DeMSTAfying rent control/vacancy decontrol in Hoboken
Oct 07, 2012 | 3305 views | 11 11 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

“Landlords and owners are better readers than tenants” Did he, Charles X. Gormally a twinkle in his eye, a smile perhaps a smirk, really say that? I felt a stab to the heart, sadness in my soul, a disappointment that this is what the MSTA hirelings think of the ordinary Hobokenite. How many of these highly paid, highly educated, intelligent lawyers did it take to draft the initiative? I signed the petition that put this question on the November 6th ballot. I didn’t agree with everything but it seemed reasonable to me that, as it was open for “discussion”, solutions could be found that would be fair to tenants and small homeowners/landlords alike. I’m not sure that it was an unintended oversight that no one mentioned that the City Council was under a gag order not to discuss the issue because of pending litigation. It was later pointed out by Councilman Russo that Ron Simoncini, smiling maybe smirking, had been disingenuous as he urged the Council to discuss the issue. We used to have smurfs now we have smirks. These are not benign little blue cartoon characters, they are big, bad men who are being paid to destroy this little community that I love.

The language is intended to obfuscate/muddy the meaning. Mr. Simoncini, a proud man, has been successful in defeating Rent Control in other cities but he doesn’t know Hoboken. We are a diverse population with a long history of living and working together. We, newcomers and old timers, have been through the suspicious fires of the 1980’s when 51 individuals, including children lost their lives. People came together then and will once more. Ordinary people with extraordinary leadership preserved the Waterfront and we can do this as well.

Wake up Hoboken! Talk to your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers. Talk to everyone. Register to vote and help others to register. Contact HFHA (Hoboken Fair Housing Association) @ hobokenfairhousing.com, for more information. If this passes our Hoboken is lost. When it fails, working together as a community of caring individuals we can try to resolve the issues that potentially divide us. “You may never know what results from your action but if you do nothing there will be no result.” Mahatma Gandhi.

On November 6th, walk into the voting booth; show these folks that we can read. Vote no on Hoboken Public Question No. 2. Remember what Dorothy said “There’s no place like home.” “There’s no place like home.” I love this town and its people.

Hoboken…“you’re my home.” (Billy Joel)

Rose Orozco
Proud resident since 1976
Homeowner since 1979
Open minded attendee of MSTA seminar

Comments
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WESTY
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October 15, 2012
So who are the people paying these lawyers for their advocacy ?

I would bet is people saw who all their clents are they would say AHH HA !
ronsimoncini
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October 10, 2012
the other thing that is absolutely laughable about this letter is the notion that the radical tenant activists are the type of "caring individuals" who will work out problems. after the council voted 9-0 to reform rent control, the tenant activists brought a referendum to reverse it. MSTA had advocated for three years beforehand that the council, tenants and property owners debate and come to an agreement, but the tenants used every opportunity to undermine the process.

i am not looking at that group of people as a source of collaboration. its leader is a rent leveling advocate who is sitting on the rent leveling board in an office that should be defined by objectivity. and yet she uses it as a platform for her political aspirations without the slightest hint of shame.

tell me, Rose, about the Hoboken you want to return to, and i will show you a Hoboken of corruption and failure. Hoboken needs to move forward, not backward, and the radical tenant activists are dead set against that.
TommyLover
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October 11, 2012
As usual there's so much BS here, it's hard to know where to begin. But I'll just point out the part about "leader is a rent leveling advocate who is sitting on the rent leveling board in an office that should be defined by objectivity. and yet she uses it as a platform for her political aspirations without the slightest hint of shame."

Anyone who believes that is welcome at a Rent Leveling Board meeting anytime. The "radical tenant activist" is the ONLY one of two tenants on a 9-member RENT leveling board. That's right - the Rent Leveling Board only has two tenants on it.

And no need to tell Rose about the old times in Hoboken - she was here. You were in Bergen County. Why don't you deal with the corruption and failure there?

Try using grown-up grammar and punctuation. Or aren't you paid enough by your development bosses to do that?
CherryTree
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October 11, 2012
Oh my. The facts and truth really get in Mr. Simoncini's way, don't they? Mr. Simoncini brags that he has ended rent control in 16 (or is it 18) communities in NJ and then he turns around and whines that the tenants don't want to "negotiate" with him. There is only ONE outcome in his playbook, there is no negotiation: ending rent protections in Hoboken is what he is being paid (by wealthy developers) to do. Glad the tenants and rent control supporters are smart enough to see this.

As to this so-called "leader" of the tenants, is he referring to the long-time resident that has been involved with the community and good governance for about 30 years? The only rent controlled tenant on the rent leveling board, yet a person of enough good character to defend board colleagues at council meetings when Simoncini stands there and insults the entire board and the rent leveling officer? Those board meetings are filmed and the fair-mindedness of that board member is available for anyone to view online. Is this the same board member that spent hours on the witness stand and in a deposition helping the city prevail in the bogus class action suit where Mr. Gormally was trying to rape the city's taxpayers for over $1 million dollars and which Gormally just lost? Interesting take.

