Do you understand ballot question on rent control?
City, taxpayers’ group, and activists work on interpretative statement
by Amanda Palasciano
Reporter staff writer
Sep 30, 2012 | 5265 views | 19 19 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FOR RENT – Rent control apartments in Hoboken could potentially be “decontrolled.”
view slideshow (2 images)

Hoboken residents are being asked to vote this November on several public questions that may have a great impact on their lives. But some believe a question that will remove rent control for certain apartments in town is written in a confusing way on the ballot.

The proposed change will allow property owners to remove any building in town from rent control once a current tenant moves out. In addition, for buildings with four or fewer units, those units will never have to fall under rent control again. For other buildings, the units will go back under rent control once a new tenant is paying the new rent.

Right now, many buildings in Hoboken built before 1987 fall under the city’s 1973 Rent Control ordinance, which limits increases to a few percent per year, with some exceptions.

However, the beginning wording on the question set to go to the ballot seems to indicate that a “yes” vote keeps rent control as it is, when in fact, it would change it.

The decontrolling of these units has been pursued by a group of property owners in town, the Mile Square Taxpayers’ Association. The decontrolling is opposed by a Hoboken activist group, the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA), who believes the change will phase out rent control and result in longtime tenants being pushed to leave.

When asked last week, Mayor Dawn Zimmer declined to take a side. But she has said that the language on the ballot should be clarified.

After various court hearings last week, it was determined that the language will stay as it is, but will be accompanied by an “interpretive statement” on which the city, the activists, and the property owners have agreed.

A little history

The public question on the Nov. 6 ballot has been making a lot of noise in Hoboken. The question was first deemed misleading and unclear by many local tenant advocates, namely the HFHA. But an attempted re-wording of the question was twice defeated during a Sept. 14 hearing in Hudson County Superior Court, 595 Newark Ave. and in a follow up attempt in the same court on Sept. 17.

Ultimately, all three sides were finally able to put their heads together after dismissal and agree on the interpretive statement, a compromise that took only 20 minutes.

The hearing no one heard about

Cheryl Fallick, who sits on the city’s Rent Leveling Board and is a member of the HFHA, says that tenant activists “beat their drum loud enough” to cause the city to intervene.

A complaint was filed on behalf of the Hoboken city clerk on Sept. 10 that proposed an all new ballot question and that the printing of ballots be stopped.

Fallick, and her attorney Flavio Komuves, requested multiple times to be notified of the hearing date.

However, when the matter was heard in Superior Court in Jersey City on Sept. 14, Fallick was not notified. She wasn’t the only one.

Fallick’s attorney was finally contacted by the plaintiff’s attorney Mark Peck saying the matter was dismissed after the hearing was over, she said. Peck did not return a call to the Reporter.

Mayor Zimmer said Friday, “It is very unfortunate that there was a miscommunication and that [HFHA] couldn’t be there.”

Even the judge is confused

MSTA released a press statement on Sept. 14 that said the city of Hoboken’s attempt to change the ballot wording was rejected by Superior Court Judge Hector Velazquez. But Fallick said the HFHA was told the hearing was dismissed, not lost.

Then it got even more confusing.

Both the MSTA and the HFHA were told that City Clerk Jim Farina (who originally filed the complaint) answered “no” when asked by a judge if he thought the ballot question should be changed.

Ultimately, Farina’s denial on the stand is why the judge dismissed the city’s attempt to substitute language, according to email correspondence from Peck to Komuves.

Farina said last week, “At that point, the judge was confused.”

“I thought I had the authority to word the question,” Farina further explained. “The people that filed disagreed, and the judge asked how it was done in the past. It then made sense to have the committee that filed the petition and those who objected sit down and agree upon the wording.”

Farina does not feel he reneged on his initial request to reword the question.

“I don’t care ‘yes, no, or maybe,” Farina said. “We wanted to get it right.”

The interpretation

An interpretive statement to accompany the ballot question was finally created by the parties involved, at the direction of the judge.

“This was not the best result, but it was a good result,” Zimmer said Friday. “Ultimately all parties agreed on the interpretive statement.”

Zimmer said Friday that “she was not taking sides but did want to make certain that both sides were playing fair.”

