BAYONNE -- Although voters rejected an effort to maintain rent control in Bayonne by 121 votes, supporters of rent control said they are reviewing their options and will seek to put the question back on the ballot if legal options do not prevail.
With nearly all of the votes counted from Nov. 6, the effort to retain rent control was narrowly defeated with 51 percent to 49 percent of the vote.
County elections officials certified the vote on Nov. 17, and this allows the city to gradually phase out rent control in Bayonne.
The council approved changes to rent control in November 2011 that would allow landlords to opt out of rent control once current tenants move out.
Rent control supporters tried twice earlier this year to have the matter put up as a referendum, and then when those attempts failed, used another approached the imitative which successfully allowed the matter to be put on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Ed Gilligan, spokesperson for the Bayonne Tenants’ Association, said he was disappointed by the result, but that the group has not given up.
“We’re reviewing our legal options,” he said. “If we have to, we will go out and get more signatures and put it on the ballot again. In Hoboken, they did it twice. The first time they were swamped, but they got organized and won. We weren’t organized and we got 49 percent of the vote.”