Hoboken may have to vote on rent control…again
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.”
City to host Sandy recovery meetings
The City of Hoboken will host a community meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the Hoboken High School auditorium to provide important recovery information for the Hoboken community. A session for businesses will take place at 5 p.m. followed by a session for residents at 7 p.m.
Speakers will include Mayor Dawn Zimmer, representatives from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, mold remediation experts Innovative Decon Solutions, insurance advocates Price Law Group, and New Jersey Community Capital, a nonprofit which provides disaster recovery loans to small businesses.
Fourth Annual charity Chili Cook Off set
The fourth annual chili cook off will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Hoboken Elks Club. The event will feature chili and beer brewing contestants serving an experienced panel of judges in categories like Best Judged Chili Meat and Best Judged Chili Veggie.
Last year, Hoboken Volunteers raised $9,000 for Hopes CAP, Inc. with over 400 attendees at the event. Hoboken Volunteers will be supporting TRUE Mentors as their charity organization of choice this year. TRUE Mentors is a one-to-one mentoring program that matches children ages 7-17 with mentors in Hoboken.
“Each year, Hoboken Volunteers is honored to partner with outstanding non-profits in our community and this year is no different,” said founder and Councilman Tim Occhipinti. “We are proud to support TRUE Mentors, an organization that does so much for Hoboken’s youth.”
Hoboken Health Stop re-opens
Hoboken Health Stop, 2 Hudson Place, re-opened its doors after a long closure due to Hurricane Sandy on Monday, Feb. 4. A kickoff celebration was held on Tuesday, Feb 12. The health clinic had only been open for two months before Hurricane Sandy let in between 4 and 6 feet of water. “We had just started doing very well and attracting a lot of people after work,” said Corporate Director of Liberty Health Mark Rabson. The clinic, which is located across from the PATH train and Hoboken Terminal, provides special service from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday that is geared to people catching trains.
“We are not competing with local doctors,” said Rabson.
Director of Physician Services for Liberty Health Cheryl Cilento said that all of the doors, equipment, chairs and furniture had to be replaced.
“The refrigerator floated across the room and turned on its side,” said Cilento. “I worked with a restoration company out of Texas. It was the landlord’s responsibility to restore the clinic back to the way it was. Some money came from insurance, some of it was covered by FEMA.”
President and CEO Joseph Scott said, “We are thrilled to be open again. It is such a good service to the community. We offer a bunch of different specialists here during the day and the clinic by night.”
Hoboken Health Stop takes walk-ins but appointments can be made through HobokenHealthStop.com.
LibertyHealth also owns Jersey City Medical Center.
The Drum Den holding recital
The Drum Den, Hoboken’s full-service drum shop, will be holding a student recital for its drum students of all ages on Sunday, Feb. 24 at noon in the community room at Willie McBride’s, 616 Grand Street. The Drum Den, located in the Neumann Leather building, offers lessons, sales and repairs. Admission is $5 for adults, and free for students and children 12 and under. For more information, call (201) 683-8808.
Reading from Hoboken author Holly Metz Hoboken author Holly Metz will be reading from her new book “Killing the Poormaster” on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Hoboken Public Library, 500 Park Ave. “Killing the Poormaster” is a Depression-era story about an accused killer of the poormaster of Hoboken. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. To RSVP call (201) 420-2347.
Party with Purpose Winter Benefit
Party with Purpose will be celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Chandelier Room of the W Hotel, 225 River Street, on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 and appetizers and open bar are included. DJ Erik Floyd will be entertaining with a special performance by Vanity Belles and Skeery Jones from Z100 will be the special guest emcee. To date, Party with Purpose has given over $400,000 to various community causes. For tickets visit www.PartywithPurpose.org.