The statement is four paragraphs long and reads, in part, “If you vote ‘YES’ the above changes to the City of Hoboken’s Rent Control Ordinance shall take place and would affect all rent controlled property when the current tenant voluntarily vacates or is evicted from a rent controlled apartment unit or condominium unit. If you vote ‘NO’ the above changes to the City of Hoboken’s Rent Control Ordinance will NOT take place.”

Amanda Palasciano may be reached at amandap@hudsonreporter.com.

Comments
(19)
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TommyLover
|
October 04, 2012
Charles X. Gormally just lost a half a million dollars that he hoped to squeeze out of Hoboken tax-payers for a anti-tenant lawsuit he dropped.

A big thank you to tenant lawyer Cathy Cardillo who worked long and hard on this case for NOTHING.

In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz: ha-ha.

Cxgormally
|
October 08, 2012
Tommylover

Sorry to disappoint you but you are misinformed....again.

The Court determined that the Class Action lawsuit will continue against the City and found that even though Z-88 amendment helped landlords with future rent calculations, the unconsititutional enforcement of the Rent Control Ordinance for 25 years must still be redressed by the lawsuit. The lawsuit continues because the city still has not corrected its errors.

As for tenant attorney efforts (in league with the paid City attorneys who have received HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS to defend this defenseless ordinance) she has cost the city and landlords countless taxpayer dollars while personally profitting from this law.

Perhaps she will take up the cause in Portugal which recently abandoned its rent control ordinance as counterproductive and ineffective in favor of free market rents!

Learn the facts and support fair rent control by voting in favor of Question #2.
CherryTree
|
October 11, 2012
spin spin, twist twist, Mr. Gormally is misrepresenting things again...AND gearing up to cost the taxpayers' more money while he's at it. You are quoted on another site as saying the ruling was 'disappointing.' Own it, Mr. Gormally - you lost. But, you are over here spinning and lying again. And you deserved to loose, but now you are going for another round. With articles everywhere informing the readers that YOU LOST, you are over here saying that you didn't. Are you saying the Mayor of Hoboken was lying in her press release informing the citizens that Hoboken won? Oh, and by the way, you already LOST the case that Z88 should be administered retro-actively, but you'll try again. Imagine, implementing a law and some attorney comes along and sues the city not once, but twice, saying that law needs to apply to a time before it existed. Leave the taxpayers of Hoboken alone.

Good citizens of Hoboken, go to the polls on Nov. 6 and Vote NO on Hoboken Public Question #2; tell these locusts to get out of our town....for good!
gigida
|
October 01, 2012
Please ignore these terror mongers. If no tenants will be harassed out, why did they make the bar so low for proving that a tenant leaves voluntarily?

These are very powerful people (not just Gormally and Simoncini, who are simply hired; but the very rich real estate interests behind them). They have no interest in protecting the rights of current tenants or they would have put some teeth into the language protecting current tenants from harassment. (And, MSTA could further have pledged to bond and insure against ANY tenant being harassed out of their apartment in Hoboken.)

I wanted to believe these people are honest and well meaning, but they stretch the truth wherever they can to try and create holes to leap through to reach their end (maximum profit for their employers; the large landlords and developers of Hoboken).

Please vote No on Hoboken's Public Question #2.

Thank you.

Cxgormally
|
October 01, 2012
Terror mongers gigida???? Really?

You fail to understand that unless a landlord is responsive to their tenants, maintains an efficient operation, and stays in line with market conditions, a landlord will be a failure. There is a vital symbiotic relationship between landlord and tenant that you just chose to ignore. Resenting a landlord because they are in business is just a silly attempt at trying to fuel class warfare over this sane proposal. ADDRESS THE MERITS AND STOP THE NAME CALLING.
Cxgormally
|
October 01, 2012
The level of discourse on this site is an embarassment. My initial post questioned the lack of a complete and accurate story on this important property rights issue, and in return the responding posts are filled with outright misinformation and personal attacks. Lets stick to some important facts rather than decend into name calling and petty insults.

