Last November, Hoboken residents narrowly voted down a public referendum that would have removed rent control from some units in town and temporarily removed it in others. However, on Monday, Feb. 11, Hudson County Superior Court Judge Christine Farrington vacated the election, meaning residents may have to re-vote.
Landlord and property owner advocate group Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA) sought to decontrol units in Hoboken, some permanently, and some temporarily, upon voluntary vacancy. MSTA successfully got the measure added to the November ballot via petition signatures. But a tenant advocacy group, Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA), fought the measure vehemently in the months preceding the election. The final vote count came to 8,248-8,196 in favor of keeping rent control.
MSTA and representing attorney Charles Gormally claimed that various voting difficulties due to Hurricane Sandy made the vote unfair.
Ron Simoncini of MSTA said Friday, “Without question we respect what the lt. governor’s objectives were [in trying to help displaced voters], but in the implementation, we feel motives were disenfranchised.”
According to Simoncini, voters were told they could vote in other towns due to the storm, but of course, in other towns the public questions for Hoboken were not on the ballots.
Simonicini said that three other causes of action that MSTA felt were “equally as weighty” never got heard by the judge.
“We believe people would have attempted to or voted our way, but rules were being made two days before the election and then were not implemented correctly,” he said.
Simoncini hopes to re-vote within 60 days, but the vote may have to wait until next November.
Mary Ondrejka of HFHA said Thursday, “This is not about Mr. Gormally’s concern for the so-called disenfranchised 114 provisional voters; this is about getting another chance at eliminating rent control in Hoboken because his clients lost in last November’s election.”
hoboken rent control