HACKENSACK, N.J. – The city council is considering a proposal by Pete Lupo, the vice president of the New Jersey Veterans Chamber of Commerce and a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserve, to implement a “veterans-friendly municipality certification program” in the City of Hackensack that would help safeguard veterans’ livelihoods while they’re actively deployed.
“What happens for a lot of people is they go to other companies, so by the time the veteran comes back after a year and a half of being deployed, he finds his entire business completely gone,” explained Lupo at the December 3 council meeting to the governing body. “So what we try to do is alleviate some of these disadvantages that veterans face in the state.”
In an attempt to “level the playing fields for New Jersey veterans,” Lupo is asking the mayor and council for the following three proposals:
- Three reserved parking signs for veterans or “gold star” family members (those who lost a loved one in combat);
- Hiring veterans to comprise 5 percent of city staff; and
- Implementing a 6 percent contract set-aside for disabled veteran-owned small businesses – permitted under the New Jersey Public Contract Law – at no cost to the city.
Said Mayor John Labrosse: “I think we can definitely go with good faith on municipal contracts.”