1) FEAR OF EVICTION

While this makes a catchy T-shirt it is wrong to suggest this proposal will allow property owners to evict tenants. Rent control laws do not protect the right of tenants to continue to reside in their apartments. New Jersey state statutes provide that tenants have a virtual life time tenancy and are entitled to stay as long as they desire. They are subject to eviction only if they do not pay rent or otherwise violate the terms of their lease. I would urge anyone who has any doubt about this to visit the landlord/tenant court in Jersey City and witness how this works. IF A OWNER LIVES IN A PROPERTY WITH NO MORE THAN TWO UNITS AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL, the same state law gives the owner more conrol over their property. The logic behind this is that an owner living under the same roof as their tenant in a small (less than two rental units) should be able to control their property more than a property owner who does not live in the property. However if the owner does not live in the property, the tenat has a right to stay in the property forever. Please don't distort this fact just to gin up fear of eviction.

2) FEAR OF HARRASSMENT

Writers here have urged that the proposal should not be adopted because certain landlords might violate the law and harrass a tenant to leave a below market unit so they can re rent the property at a higher rent. It violates both state law and the local rent control law for a landlord to harrrass a tenant out of the property. Even if the landlord employes indirect harrassment by reducing services, it violates the law. State law allows tenants to withhold rent payments otherwise due if a landlord reduces services or does not maintain a habitable environemnt for the tenant. In fact, most tenants and landlords are law abiding and respectful of the contractual and legal relationship that they have. Landlords indeed operate to make a profit (which some here seem to think is evil) and therefore have every reason to remain compliant with the law. The proposed ordinance also penalizes any owner who harrasses a tenant and deprives the owner of vacancy decontrol if that happens.

3) LAWSUITS

There is much misinformation in these postings about litigation involving the rent control issue. Here are the facts. In late 2009 a Superior Court Judge decided a case in which one owner challanged the way in which the rent control ordinance has been administered over the past 25 years. The owner had settled a claim from a tenant who moved into the building 14 years earlier, filed a rent claim with the board, withdrew the claim, and refiled it after living in the property for 14 years. Because the way legal rents were calculated was subject to wide variation over the years and done without regard to the actual law, the judge declared that the ordinance was being applied in an UNCONSTITUTIONAL manner.

Based on this finding, and the refusal of the City to correct the problems cited by the court, I filed a Class Action lawsuit on behalf of all landlords. The City and the tenant association (represented by an attorney who specializes in suing landlords in Hoboken) repeatedly tried to have the case thrown out, and each attempt was denied by the court. Finally, as a result of the pressure of the Class Action suit, the City enacted an amendment to the ordinance that addresssed the issue raised in the lawsuit. Under state law, if the class action was the reason that the law was changed, the class can apply for an award of legal fees. That part of the case is still pending.

After the law was amended, tenant advocates circulated a referendum petition to have it repealed. The City rejected the referendum and was sued by the tenant advocates. The Court ultimately ruled that the issue should go on the ballot (where it was rejected by the voters) and the TENANTS REQUESTED NEARLY $100,000 IN ATTORNEY FEES FROM THE CITY. The Court awarded the tenants attorney fees and the City filed an appeal. That case is still pending. It is wrong to suggest that landlords or MSTA are causing the city to spend alot in attorney fees. The reason the taxpayers are getting slammed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses (both their own and others) is that they do not properly administer rent control. The proposal if adopted will end this cycle of unproductive and unnecessary litigation.

4) FEAR OF LOSING RENT CONTROL

The proposal could not be clearer that every rent controlled tenant continues to recieve the benefits of rent control for as long as they stay in the property. It is important to know that Hoboken is one of few communities that controls rents being charged in intividual condo units and even single family homes!. Most of the world has realized that rent control does not create affordable housing and in fact contriutes to the general decline in the quantity and quality of housing. Places as diverse as Cambridge MA to Morristown, NJ have embraced a move to market as a way to improve the housing stock. Even our own state legislature recognized that in order to create an environment for new multifamily properties, they would be exempt from rent control. I suppose the tenant writers here think that Hoboken would be better off without the thousands of new units built by "greedy" developers because of this exemption form rent control, however the City would not be nearly as vibrant without this development. This proposal is not the end of rent contol. In fact, this type of long needed change will protect tenants from year to year rent increases and insure the survival of rent control in Hoboken.

