State Sen. Sacco retiring from school system job
Nicholas Sacco is giving up his $260,000 per year job as assistant superintendent for elementary and secondary education but will continue to serve as state senator and North Bergen’s mayor, his spokesman said last week.
The mayor’s spokesman, Phil Swibinski, said a retirement date has not yet been set. He plans to continue serving as mayor of North Bergen and state senator representing the 32nd District."
Sacco has also worked as an elementary school principal, among other positions, over the course of a 49-year career in education.
According to a survey by NJ Advance Media in June, Sacco's school salary of $259,550 was the second highest among all public employees in Hudson County. But Sacco, a Democrat, would likely rank as Hudson's highest paid public employee when counting his annual salaries of $15,000 as mayor and $49,000 as state senator from the 32nd Legislative, which would put his combined annual income at $323,550. He also was paid for a time to perform weddings.
That kind of triple office holding would no longer be permissible for future legislators under a 2007 law barring legislators from holding another elected office, but Sacco was among 19 lawmakers who were grandfathered in when the law was passed.
Swibinski said Sacco's school pension had not been determined, but would likely be about $180,000, a figure lower than the maximum due to allocations to family members. Swibinski said Sacco's pension was, "controlled by the exact same regulations that govern the earned retirement benefits of every other public employee in the state."
One reason Sacco is leaving is because of his success in creating a new school campus in the township, Swibinski said. “One of the primary goals that he has had—he’s been fighting for decades—is to bring a new high school to North Bergen,” Swibinski told The North Bergen Reporter. “It was just a few months ago that that finally became a reality.” Last year, Sacco announced that North Bergen High School would be replacing Hudson County’s High Tech High School on 85th Street and Tonnelle Avenue, once that school moves into a new Secaucus location. “His view—and he stated this at the press conference when we announced it—was that once that project was done, once that goal was accomplished, he felt that his work was complete and he could leave.”
Swibinski said Sacco plans to seek re-election for mayor and state senator, and that he will be eligible for additional pensions once he retires from those.
After starting work for the school system, Sacco was first elected mayor in 1992, then won his state Senate seat the following year. He has been re-elected by wide margins in the heavily Democratic township and legislative district ever since.
Non-profit to host seminar for public housing seniors
The Waterfront Project, a Hoboken-based non-profit supporting and empowering disadvantaged individuals, will be hosting a senior seminar at the North Bergen Housing Authority’s Lawler Towers Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. in the community room. In conjunction with County Surrogate Joseph Ryglicki and Mayor Nicholas Sacco, the event will help seniors prepare a living will, power of attorney, and advance directives—free of charge. The seminar is only open to Housing Authority residents, and will be located at 6121 Grand Ave.