Defend renters and Democratic elections: Vote no again on Hoboken Public Question No.1!
Oct 27, 2013 | 2191 views | 6 6 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor: The following is an open letter to the citizens of Hoboken.

Citizens of Hoboken:

On the November 5 ballot will be Hoboken Public Question No. 1 (“HPQ1”), which asks the voters to approve an ordinance which will decontrol all rental units on vacancy, allowing landlords to charge new tenants whatever they want, and in effect it could encourage them to evict current tenants. If the yes vote wins, many renters will be forced out of their homes.

This may seem familiar to you since the exact same Hoboken Public Question (“HPQ2”) was on the ballot in November, 2012. More votes (16,444) were cast on HPQ2 than on any local question or for any local candidate in the 35 years I’ve lived in Hoboken. The no vote won by 52 votes: a majority of Hoboken’s citizens voted to defend renters by keeping their rent control protections. So why is the same question on the November 5 ballot?

The answer is very disturbing: after losing the election, the developer/real estate interests who put HPQ2 on the ballot went to court to overturn the election result, based on their claim that 114 provisional voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy were prevented from voting on HPQ2. Despite the fact that there is hard evidence (including “Affirmation Statements” attached to all provisional ballots) that proves that at most 36 of the 114 voters were disenfranchised Hoboken voters (which is not enough to reverse the 52 vote election victory, as required by law to overturn an election result), the election officials charged with defending the election and the presiding judge failed to look at the evidence, and the court overturned the HPQ2 election result, requiring a revote this November. Tenant leader Cheryl Fallick was denied the right to intervene in the lawsuit, so that the winning no vote had no representation in the lawsuit. Only after the court overturned the election was Fallick able to obtain the Affirmation Statements which showed that the 114 voter list was false evidence. She appealed the court’s wrongful ruling, but was denied the right to supplement the court record with the proof that the 114 voter list was false evidence, and the appeals court affirmed the overturning of the election!

Bottom line: a valid election result, representing the will of 16,444 voters, was overturned based on false evidence, and those charged with defending the election failed to scrutinize the evidence or to consider proof that it was false. A precedent has been set which allows those who lose an election and who have the money to go to court to overturn a valid democratic election result based on false evidence. Democratic elections have been undermined!

We now have no choice but to vote again to send a message that we will not allow a democratic election to be overturned. The HPQ1 ordinance will destroy rent control protections and force many tenants out of their homes. But no matter what you think about rent control or how you voted last November, we must send the message that the Democratic will of the voters must be respected by voting no on HPQ1 on November 5!

Daniel Tumpson

Comments
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RobinsReef
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October 28, 2013
I am voting for Mayor Zimmer but think she is wrong on the matter of rent control. How do you justify rent control on condos and 1-4 families when who gets to stay in these cheap apartments at the direct expense of the landlord, are not income tested? How do you justify taking money away from property owners and giving it to people who are not necessary low income earners?

When you look at property where the legal rents are well below market, the owners sell well below other similar properties where the rents are at market.

There is property on the south side, that will remain anonymous where the rents were below $1000 a piece for 2 bedrooms. The legal rents are ridiculously low and as recent as last year there was someone there making a 6 figure income paying $800/month in rent for a 2 bedroom. It wasn't in good shape but why in the world would or could the owner put any money into the property with that kind of rent?

Would the rent leveling board give the owner enough of an increase to make any voluntary improvement worthwhile? Why bother if all the landlord is going to get is the cost of the improvement spread over a super long time?

How can the Mayor support delaying change any further? Hoboken has been trying to change this law pretty much from the minute it went in. Why delay it?

The Council has been afraid in the past to change it. They are afraid to change it now. I believe 8 out of 9 Council members will vote yes in the booth but wont' say it publicly.

If she thinks it can be done better than how? Put the referendum through and then put in the supposed improvements. How many years to property owners have to wait? How long?

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Hoboken mayoral candidate debate is now on line
RobinsReef
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October 28, 2013
They won in court and in my opinion for legitimate reasons. I have never seen an election over turn but I have never seen a situation like this. The referendum passed by some 50 votes. There were 114 email ballots that did NOT have the question on it. Those people did NOT have the opportunity to cast their vote. To me, this is an extremely rare but legitimate situation where a revote was warranted. Gov. Christie put forward email ballots in what less than a week before the election? I understand why he did it. He needed to make sure that NJ participated in the national election. There were other items on the ballot where the number of email ballots could not have changed the outcome but with the RC question it could.

Cheryl Fallick is crying foul because that's all she's got. She provides no coherent argument why RC is good for Hoboken, no argument why it's justified today. She is just a get over who wants to continue to get over on her Landlord - sleep cheap at someone else's expense. She's the greedy one.

Vote Yes to the Referendum

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Hoboken mayoral candidate debate is now on line
CherryTree
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October 31, 2013
RR: Excuse me, but your opinion has nothing to do with facts and the facts demonstrate that the election was falsely overturned because the MSTA lawyers submitted false evidence to the courts. Those 114 voters (actually 109 because there were duplicates) by and large didn't even live in Hoboken according to the voters' OWN AFFIRMATION STATEMENTS ON ELECTION DAY. So you think elections should be overturned because people that didn't have a right to vote on a public question, didn't vote on it? By that logic, if Mayor Zimmer wins on election day and a bunch of people that live in Morristown or Old Bridge or Brooklyn don't have the opportunity to vote for or against her, that election need to be overturned? Because that's basically the logic you are putting forward.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say that "that's all she got" referring to Cheryl Fallick. Ms. Fallick was not a candidate so she herself, didn't get any votes and let us not forget that before the VBM ballots were counted, maintaining rent control led by 560 votes....hmmm....says a lot.

Either way, the attorneys in this case that submitted the false evidence to the court should be disbarred and the rest of us should all make sure that we go to the polls, join Dawn Zimmer and Ruben Ramos in voting NO on Hoboken Public Question #1.

RobinsReef
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October 28, 2013
Vote YES to the referendum and allow condos and one to 4 families out of this horribly managed ordinance.

1,000's of home owners relied on a rule put out by the Rent Leveling Board that said they could charge what ever they wanted when they bought a condo upon conversion that was either vacant or they were the Tenant at the time.

A recent court ruling (APRIL 2013) ruled that the RLB had NO RIGHT to put in and disseminate that rule putting 1,000s of unsuspecting home owners at risk with NO RECOURSE. AGAIN, the city governing as if it was the wild wild west have put people's savings at risk.

Get rid of this law now.. No more waiting... No more excuses.... No more politicians who say they are going to do something about it and then don't.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Vote yes on the rent control question
VoteNoAgain
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October 27, 2013
Protect the renters of Hoboken.
VoteNoAgain
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October 27, 2013
Save the protections of renters in Hoboken.