This is not a simple issue but it is an important one. Property owners must take this opportunity to take control of their property back from the City administration---a group that cannot seem to stop pandering to petty political perceptions of radicalized tenants. The city is costing the taxpayers needless expense and continues an environment that discourages owners from investing in improvements to their properties. AT the same time, the proposal recognizes that if you moved in under the protectio of rent control, that should contiue without changing. This is fair to both tenants and landlords.

See --- Mssrs Anderson, Collier et als----it is possible to do this without insults! Lets see if you can do it---but stick to the facts.

Charles X. Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC
StanCollier
|
October 01, 2012
"ronsimoncini" says:

> i think the key to this is the lack of credibility

"Lack of credibility"? -- But you've cited nothing that lacks credibility. Had I seen a list of statements and their persuasive rebuttals above this line, it might have some credibility.

> of the extreme tenant activists

As with your good friend Mr. Gormally, your need to use the word "extreme" to describe tenants derives from the fact that you yourself are the extremist.

Your entire operation consists of nothing but destroying communities, eviscerating them of anyone who doesn't earn a six-figure salary.

But of course, as you've stated over and over (and OVER), Hoboken already consists of nothing but rich wall street yuppies, so why not just gouge the living bejesus out of everyone in sight? Come on! They won't even know the difference!

> are they shrill? are they loud?

(You'll have to forgive Mr. Simoncini: he's a man of privilege who can't be bothered to use correct capitalization. Or, perhaps he doesn't know how.)

Mr. Simoncini you have no business accusing others of being "shrill" or "loud." Have you ever once missed an opportunity to harangue, browbeat and bully the City Council at its meetings? No, you have not. You have perfect attendance at the Council meetings of a town that YOU DO NOT LIVE IN and do not belong in.

> are they responsible for the manipulations of

> the rent leveling law that have led to massive

> legal expenses for the city?

Readers, beware again the tactic of accusing others of the precise thing that MSTA itself has done: MSTA, the landlords' lobbying group, has bullied the city for several years now with an endless series of costly lawsuits.

But Mr. Simoncini here CONSTANTLY -- over and over again -- refers to these lawsuits as if he and MSTA have nothing to do with them; as if they've fallen from the sky. You know the old saw about repeating a lie often enough? Well, Mr. Simoncini gives new meaning to the concept of a broken record.

The Hoboken Rent Control Ordinance is a set of laws that have been in place for three decades. That is until Mr. Simoncini and his co-conspirator Mr. Gormally started suing the city like tantrum-throwing five-year-olds who don't get their way.

> do they make outrageous accusations with no basis in fact?

I don't think I have to tell readers that Mr. Simoncini has not given a single example of an "outrageous accusation with no basis in fact."

The readers can see that for themselves, Mr. S. That doesn't make you look so good.

> do they lose every lawsuit?

Notice that this man has no shame when it comes to lying outright.

The tenants' group Hoboken Fair Housing Association has been involved in exactly two lawsuits.

The first was to have the city obey the New Jersey Referendum laws when the clerk tried to refuse certification of HFHA's petition signatures. HFHA prevailed in that action.

The second was when Mr. Gormally, MSTA's lawyer, named the tenants' Committee of Petitioners personally (along with the city) after he lost an action against the city but for which he was still trying to collect his fees!

> did they lose the last election

The outcome of the last election was the result of voter confusion over a long and complicated, deliberately misleading Public Question. A tried-and-true method of -- to use Mr. Simoncini's word -- manipulation. And that's exactly what they're banking on for this year's election.

> they are opposing legislation that helps

> the city's fiscal health

Sure, in the sense that MSTA will stop suing the city when it gets what it wants.

And let's be clear about what it wants: it wants NO LIMITS on gouging tenants. NONE. This is the real world, folks, where moneyed piranha eat the rest of us for lunch. We're just gas for their SUVs. And their boats.

> and that will bring improvements to properties

In fact, evidence available for post-rent-control towns and cities has shown that landlords have no incentive to improve their properties once they know they can charge whatever they want. Landlords love to call this "Market" rent, as if that meaningless term gives justification to their greed.

