Sacco named Legislator of the Year; Mayor cited for his work as senator, which led to municipal reform
North Bergen mayor Nicholas Sacco said that he has received many awards and honors during his 12-year tenure in office, but none that meant as much as the silver plate he was presented in Town Hall last week. Sacco was named the Legislator of the Year by the New Jersey League of Municipalities, for his work as the state senator in the 32nd District. The League has chosen to honor one such legislator during each quarter of the year. Sacco was the second of four honorees this year. "I had no idea I was even nominated," Sacco said. "When I was told I was getting the award, I felt very gratified because my colleagues chose to recognize me. It's similar to an actor receiving an award from the Actor's Guild instead of the Academy Award, because it comes from the peers. I consider it very special and I'm very honored." Sacco added, "It was given to me as a senator who is a member of the League and for how my bills as a senator benefited local legislators." Sacco was cited by the group for his work on five different fronts. Sacco received the award for his local work with the regionalization of North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and for expanding the township's Urban Enterprise Zone, as well as extending the Urban Enterprise Zone into West New York and Guttenberg. He was also cited for initiating bills on the senate floor that led to laws being established in various municipalities, like mandatory DNA testing for convicted and incarcerated sex offenders, which was part of the original Megan's Law. The test, which forced offenders to give a blood sample, has enabled both state law officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use a database with information stored on such offenders through the DNA tests. Sacco also initiated the legislation that led to the bill which forced such sex offenders to pay for the mandatory DNA testing. The bill has enabled the state to save nearly $1 million in costs from DNA testing. Sacco also proposed a bill that enabled 24-hour continual discounts on NJ Transit for disabled people and senior citizens. Sacco was also cited for initiating the Driver Privacy Protection Act, which imposed safeguards on the personal information given by motorists for their driving records. The law prohibited the Division of Motor Vehicles from disclosing private information to outside firms. Sacco was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Atlantic City last week, so the president of the association, Tim McDonough, came to Town Hall to personally present Sacco with the silver plate in a township ceremony last week. "They came up and delivered the award to me," Sacco said. "I thought that was very nice. And the actual award is a nice plate. Someone actually looked at my accomplishments and recognized me for what I've done. It's very flattering." In addition to his government jobs, Sacco serves as assistant superintendent of schools for North Bergen.