The City of Hoboken has hired Nora Martinez Debenedetto has been tapped to lead the newly reinstated Office of Constituent Affairs, while County Commissioner Anthony Romano (D-5), a retired police captain, will be the part-time public safety advisor.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“As a vibrant and diverse city we are constantly adapting to best meet the needs of our residents,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“Nora has a long history of problem solving and volunteerism that makes her a perfect fit to work with residents across the city as the new head of the Office of Constituent Services. I can think of no better person to join my administration and I know she will do an outstanding job serving our residents.”
A campaign promise of Bhalla and his council slate was to bring back the Office of Constituent Affairs, which was officially reinstated earlier this month after being abolished back in June 2020.
Martinez Debenedetto is a lifelong city resident, an executive member of the local Democratic committee, a former preschool teacher, and ran on Bhalla’s council slate in 2019 – losing a competitive race to 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.
Her new gig begins on February 1st and will provide an annual salary of $82,500 a year, according to city spokeswoman Marilyn Baer.
As the new head of Constituent Services, she will coordinate inquiries and requests with city departments and agencies on behalf of residents on topics including the handling of counseling and referrals for social services, tenant assistance and education, housing and employment inquiries, and various quality-of-life issues – among other things.
Fisher said in a statement this afternoon that Debenedetto is a “great fit” for the job.
“Hoboken needed someone who knows Hoboken in particular how to support our most vulnerable neighbors. Nora is a great fit for the role and I look forward to working with her.”
Meanwhile, Romano, who earns $47,305 a year for his elected post, will start his city gig tomorrow and earn a $50,000 annual salary, Baer told HCV in an email.
He will assist the administration on various public safety matters, including EMS Services, community public safety relations, personnel matters, identify cost-savings measures, and other issues related to the police and fire departments.
“Anthony’s experience both as a former police captain at the Hoboken Police Department and as a dedicated public servant will be crucial to increasing community and public safety relations in Hoboken,” added Bhalla.
“He has institutional knowledge of both the Police and Fire Departments that is invaluable to the City and he will help us build upon the strength of our Police and Fire Departments in the new year.”
Acting Police Chief Daniel LoBue and Acting Fire Chief Anton Peskens also expressed support for Romano.
“Anthony Romano has a history of advocacy and a wealth of public safety knowledge that will be an asset to our departments,” LoBue and Peskens said in a joint statement.
“We look forward to continuing to work with him as we build upon our engagement with the community and streamline operational efficiencies.”
Romano backed Team Bhalla in the municipal elections back in October where the mayor ran unopposed.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.