New safety regs for city’s 11 hotels

Also at meeting: Cops in the schools

North Bergen’s 11 hotels will have to contend with stricter employee and safety regulations, after the Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance at their Sept. 26 meeting.

With the passage, hotel owners must now give their successors a list of critical employees — with their names, addresses, and phone numbers – at least 10 days before ownership transfers over. The departing owner also must tell the critical employees of the transfer. New owners will be required to first hire from the critical employee list, and will not be allowed to terminate those on the list for at least 90 days after the transfer.

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As a new condition to obtaining and maintaining hotel licenses in town, each hotel will have to install surveillance cameras that can record more than 90 percent of the parking and driveway areas, as well as the front desk and lobby.

The town first began discussing improving hotel safety after a gunman opened fire at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas last October, killing over 50 people. The New York Hotel Trades Council, which represents hotel workers in Northern New Jersey and New York, was out in full force at the meeting, thanking the commissioners for the adoption.

“Because of your thoughtful consideration, hotel workers can count on job stability, even if    there’s a change in ownership of the hotel,” said Rich Maroko, HTC’s vice president and general counsel, during the ordinance’s public hearing section.

“This truly reflects that North Bergen values hotel workers,” added Howard Redford, a hotel worker at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City, and a North Bergen resident.

Special police officers to safeguard schools

The town will provide special police officer services to the North Bergen Board of Education through June 2019, after a resolution was passed at the meeting. The part time officers will be stationed at eight of the town’s nine schools (North Bergen High School already has an assigned special resource officer.). They will operate during regular school hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. One SPO will be at each location, unless the superintendent of schools and the police chief determine that different allocation is necessary. The Board will pay the township $20-25 per hour for each SPO hour of service.

“It’s an easy and quick way to have an officer in every school in the township,” said Deputy Chief Peter Fasilis, after the meeting. The town is expanding the special officer program to allow them to work 30 hours a week, to accommodate the schools, Fasilis said. An ordinance adopted at the meeting will also see that the number of special officers will not exceed 30, or 25 percent of the total number of regular police officers.

Commissioners designate street as one-way

Eighty-First Street between Second and Bergenline Avenue will be one way westbound, after the commissioners adopted an ordinance at the meeting.

Town honors man as inspiration to Latin community

A proclamation honored Hoboken resident Raul Morales for being an inspiration to the town’s Latin community. Born in Puerto Rico in 1949, Morales immigrated to Hoboken in 1967. In 1973, he was hired as a building superintendent at Hoboken’s Applied Companies, which also has a North Bergen office. Morales is now retiring from his senior vice president of management title at Applied, which he’s held since 1990.

He also served on the Hoboken Board of Education and is also a board member of the St. Ann’s Church Italian Feast, where he has organized the event’s Latin Night for over 20 years. Currently, Morales serves as president of the Hoboken Puerto Rican Culture Committee.

Morales has been married to Maria Morales for 47 years; he has two children and two grandchildren.

“I’m going to retire, but I’m not going anywhere,” Morales said, after receiving the proclamation. “I’m still going to be around, and I’m leaving all the doors open.”

Hannington Dia can be reached at or leave a comment at


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