> and no reduction in protections to anyone who lives here now

I feel bad for you Mr. Simoncini that you make it so easy to knock down your soggy-wet straw-man arguments.

Because of all of your soggy, stinking lies, this last lie is the soggiest, the flimsiest.

I could easily demolish this completely pathetic claim, but I believe Mr. Anderson has already done so.

I will refer readers to that comment rather than waste anymore time with someone as intellectually and morally bankrupt as yourself.

ronsimoncini
|
October 01, 2012
you can post your comments twice. you can snidely attack people with opposing views personally. you can ignore the record of your senseless policies that prevent progress (and recently have begun to -- finally -- be seen for their ignorant politics and lose sway).

but your positions have an evident lack integrity and are contradicted by fact. there are no credible cases of harassment by owners looking to decontrol units because it is a serious crime with consequences that include jail time. no property owner is going to harass a tenant out of a unit for a rent increase when they can already get vacancy decontrol of 25%. and vacant apartments are renovated and improved when they can generate greater rental revenue.

the issue deserves honest debate, but the extremist tenant activists only bring fear mongering and character assassination.
StanCollier
|
October 01, 2012
"ronsimoncini" says:

> i think the key to this is the lack of credibility

"Lack of credibility"? -- But you've cited nothing that lacks credibility. Had I seen a list of statements and their persuasive rebuttals above this line, it might have some credibility.

> of the extreme tenant activists

As with your good friend Mr. Gormally, your need to use the word "extreme" to describe tenants derives from the fact that you yourself are the extremist.

Your entire operation consists of nothing but destroying communities, eviscerating them of anyone who doesn't earn a six-figure salary.

But of course, as you've stated over and over (and OVER), Hoboken already consists of nothing but rich wall street yuppies, so why not just gouge the living bejesus out of everyone in sight? Come on! They won't even know the difference!

> are they shrill? are they loud?

(You'll have to forgive Mr. Simoncini: he's a man of privilege who can't be bothered to use correct capitalization. Or, perhaps he doesn't know how.)

Mr. Simoncini you have no business accusing others of being "shrill" or "loud." Have you ever once missed an opportunity to harangue, browbeat and bully the City Council at its meetings? No, you have not. You have perfect attendance at the Council meetings of a town that YOU DO NOT LIVE IN and do not belong in.

> are they responsible for the manipulations of

> the rent leveling law that have led to massive

> legal expenses for the city?

Readers, beware again the tactic of accusing others of the precise thing that MSTA itself has done: MSTA, the landlords' lobbying group, has bullied the city for several years now with an endless series of costly lawsuits.

But Mr. Simoncini here CONSTANTLY -- over and over again -- refers to these lawsuits as if he and MSTA have nothing to do with them; as if they've fallen from the sky. You know the old saw about repeating a lie often enough? Well, Mr. Simoncini gives new meaning to the concept of a broken record.

The Hoboken Rent Control Ordinance is a set of laws that have been in place for three decades. That is until Mr. Simoncini and his co-conspirator Mr. Gormally started suing the city like tantrum-throwing five-year-olds who don't get their way.

> do they make outrageous accusations with no basis in fact?

I don't think I have to tell readers that Mr. Simoncini has not given a single example of an "outrageous accusation with no basis in fact."

The readers can see that for themselves, Mr. S. That doesn't make you look so good.

> do they lose every lawsuit?

Notice that this man has no shame when it comes to lying outright.

The tenants' group Hoboken Fair Housing Association has been involved in exactly two lawsuits.

The first was to have the city obey the New Jersey Referendum laws when the clerk tried to refuse certification of HFHA's petition signatures. HFHA prevailed in that action.

The second was when Mr. Gormally, MSTA's lawyer, named the tenants' Committee of Petitioners personally (along with the city) after he lost an action against the city but for which he was still trying to collect his fees!

> did they lose the last election

The outcome of the last election was the result of voter confusion over a long and complicated, deliberately misleading Public Question. A tried-and-true method of -- to use Mr. Simoncini's word -- manipulation. And that's exactly what they're banking on for this year's election.

> they are opposing legislation that helps

> the city's fiscal health

Sure, in the sense that MSTA will stop suing the city when it gets what it wants.

