Hoboken could hike many salary ranges; $290k max for police chief & $260k for fire chief


The Hoboken City Council could hike many salary ranges for municipal employees at tonight’s meeting, which would mean a maximum salary of $290,000 for the police chief and $260,00 for the fire chief.

Hoboken Acting Fire Chief Anton Peskens (left) and Police Chief Steven Aguiar.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“These additional titles reflect the investments the City is making in our Divisions of Recreation with the goal of adding more services and sports and when possible, bring them in-house, which will ultimately save taxpayers money,” said city spokeswoman Marilyn Baer, noting they are taking a similar approach to the Division of Housing and the Construction Office.

” … A contractual increase for the Hoboken Police Chief would bring his salary higher than the current salary range cap requiring the ordinance amendment to provide for the 1.5 percent contractual pay increase. The salary range increase for the Fire Chief is required as the Acting Chief does not have a contract with the City and his existing rate of pay exceeds the current cap.”

Police Chief Steven Aguiar is currently paid $260,000 a year after receiving a $29,000 raise in April 2022, while Acting Fire Chief Anton Peskens receives $244,645 annually, Baer also said.

This includes his battalion chief pay plus longevity and his stipend for fire chief duties.

For the basis of comparison, in neighboring Jersey City, which is about six times the size of Hoboken, their last police chief, Michael Kelly, earned $321,424 ($212,722 salary) in total compensation in 2019, while their last fire chief, Steven McGill, received $225,000 in 2021, public records show.

The salary ranges that accompany the ordinance up for second reading includes over 200 employees and covers the time frame through 2024.

In the case of the recreation department, two new positions are proposed: the recreation leader would have at a maximum starting salary of $60,000, with their program coordinator earning up to $70,000.

Seasonal and part time employees, including referees, umpires, and lifeguards, could make between $20 and $65 regular.

Additionally, an assistant construction official could earn up to $100,000 to start, while a code enforcement officer may be compensated $55,080 annually starting next year, with his or her supervisor to be paid a maximum of $57,500 a year.

Beginning in 2024, the Construction Office could also pay a complaint investigator up to $61,200.

As for the Division of Housing, a housing assistance technician can receive between $45,000 and $75,000.

The Hoboken council convene’s this evening at City Hall, 94 Washington St., at 7 p.m., with the meeting streaming live on their Facebook and YouTube pages.

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  1. You must be kidding me, wait, kidding all of us. Anyone else tire of paying city employees money to do nothing but leave town to get their swim lessons, while we can’t afford to do so and get nothing from recreation? Why hasn’t the new rec director added summer programs and arts promised a year ago? (See the n j com story May ’22 explicit promise over a year ago.) The solution to everything isn’t throw out raise money since they are already earning plenty and haven’t done anything but leave town in summer with our money. Our teens can’t swim but they can, They need to come up with something fast or they just look like elitists. New recreation person was paid big salary for new position, didn’t add the crucial programs our teens need. Didn’t do anything to make Weehawken pool follow law, not a thing. Let’s see the plan we have all asked for before we pay them more. WE have to earn it, why can’t they.

    • The timing of this raises an eyebrow. Election season is upon us and Team Bhalla wants to ensure that the Municipal Worker rank and file does not defect to opposing candidates. Bhalla knows many on the city payroll cannot stand him – so at very least he buys silence /support. At taxpayer expense…..

      We have great city employees – and we also have a very transactional administration.

  2. Amazing! I do agree that the two positions, Police Chief and Fire Chief, deserve the increase. Although few realize what it takes to coordinate, staff, make policies and, train their respective staffs to ensure the safety and health of the residents of the new Hoboken, these individuals are tasked with a responsibility to ensure their people are prepared to handle every emergency situation that may occur during the everyday operation of the city. However, it is a total travesty to see that the people responsible for keeping this city clean and safe every single day are overlooked completely. For example, during Covid, the men and women responsible for cleaning the streets, the trash, the Parks and Public Properties were left with no support or proper protection equipment. During the early stages these people were handling trash and other debris without any warning or consideration of what they may be exposed to. These individuals were the only city municipal employees required to work every day while office personnel, bus drivers and other department personnel were either paid for staying at home or working from home, despite the fact that their exposure was limited especially when business as usual was suspended or restricted at the locations where they were employed. What was even more shocking and disturbing was when the Federal and State governments allocated Covid payments of a significant amount for these employees, it was said that they were not essential workers and only police and fire employees were essential workers. Police and Fire employees are first responders! Essential workers are those employees necessary to maintain the safety and health of the community such as eliminating trash, cleaning the streets, and other essential services that minimized or eliminated any potential danger. Seven days a week, 16 hours a day, these employees were out there working and, exposing themselves and their families to possible risks. Think for a moment about what if these employees were not there every day, what would the consequences be? Piles of trash, streets strewn with garbage, parks full of dog waste and in some places human waste. Although it can not be established that it was the cause of their contracting Covid, many of these employees suffered from the illness. The gall of our city leaders to conclude that they were not essential workers speaks volumes to their appreciation and gratitude for their efforts! To add insult to injury, these people were mandated to submit to Covid testing on a regular basis. I think it’s time for those responsible for giving each of these individuals their due, to reach down and do some serious soul searching and, honor these individuals with what they deserve. I think everyone would agree that during that unprecedented and unfortunate period, our city did not show any signs of slowing down or a disruption in keeping our city safe and clean. The foot soldiers win a war but the officers receive all the credit. It’s about time that the soldiers are given the credit they deserve. Tyvm.

  3. This is absurd another case of “The RICH get RICHER and the BROKE become homeless” These are the same employees abusing the Housing system. Living in affordable housing taking up all the 2 & 3 bedroom apartments while also owning luxurious homes down the shore while Fist Pumping to “who let the dogs out”!! Here’s a thought, how about using that money to rid the rodents, garbage all over our streets & homelessness? I’ve about had enough with dodging rodents and witnessing homeless people sleeping & pooping all over our streets!! These rodents and homeless people have taken over our town “RENT FREE”!! Instead or building high-rise condos, why don’t you consider tearing down that Crack House Shelter and build a facility for these homeless people. HOBOKEN is too much of a beautiful place to see such disgust in our streets!! RAISES? Hoboken Police & Fire don’t do POOP!!!!! Ever see a Hoboken Fireman shut down a fire? Why would they when they have North Regional and Union City coming down to do their job!! Ever see a Hoboken Police Officer arrest or issue a citation to these homeless people pooping in the streets? Of course not their squad car is park in front of their affordable apartment while they are home stuffing their faces, possibly taking naps!! People wake up & let’s vote this man & his clowns out of office!!!! “HEAVE-HO he’s got to GO!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. It’s impossible to overstate the extent that Bhalla has strayed from the fiscal responsibility/anti corruption/anti patronage/anti overdevelopment platform that got him and Zimmer elected in 2009. Hoboken taxpayers are screwed.