Hoboken hires Jessica Lezcano as head of new division of recreation at $110k


The City of Hoboken hired Jessica Lezcano as the new head of their division of recreation at a $110,000 annual salary after serving in similar roles in Passaic and Rutherford.

New Hoboken Director of the Division of Recreation Jessica Lezcano and Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Jessica’s depth of experience and innovative approach to recreation make her an ideal addition to the City of Hoboken. Together with Director Pellegrini, Jessica will be tasked with running the City’s sports programming, girls’ softball, basketball, flag football, and other new offerings, including volleyball, with the objective of thoughtful, equitable and advanced planning and notice of programming to benefit both children and parents supporting our recreation program,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“Jessica will also be integral in taking our recreation programming to the next level with innovative technology upgrades, new creative offerings, and unparalleled service. I look forward to working with her as we revitalize the Division of Recreation.”

The city advertised that they were looking to fill the new post back in January, in hopes of making bolstering their youth sports programs.

Lezcano, whose first day on the job in the Mile Square City was yesterday, most recently earned $99,259 a year as the recreation director in Rutherford, according to public records.

“I would like to sincerely thank the Mayor for the opportunity to serve the City of Hoboken,” she said.

“I have been dedicated to creating organized and efficient sports programming, accessible parks, establishing innovative programs that foster stimulation, and orchestrating fun moments that turn into great memories. I am excited to build upon the foundation of Hoboken Recreation to improve access and programming for the entire community.”

In Rutherford, she redesigned and managed creative ways for the residents to engage in safe activities during a global pandemic, including launching borough-wide scavenger hunts, virtual races, and a new youth rock band program, among others.

She also introduced a variety of technology upgrades, including online registrations, and communicated with participants through streamlined virtual platforms.

As superintendent of recreation in Passaic, Lezcano performed administrative work, including planning, developing, scheduling, directing, implementing, and marketing year-round city-wide recreation, senior, and cultural affairs programming.

She oversaw strategic planning, personnel, and the department budget, additionally securing millions of external grant funds for projects that included the construction of a riverwalk along the Passaic River, the construction of a state-of-the-art multi-sport field, and new playgrounds.

“Jessica is a welcomed addition to the Recreation Division who will be instrumental as we work to transform our recreation programming,” added Director of Health and Human Services Leo Pellegrini.

“Demand is incredibly high for our offerings, and we must expand to meet the current and future needs of our diverse community. I look forward to working with Jessica to provide exciting programs for residents of all ages.”

The city’s recreation division provides the joy of sports and physical activity through various youth athletic programs to over 2,000 children annually between the ages of 5 and 18. It offers baseball, flag football, soccer, tennis, basketball, softball, and other sports annually.

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  1. seems like a good hire but I hope she is aware of how many parents have been waiting on news of how the Rec Dept will change for this year. We have been left high and dry too many years while even from what it says, her other towns did a lot even during the pandemic. If they could do all that why does Hoboken keep kicking the can down teh road? We get surveys about buildings where are the surveys for rec/culutral programming at least half of what all the other towns around us do for their youth?

    • LOL Quit WHining he is solving the problem after 5 years of parents dealing with the bare minimum? He said he was going to fix this in January and now he hires someone who did more for Passaic then we could do in Hoboken in 3 years. The truth is you’d like it if people who can barely afford to live here left, but some of us want jobs for our teens and something for younger kid’s that doesn’T involve busing htem to better run towns. Maybe look at your own salary and how you’ll feel when you have kids. You will probably move though.

      • Nope, won’t move, work in private sector and aspire to work HARDER and EARN more. Not looking to politicians to give us handouts… Can have 10 kids and can afford to stay here with ease. Came from nothing and earned what we have. Try it some time.
        People that want to stay in subsidized housing, rent control or government jobs need to strive for better by WORKING for it.

        • Just reading through all the comments, and you’re a supporter of the mayor but you don’t like rent control, subsidized housing, or poor people? Sounds like maybe you’re the one who should be in suburbs as you suggest? Looks like these people are asking for recreational options like in other cities around here and not Ridgewood so that comment makes no sense except if that’s where you are from and you grew up among the programs in Ridgewood. Not eveyrone can get 2/3 govt jobs and consulting fees like you probably have.

  2. Yet another six-figure job CREATED by Ravi Bhalla to serve his politics. That Terror Flier sure has benefits. Endless benefits and newly created jobs.

  3. Lot’s of new hires and raises after the forced retirements and layoffs. Local longtime employees were kicked to the curb to bring in more out-of-town new hires. That’s not Hoboken.