And let's be clear about what it wants: it wants NO LIMITS on gouging tenants. NONE. This is the real world, folks, where moneyed piranha eat the rest of us for lunch. We're just gas for their SUVs. And their boats.

> and that will bring improvements to properties

In fact, evidence available for post-rent-control towns and cities has shown that landlords have no incentive to improve their properties once they know they can charge whatever they want. Landlords love to call this "Market" rent, as if that meaningless term gives justification to their greed.

> and no reduction in protections to anyone who lives here now

I feel bad for you Mr. Simoncini that you make it so easy to knock down your soggy-wet straw-man arguments.

Because of all of your soggy, stinking lies, this last lie is the soggiest, the flimsiest.

I could easily demolish this completely pathetic claim, but I believe Mr. Anderson has already done so.

I will refer readers to that comment rather than waste anymore time with someone as intellectually and morally bankrupt as yourself.

ronsimoncini
|
September 30, 2012
i think the key to this is the lack of credibility of the extreme tenant activists that has been revealed over the last several years. are they shrill? yes. are they loud? yes. are they responsible for the manipulations of the rent leveling law that have led to massive legal expenses for the city? yes. do they make outrageous accusations with no basis in fact? yes. do they lose every lawsuit? yes. did they lose the last election 68-32, when they were making the same claims they make now? yes.

the fact is, they are opposing legislation that helps the city's fiscal health and that will bring improvements to properties at no cost and no reduction in protections to anyone who lives here now.

the voters are going to vote for that, because its fair.
TommyLover
|
October 03, 2012
Are you bald? Yes. Are you obnoxious? Yes. Do you lie everytime you open your mouth? Yes. Are you a libertarian, free-marketer, republican, conservative who disdains working people? Yes.
HobRebeccaL
|
September 30, 2012
The radical anti-rent control initiative takes away protections for tenants who are evicted because they live in a landlord occupied three unit or less building or are post-conversion tenants in condos. Under the current law landlords in those situations may evict the tenant at the end of their lease for no reason whatsoever but the landlord cannot get the 25% raise in rent that the law allows when tenants voluntarily leave. Under the proposed initiative when landlords in those cases evict tenants they can raise the rent to whatever they please.

As for other tenants if they are harassed out under the proposed new law the only penalty is that the landlord must wait one years to raise the rents sky high. AND first under those radical changes tenants must go to court and prove that they were harassed. Something many people cannot afford and are loathe to do.

Anyone who thinks that landlords in Hoboken won't harass existing tenants should google Bayonne's current situation where tenants supposedly protected by grandfather clauses are having a terrible time.

JerryAnderson
|
September 30, 2012
Mr. Gormally, you are a fat, greedy, entitlement-minded tory republican fascist, and nobody but your landlord clients believes anything you say.

Affordable-housing advocates in this town are not engaging in "hysterics" or "fear mongering" -- they're telling the truth, and that's something you've never known how to do, unless it's the truth of your greed for exactly a half-million in attorney's fees that you so desperately now seek in one of your endless court aggressions.

What does anyone's name have to do with their bias? Exactly nothing. The idea that your "clients" have been victimized by Rent Control would be laughable if it weren't, in reality, an obscenity when compared with the massive, wholesale victimization of poor and middle-class non-landed-gentry tenants who will have nowhere to go should your ugly agenda get foisted on Hoboken.

Your use of the word "radical" is a cherished but outmoded republican buzzword tactic that only your fellow Fox News viewers will fall for.

I think you use it because you need to deflect from yourself the fact that it's your own agenda that is the radical one.

You and your sidekick propagandist Mr. Simoncini go from town to town all over the state honing your methods of destroying affordable housing, turning communities into jungle playgrounds for the predatory rich.

So the city panders to "radical elements." Is that why the City Clerk signed a sworn statement saying your ballot-question language was deliberately misleading, then when he got on the stand, reversed himself with a "gee whiz, that language looks just fine to me!"?

Yes, that's pandering to radical elements -- to your radical elements. And they are radical, let me remind you, because there will be displacement on an order of magnitude heretofore unseen in Hoboken if your "initiative" manages to see the light of day.

