Journal Editorial

The newly named Hudson County Board of Commissioners, formerly the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, meets at 4 pm this afternoon to reorganize.  Who will be Chairman, Vice Chair, etc.?  That’s the question.

If you read today’s editorial in the Jersey Journal titled, “Time for new leadership on the Hudson County board,” you know the newspaper has said it’s time for Chairman Anthony Vainieri of North Bergen, Anthony Romano of Hoboken, Caridad Rodriguez of West New York and Jerry Walker of Jersey City to be taken out of consideration for any leadership role on the elected, governing body.

Vainieri has served as Chairman for the past several years.  The editorial criticizes the four Commissioners for their decision to leave last month’s then-Freeholder meeting during the public portion as speaker after speaker criticized the Board for their vote to extend the ICE contract with Hudson County, thereby keeping non-documented, immigrant detainees housed in the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny.

The editorial states, “The four showed a shameful disregard for the public last month when they walked out of a regularly scheduled public meeting rather than, gasp, listen to dissenting opinions about the contract to house Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees at the county jail. (Romano, who told our reporter he left because of a medical appointment, has also been accused of shoving two women protesting the ICE contract outside of a fundraiser he was holding in Hoboken last month.)

Vainieri, chairman of the board for the last four years, was first out the door and actually defended his action by describing some of the protesters as “a lowlife dirtbag type of people.” Even in the face of disrespectful or worse comments, that’s not how a public servant and leader should act or speak. Threats – also clearly unacceptable – should be dealt with by law enforcement.”
During a telephone interview with Hudson TV this afternoon, Vainieri, who says we will find out who is selected Chairman, Vice Chairman, etc. during the 4 o’clock session, called the Jersey Journal “meaningless and paper thin.  Nobody cares what they have to say.  The Jersey Journal will not dictate what we (the Commissioners) do.”
Vainieri added that “it would have been nice to have gotten a courtesy call from the newspaper.  The Commissioners are tired of listening to a small group of ICE protesters  who curse at the Board and send bomb threats to the County Executive.”
In a press release issued following the Hudson TV interview, Vainieri stated, “Over the past several days and weeks, a number of county commissioners and other public officials, including myself, have been receiving dozens of threatening and terroristic phone calls because of our position on housing ICE detainees.  In addition to a fake bomb that was sent to the County Executive’s home, all of these threats of violence are clear acts of harassment and intimidation. They will not succeed and they must be condemned by all decent people, including those officials who oppose the county contract with Homeland Security.


These latest acts of intimidation follow other outrageous actions like harassing the County Executive’s neighbors, spray-painting the Bergen County Sheriff’s home and harassing a priest in Hackensack.

Several police departments, federal postal officials and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office are all now investigating these threats. Hopefully, the anonymous cowards who are responsible will be brought to justice.

Although Hudson County has no role in arresting or releasing these federal detainees we do not agree that they should be “turned loose” either.  People must realize that these detainees are not innocent or non-violent people, as many have falsely claimed. Every one of them came to our country illegally and then committed a violent crime here in America. They were tried and convicted of crimes including murder, rape and sexual violence, aggravated assault, dealing drugs and many other felonies. They are being held in our jail while they wait for their deportation hearings.

Advocates who oppose the ICE contract claim they represent the majority of public opinion. They are completely wrong.  A strong majority of people rightfully believe that immigrants who come here illegally and commit violent crimes should be punished and deported. A strong majority do not support open borders, we do not want to empty all of the prisons and most definitely we do not want to defund or disband any police departments. People who do support these radical positions are extremists and the vast majority of Americans know this.”

The Journal editorial went on to say, “All nine members of the board were backed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization and elected or re-elected without opposition on Nov. 3. In the Democratic primary in July, four ran unopposed while five faced opposition and handily won.

Perhaps some of them, having no fear of voters, are on power trips, thinking it’s OK to cash their paychecks but be dismissive of the public. It’s not.”

This afternoon’s meeting will take place at 4 pm in the Commissioner’s Chambers in the County Annex at 567 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City, but it will be restricted to 25 people.
Alternatively, members of the public can visit the following link and join the meeting via Video Conference:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85127778470.  Members of the public can also join by telephone by dialing 1 929 436 2866 and entering the Meeting ID number 851 2777 8470.