Hoboken mayoral candidate Ramos gives his opinion of Hoboken rent control referendum
Oct 31, 2013 | 3156 views | 5 5 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN – One of the biggest political issues in Hoboken right now is whether to decontrol certain rent controlled units in town when a current tenant moves out. A referendum on Tuesday's ballot would make the change. A landlords' group wants people to vote "Yes" on measure; tenant activists want people to vote "No."

So far, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has weighed in that she is against the change and supports a "No" vote. One of her opponents in Tuesday's mayoral election, Tim Occhipinti, has said he is for the change and thus supports a "Yes."

But the third candidate, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, has said only that he thinks a compromise should have been worked out so that the measure would not be on the ballot.

When pressed on Wednesday, Ramos said that -- like Zimmer -- he will vote "no" on the change.

The referendum, which will appear on the ballot as Hoboken Public Question #2, would permanently remove rent control from buildings with four units of housing or fewer when a current tenant moves out and add a one-time decontrol for buildings with five or more units.

The question has been the topic of heated debate between tenant advocates represented by the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA) and property owners and developers represented by the Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA). MSTA gathered enough signatures to have it placed on the ballot, and wrote the language that voters will read on Nov. 5, which is why Ramos said he’s voting against it.

“The wording is one-sided,” he said. “I think it needs more protections for current tenants.”

Ramos has said that better governing could have found a compromise between tenants and landlords long before a referendum was necessary.

“I like to bring all sides to the table and resolve things in a way that’s beneficial to everyone, and that’s what I would have done before this had to come to the point where it’s on the ballot,” he said.

However, it has been hard to make any changes to rent control over the years. Not long ago, the City Council formed a committee to consider some technical changes to the law. Ultimately, it took them more than two years of discussions and compromises to come up with something that got approved. – Dean DeChiaro

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November 02, 2013
Repairing rent control is long overdue and far to important to leave in the hands of weak kneed politicians.

Zimmer doesn't even know how disfunctional her administration of rent control has been. Under her administration condo owners who thought their units were exempt have now found out they are subject to rent control and that they are likely to be charging an illegal rent because they thought they were exempt. VOTING YES ON THE PUBLIC QUESTION CORRECTS THIS UNFAIRNESS.

Ramos has no courage to confront the problem. While he thinks it can be fixed, he offers no solutions. He also is flatly wrong about the protection of current tenants. VOTING YES ON THE QUESTION GUARANTEES THAT ALL EXISTING TENANTS IN HOBOKEN ARE PERMANENTLY COVERED BY THE RENT CONTROL LAW.

At least Tim O has the courage to support fixing the ordinance by VOTING YES ON THE PUBLIC QUESTION.

The dysfunctional government in Hoboken leaves city voters with the responsibility to legislate a solution to the rent control problem. It is costing the City millions in lost tax revenues, hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal expense to defend an unconstitutional ordinance, and is flatly unfair to small property owners and condo owners.

Voting YES on the question will address the major flaws while allowing all current tenants to remain protected by the best parts of the rent control ordinance.

Charles Gormally
October 31, 2013
I agree Ramos is not a complete sock puppet joke like Occipinti, but sorry anyone who has lived in this town for awhile is not just going to ignore ties of new 'independent' candidates to the figures of the corrupt bad old days. That only works with people who literally moved here yesterday (and have no curiosity who these backers are, or what Ramos' political history is). Zimmer is still the only viable alternative if you don't benefit from cash in brown paper bags flowing around City Hall.

And this campaign is pretty lifeless. It seems these guys actually realize they are going to lose, having divided the Old Guard vote, with the election being held in November and with the positive (worldwide, even) publicity Zimmer got out of Sandy.
October 31, 2013
Didn't Ruben say he'd vote yes on Rent Control at the Elks debate? The flim flam back and forth reminds this reader of his mentor, Mayor Roberts.

Hoboken's been there already. No thank you.
October 31, 2013
No Jamie, Ruben didn't say that at the debate. This is the very first time he's taken a position. He took no position last year when it was on the ballot and until this story he had taken no position this time around other than to say it's the mayor's fault he's in the uncomfortable position of having to take a position.

You are right to say that Hoboken's been there already and doesn't want to go back, which is why the voters will reject Ramos.

Still, Ruben, with all his flaws, would be a far better mayor than the Occhipinti/Cryan side show.

We all should thank our lucky stars that Hoboken has evolved to the point that we can say a resounding "no" to both these caricatures of elected officials.
October 31, 2013
Ruben Ramos honestly seems like a decent enough human being and one point i could have considered voting for him but his association with the Russo family and his links to Carmelo Garcia are just too risky as an educated voter to vote for someone like that...we do not want to go back to the old ways things were done in hoboken. things are moving forward with our city and our schools so it just does not make sense to vote for him. now if he ran against Tim O.'s council seat and I lived in that ward, I would vote for him as Ruben at least seems to have a mind of his own and is not a complete puppet of someone like beth mason.