In your mind, "nothing is unclear about the question" because you know that all those voters who will read ONLY the first line or so of that public ballot question will vote exactly the way you want them to because you have so cynically and undemocratically tricked them into doing so with unclear, non-direct, confusing language that seems at its beginning to say one thing when it is really saying quite another.

(And voters, know that we're talking about "HOBOKEN PUBLIC QUESTION #2". You must VOTE "NO" on this question on election day to SAVE Rent Control in Hoboken.)

Your final question, Mr. Gormally, actually makes me embarrassed for you: "how any rent controlled tenant is impacted adversely by the proposal"?

I'll remind you how. "Remind you" because there is no question whatsoever that you already know how tenants will be adversely impacted.

It's called landlord harassment of tenants, Mr. counselor. And, though I doubt you have ever been on the receiving end of it, I assure you that it is a very real phenomenon. What's that, Mr. Gormally? You say you didn't see YESTERDAY's

News 12 New Jersey story about harassment in Bayonne? (Guess what town obliterated its rent controls last year?)

Well, here it is. Watch it, Mr. Gormally, because you might learn something:

http://ur1.ca/afs7d

Even some landlords who really don't want to do this will be unable to resist finding ways to get previous tenants OUT.

Because they will literally have a pot of gold sitting before them, but for that already-in-place, rent-controlled tenant that's in the way.

There is no doubt that this will become the most important thing for many (not all, but many) landlords: get rid of the tenants standing between a landlord and his unlimited, no-restrictions, the-sky's-the-limit rents that he can now charge his NEW tenants.

Charles Gormlly, you are nothing but a disgrace to the legal profession. You are a chronic liar, a legalistic cheater and distorter, and you leave enormous destruction in your wake where ever you go.

Get the hell out of Hoboken.
Cxgormally
|
September 30, 2012
Tommy lover and cherry tree!

Your hysterics and fear mongering continue. Have the courage of your conviction and post your real name so YOUR bias can be disclosed. I make no apology for representing a certified class of all Hoboken landlords who have been victimized by unconstitutional rent control. If that is the status quo you want to preserve, I am against that.

It is wrong for the administration to pander to these radical elements at taxpayer expense. It is especially wrong when the City was wrong on the issue itself. Nothing is unclear about the question.

Perhaps you can illuminate the post by showing how any rent controlled tenant is impacted adversely by the proposal. You cannot because they are not!

CherryTree
|
September 30, 2012
Oh no, Mr. Gormally, the only thing continuing is your dishonesty. Even your post right here is dishonest. Rent control has been declared constitutional all the way up to the Supreme Court, but you post that it is not. Only in your dreams, Mr. Gormally is rent control unconstitutional. Only in your propaganda are landlords victims.

We speak the truth. Take a look at the recent story on news 12 about Bayonne where a law like the one MSTA is proposing was passed. It details how tenants are being harassed out of their homes right now. That is Hoboken's future and MSTA's fantasy.

Remember Mr. Gormally, tenants in owner/occupied buildings with 3 units or less can be evicted at the end of their lease; tenants on a month to month lease can be evicted in 30 days. But you know that. You know how easily current tenants can be evicted. If that's not an adverse impact, I don't know what is.

TommyLover
|
September 30, 2012
Are you denying that you are suing the city for $500K for your personal expenses for a class action lawsuit you threatened to bring but never did?

Well, of course you're printing your name - you're paid to do this kind of thing. We're grass roots - we work because we believe in the issue and are committed to OUR community - not because someone is paying us.

Cxgormally
|
September 30, 2012
You really owe it to your readers to get the story right. Particularly when the story deals with an issue that can easily be distorted by misinformation. As the attorney representing the Committee of Petitioners who submitted the proposed change to the rent control ordinance and was directly involved in the court proceedings, I was surprised that you made no effort to contact me to formulate a balanced and complete story for the readers. Here is what you did not report.

Even though the Zimmer administration instituted this ligation at great expense to the taxpayers, claiming that the question was somehow unclear, the City Clerk (who is responsible for the issue) testified under oath that the the question was fine.

The interpretive statement was in fact suggested by the Committe of Petitioners not the city or HHA.

The question makes it clear that no rent controlled tenant is adversely affected by the proposal. The interpretive statement makes that even clearer.