As to your reference to corruption and failure in Hoboken. It is the developer/real estate industry that has been driving the corruption bus in Hoboken for decades - isn't developer corruption the reason Cammarano (the former mayor) ended up serving time in prison? Yes, I believe so. Good citizens of Hoboken, to defend our friends and neighbors and protect the stability of our community, we all must go to the polls on election day and VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2.
HobRebeccaL
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October 11, 2012
The corruption was on the part of developers and city officials not citizens working on behalf of Hoboken's residents. Maybe if you were one of those residents you would know that. There was nothing wrong with our town's practice of rent control but then you obviously subscribe to the principle that if you state a lie often enough and loudly enough people will start to believe it.

Rent control in Hoboken is the only reason Hoboken still has a good number of middle class residents. The law has always allowed landlords to recoup on improving their property and to raise the rents if landlords weren't making a good return on their investment. These landlords bought their building knowing that they were governed by rent control yet that hasn't prevented the the market for the sale of those buildings from being strong.

The top landlords who support your organization have made hundred of millions off of them and want to make even more. Perhaps they hope that when taxes in this town are reevaluated the older buildings taxes will be raised so high that the owners will be forced to sell out cheaply to them so that they can tear down these buildings and put up large new ones in their place. Buildings with parking and health clubs that wealthier tenants demand? I wouldn't be surprised if pushing out small time landlords is the next plan here.
ronsimoncini
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October 10, 2012
i think the debate here has become about personalities and not issues.

all the name calling and the threats and the underhanded mischaracterization of our statements reveal the most important fact about the radical tenant activist position: it has no basis in fact or policy.

does the "open minded" writer of this letter have anything substantive to say? no -- she points to events that happened 32 years when Hoboken had not even adopted rent control.

to be sure, the effort we have made to reform rent control in Hoboken over the last several years have not resulted in any credible claim of any harm to any tenant. And yet rent control is causing a lot of harm to Hoboken property owners and all residents every day.

there have been hundreds of articles written about the destructive nature of rent control and its failure to provide low rents for people who need them. in new jersey its just another political vehicle to secure votes for cynical politicians and in Hoboken we are seeing the WORST performance of any administration or rent leveling office or rent leveling board.

it needs to be fixed. the council tried but it failed. now the voters get their chance.
TommyLover
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October 11, 2012
Little thing: Hoboken had rent control 32 years ago.
CherryTree
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October 11, 2012
This guy can't stop twisting and misrepresenting and he stands in front of the city council and says he never lied. He is truly delusional (or paid very very well to misrepresent.) IMAGINE suggesting that during the Hoboken fires there was no rent control and no financial motive to get those tenants' out!
roseo
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October 08, 2012
Mr. Gormally,

You seem to have misunderstood both the intent & content of my letter. I do not support the Hoboken Housing Improvement Initiative & if I were you, I would leave Gandhi out of the conversation. True that you are both spinners but in different contexts. I can not see him supporting this type of initiative that will have a profoundly negative effect on this great community.//roseo
Cxgormally
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October 08, 2012
Rose---thanks for your support of the Hoboken Housing Improvement Initiative. I think you are mistaken in some of your facts. There is no gag order or anything else that prevents City Council members from discussing or voting upon the Initiative question. In fact, that is what the law provides them with an opportunity to do. As usual haowever they do not have the courage to discuss the issue and would rather waste taxpayer money on lawsuits to try to stop the question from being put on the ballot. This is nothing but normal for a council that is better at pandering to radicalized tenant advocates than implementing sound policy for the City.

I find it interesting that you cited Ghandi in your comments. Did you know that India has been having the idnetical problem with rent control that is being experienced in New Jersey? There has been a huge debate going on there to eleiminate rent control becasue of the devastating effects that it has on the quality of housing in India. You may want to look at http://www.niua.org/publications/working_papers/paper_rent control laws_satvik.pdf which is an interesting review of the issue there.

Please dont be mislead by tenant groups that want to cling onto antiquated and unfair rent control only because they cannot justify the current ordinance with sound reasons.

Charle Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC
TommyLover
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October 08, 2012
Uh, did you read the same letter I did? Because she doesn't sound supportive of your phony and misleading anti-rent control initiative.

You and the little bald troll give the party line away this week: "radicalized tenant advocates". That's what you conservative, republican, right-wing, anti-working class, 1% status quo lovers always do when people power starts to scare you: you demonize the movement.

BTW, she spelled Gandhi correctly, jerk.

CHUCKIE G LOSES HIS LAWSUIT TO FORCE THE CITY OF HOBOKEN TO PAY HIM ONE MILLION DOLLARS FOR A WEAK CLASS ACTION SUIT HE WOUND UP DROPPING. Yes, this shanty irish piece of garbage wanted the tax payers of Hoboken to pay him $1 million for his "FEES" for a lawsuit that never happened. They should rename themselves "mile square tax-payers pay big bucks to our mercenary lawyer and bald mouthpiece association"

Have another drink, Chuck.