Hoboken hires Martinez Debenedetto to lead constituent affairs, Romano as public safety advisor


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. 

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  1. Yes indeedy, the old guard is back in a big way and in full charge with the help of Ravi Bhalla, Emily Jabbour, Phil Cohen and Jim Doyle (didn’t he mc Zimmer’s first inauguration?) No doubt Joe will play his role in ushering in this new era with Council Prez Russo taking his rightful string-pulling place at the helm.

    So many wonderfully corrupt things are coming our way over the next 4 years!

  2. This is Zimmer’s legacy… From Raia in 2007 to Russo 2021
    Her best move was when she was forced… I mean decided to not run again…

    Unseal the documents!

    • Why the creepy obsession with a mayor who has been out of office for more than four years and has nothing to do with Hoboken politics? You sound like a weird stalker, maybe you should see a specialist to try and work out your unhealthy issues.

      • Really? Reallllly????
        She is the one who campaigned for the return of Russo, it’s not creepy, it’s reminding her that when she said Jen wasn’t progressive enough, she will always need to be reminded how she has set our city back with her awful endorsement and LIES to the people of Hoboken. Funny how you divert it by calling it creepy LOL… Dont worry, only 1 person is into her, and he caused as much trouble as she did in the dual mayor role.

        City Attorney running around with Bar Owners, Russo as Council President, Spending out of Control… The TAXPAYERS were Hurt indeed…. Enjoy you pretend Hoboken dem club and your city job(s)

    • Happy New Year.

      The overall idiocy of your post aside, what documents would you like unsealed and who do you think is sealing them and why? What exactly do you think these mysterious sealed documents are hiding?

      Who “forced” Zimmer not to run, how did they do it and why?

      Until you answer those questions directly and coherently most people are likely to continue to view you as an obsessed small minded psychopath.

      Prove you’re not crazy by delivering the goods and exposing all you think you know.

      Hoboken deserves to hear the truth so put it all out there so folks can decide whether it’s all true or you’re the crackpot most folks see you as.

  3. Hey Developers & Bar Owners The Bag man cometh …
    Jim Doyle and his lawyer contract loving wife should be blacklisted from all open space groups… saw her sucking up to Russo not too long ago…. wow… sickening.

  4. Isn’t it time man of 1000 paychecks move out of Marineview towers?
    A highrise meant for moderate income and working class folks.
    Romano owns 2 buildings on Washington St another on Court St., A popular Bar , A police Pension, a Freeholder Salary and now another $50,000
    Romano is one cop who could use some defunding or better yet, move into your own buildings and help Ms Falco place a needy family into your 1300.00 a month bachelor pad. giggidy giggidy goo

  5. Makes me feel ill. The corruption, the back room deal pay-backs. Bhalla has proven again and again to be a blatant lier. He is no better than the Russos’ and their legacy of corruption.