Bhalla asks Hoboken council to approve 3-year deal for Police Chief Ferrante on Wednesday

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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is asking the city council to approve a three-year deal for Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante after recommending that his contract should run through 2021 instead of 2022.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla addressing city police during Leprecon on March 4th, 2018. Twitter photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In a letter to the city council dated today, the mayor praises Ferrante’s track record, listing 10 points that include decreasing most major crime stats between 2018 and 2019, having no civil complaints during his tenure as chief, and “professionalizing” the city’s office of emergency management – where he previously served as the coordinator.

“Quite simply, given this record, it would be a major blow to the city should his contract not be renewed, which would force him to decide whether to continue in his position without the security of a contract, or retire with a full pension, as is a very realistic option available to him,” Bhalla wrote.

“Despite having the ability to comfortably retire, he wishes to remain in his position because of his passion for his profession and love for the city in which he was born and raised. With this contract, Chief Ferrante would also continue to be paid less than six other Hudson County police chiefs.”

Last week, HCV exclusively reported that Ferrante gave city officials a four-choice ultimatum in a July 11th email, one of which included retiring.

He also said he would be happy to accept the three-year contract initially negotiated, the two-year contract proposed by the council – as long as he is given his contractually obligated raise – as well as being open to any sort of counter offer made by the governing body.

“At the last city council meeting, a resolution was introduced by Councilmember Tiffanie Fisher which attempted to renegotiate the contract agreed to by the administration and police chief that cut the submitted contract from three years to two years and reduced the chief’s negotiated amount of vacation by five days,” Bhalla continued.

“Certain council members stated that the proposed contract should terminate at the conclusion of the term of the Mayor in 2021, which would reflect a two-year contract instead of three. I strongly reject the proposal that law enforcement should have any connection with politics or elections.”

At the July 8th city council meeting, Fisher made a motion to recommend an amended contract which was seconded by 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos.

While the resolution was approved, the council is expected to vote on the three-year version of the contract this week.

Fisher said today that she remains supportive of Ferrante and hopes he will stay in Hoboken “as long as possible,” but accused city spokesman of “lying and/or paltering” for saying Ferrante makes $60,000 less than “fire battalion chiefs.”

“I’m not even sure what that means, but I’d place a bet that it’s not true,” she added, noting that the mayor could have proposed a salary increase for Ferrante if he was so inclined.

According to payroll records, five of the seven Hoboken Fire Department battalion chiefs made over $260,000 in compensation, with the top fire battalion chief earning over $295,000 in 2019 (those figures include overtime pay).

Local 1076 Hoboken Fire Officers President Bernie Grilletti said on Tuesday morning that the salaries in question were inflated largely due to retroactive pay – which came as the result of a contract being settled after union members were working without a deal for five years.

“We believe that the city spokesman should leave the fire department out of of negotiations with the police chief,” he added.

The Hoboken City Council will convene via Zoom on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information. 

14 COMMENTS

  1. Is Councilwoman Fisher setting herself up to run a spoiler campaign to split the vote for Councilman Ruben Ramos in the next mayoral election ? Going on the attack, even in her usual passive- aggressive way, while Ramos makes sure he is out of the media spotlight and any possible blowback seems to be the likely the political strategy being used. They are hurting Hoboken to play self-serving political games

    • Silly narrative. If Fisher runs for mayor, she’d be running to win not doing so for Ramos’ benefit. I guess Bhalla is getting nervous. Why else put something so silly out there?

      • spoiler campaigns are common place. calling them silly is silly.

        calling everything you don’t like a bhalla operation is also silly. put down the conspiracy theory pipe for a change. some people have opinions without being paid for them, amazing as that must sound to you.

        • Spoiler campaigns were part of the old corrupt ways that I thought we were done with until Bhalla showed his true colors. We see lots of the old ways rampant in Bhalla’s administration.

          • rita said the spoiler campaign would be on behalf of ruben ramos. rita said that in the comment you replied to.

            why would that be bhalla’s fault?

    • Man, Ravi’s staff should be doing something more useful than pushing this stupidity.
      Councilwoman Fisher is deep inside their heads. Deep. They threw everything at her and even had friends and bomb throwers accuse her in the city council of being racist. None of it worked.

      If she ran, she’d probably make the runoff but not against Ravi. Apparently, that’s what is scaring the crap out of Ravi’s people. Well, start updating the resume now.

          • a hoboken website is using an endorsement of these malaria meds from a urologist and regular (paid) contributor on fox and newsmax. the other source is an extreme quack. the same doctor warns of gynecological issues being the result of having sex with witches and demons and that dna from space aliens is being used in medicine. proceed with caution and do your own homework.

      • With limited actual support outside her Ward and equally limited funding prospects Councilwoman Fisher like Councilwoman Gianttino could only be a spoiler candidate. Remember that Councilwoman Gianttino had a similar very vocal online fan club and insisted she was in the race to win but she was not able to even win her own Ward in her failed bid to become mayor.

  2. Battalion chiefs making that much money is absolutely insane. Especially considering most of them have second jobs outside of the city and we know that none of them work as hard as Chief Ferrante.

  3. Is it true defusco has been told by his former supporters that he needs to forget running for Mayor?
    Yes.
    From the half naked instagram posts to the NUMEROUS no masks and quarantine ignoring acts, Defusco will not be Mayor, or have ANY support from the HCDO or his former running mate or elected allies.

    Sorry Mike you blew it.

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