Finally, I think you should have informed the readers that Ms. Fallick and her organization continued to fight against the question going on the ballot and tried (unsuccessfully) to get the appellate court to stop the question from going on the ballot.

If you had properly reported these facts, your readers may have rightly concluded that the politicians in Hoboken are more interested in petty politics by pandering to radical rent control advocates, than in adopting rational and fair rent control. This points to the importance of preserving the right of the citizens to petition the government for change when the politicians do not have the courage to do what is right.

Charles X. Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC

Attorney at Law
TommyLover
|
September 30, 2012
"Even though the Zimmer administration instituted this ligation at great expense to the taxpayers..."

This from a lawyer who is suing the city for over $500,000 in expenses for a class action lawsuit that was dropped. The litigation has dragged on for months and required hours of depositions from the Mayor and the city council, and has probably cost 10 times what the minor litigation mentioned above cost.

"The question makes it clear that no rent controlled tenant is adversely affected by the proposal." Give me a frigging break. The ballot question is asking: "Do you want to get rid of rent control?" Voting yes will give every unethical landlord (most of Gormally's clients) all the incentive they need to do whatever they can to get rid of their tenants.

Oh, and Farina's a liar too. But everyone already knows that, right?
CherryTree
|
September 30, 2012
Mr. Gormally is right that we don’t want to see any stories distorted by misinformation, which is exactly want the sponsoring organization, MSTA, of this dangerous initiative want: to deceive the public into thinking that a yes vote will maintain our rent control protections when the truth is, in order to protect our friends and neighbors who rent their homes the only way to vote is to VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2.

The reporter on the story contacted the city, representatives from MSTA and representatives from HFHA.

While there are some inaccuracies in the story, the fact that the ballot question language is confusing (actually disgracefully misleading) is mentioned and since the language was designed to be misleading by MSTA, it’s a good thing that this is made clear.

Now, on to Mr. Gormally’s so-called facts. First of all, the case was not at “great expense to the taxpayers,” it was actually ball parked at 20K max – a mere drop in the city’s overall budget in an attempt to ensure that Hoboken voters would not be mislead. The real ‘great expense’ to Hoboken’s taxpayers is Mr. Gormally’s law suit against the city claiming that he should get over 500K for his withdrawn bogus class action suit previously filed. Mind you, these monies, should he win, are for his own personal wallet, not any homeowner in town. Way to go, Mr. Gormally, convince (or should we say use) the Hoboken homeowners as a front, telling them that you will get them hundreds of thousands of dollars with a class action suit and subsequently try to collect over half a million dollars of their tax money all for yourself.

I find it laughable that you are now suggesting that it was the responsibility of the City Clerk to write that ballot language when your response to the order to show cause was that the developer/real estate lobbying group that sponsored this dangerous initiative were the ones that should have the authority to write the question and, regardless of what happened in the court room (and that won’t be clear until the transcript is available) Mr. Farina signed a verified complaint under oath that the language WAS misleading and confusing. Hopefully, when the transcript is released, what happened will be made clear. It’s also interesting that you suggest that the interpretive statement was, in fact, written by the Committee of Petitioners when the city’s attorney advised that he had written it. No matter, if need be, I’m sure the tenants have a copy of what MSTA proposed. More likely it is as misleading as the MSTA public question.

Bottom line, the case was never heard and no court ruled that the current language is clear and, of course, it isn’t.

The BIGGEST LIE in your comment is that you have the audacity to suggest that current tenants will not be adversely affected if this initiative passes. At your fundraiser you made it clear that MSTA has no concern for current residents and instead wants them pushed out to make room for tenants with six figure incomes. Oh the things you say behind closed doors when you think no one is listing versus the lies that you and your paid lobbyist say in public.

Every current tenant is in danger of losing their home if this initiative passes. It is very easy to legally evict tenants and that is exactly what will happen to them if this initiative passes. We Hoboken residents have to show these people that we don’t want them mucking up our town. We, the residents of Hoboken, must make it clear to these sinister forces that they need to get out of our town.

Citizens of Hoboken, don’t be fooled by this developer/real estate group. On November 6th go to the polls and VOTE NO on HOBOKEN PUBLIC QUESTION #2.