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BREAKING: Appellate Court rules new election for rent control question

Last November’s razor thin outcome on the rent control question, garnering over 16,000 votes is ordered back on the ballot this November by the NJ Appellate Court.

The ruling comes after a contentious appeal surrounding 114 voters out of town who filed they were not given an opportunity to vote on Ballot Question #2 on rent control changes.  Hoboken voters had the option of voting out of Hoboken provisionally but only email voters could vote on the ballot questions due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

The difference in the election was 52 votes in favor of the rent control advocates.  They contend that an examination of the actual 114 provisional ballots and the voters proves they won the election but the court has not allowed that evidence according to one rent control advocate.

Hoboken’s rent control election
is probably more intriguing then the movie.
The same ballot question is ordered back this November.

The ruling if not overturned on appeal by the NJ Supreme Court would mean that Hoboken voters will once again vote on the same rent control question this November.

Update:

Mile Square Taxpayers Association has issued a statement.  It’s printed in its entirety and MSV anticipates one from their opponents who fought against the ballot question last November.

MSTA announces:

COURT DENIES APPEAL ON HOBOKEN RENT CONTROL ELECTION
             
In a scathing indictment of the integrity of a cycle of
litigation brought by Hoboken Fair Housing Association, today the New Jersey
Appellate Division affirmed a Superior Court order to place a public question
on rent control on the November election ballot.
            
Summarizing a four-page decision that deconstructs every
contention made by HFHA and its named petitioner, Cheryl Fallick, the Court
wrote, “We find Fallick’s appellate contentions
without merit and, except as addressed herein, they do not warrant
discussion.”  The Court soundly rejected
Fallick’s claim that there was no legally competent evidence that 114 voters from Hoboken
actually cast provisional ballots outside of
Hoboken.  “The evidence on that point was
undisputed.  In fact, the 114 number was conceded by the Attorney
General, who vigorously defended the election results.”
          
  “Since The Hoboken Housing Improvement Initiative first
collected signatures to put rent control reform on the ballot in June 2012,
HFHA has brought 7 separate legal actions in an attempt to prevent voters from
voting to enact necessary reforms to rent control,” says Ron Simoncini,
executive director of Mile Square Taxpayers Association, which was represented
in the matter by Charles Gormally of Brach Eichler in Roseland.  “They have aligned themselves with a public
interest law firm, an attorney specializing in exploiting the misadministration
of the rent control law by the Hoboken rent leveling office to squeeze
settlements and judgments from landlords, and the City of Hoboken’s legal
department and special counsels. 
            
“And this in the face of a judicial decision that found
Hoboken’s rent control ordinance was unconstitutional as applied and a general
acknowledgement by public officials and residents that rent control in Hoboken
is broken.  Hoboken Fair Housing
Association will stop at nothing to protect its political relevance, misrepresenting
even court orders, when in fact not one existing resident in Hoboken will be
affected by the Amendment that will appear on the ballot.   
            
“HFHA’s cynical program included timing an appeal so that
it postponed a vote on the matter until the November 5th election
and could have deprived the voters of the right to vote entirely.   The support of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who named
a self-avowed rent control advocate to the Rent Leveling Board early in her
administration and has been turning a blind eye to the abuses inherent in such
an arrangement ever since, is especially troubling.  In the previous rent control election 8196
voters supported the Referendum to reform rent control and in the election
before that more than 68% of the voters supported a Council-adopted ordinance
to prevent legal abuses against property owners.  Rather than attempt to resolve problems with
the rent control ordinance, the Administration blindly supports HFHA
initiatives, ignoring libelous statements on its website and permitting erroneous
application of its rent control laws. 
HFHA has sued Hoboken on several occasions and still finds support in
the Administration.”
Why Hoboken Will Revote on Vacancy
Decontrol?
            
In an attempt to accommodate
voters who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy, the State announced it would
allow voters to vote at any polling place and assured them that they would be
able to vote on all of their local elections. 
However, Hoboken ballots were only available in Hoboken, so voters who
cast ballots outside of Hoboken were not able to vote on the local elections,
despite being told they could. The Vacancy Decontrol public question was
decided by just 52 votes, and because as many as 200 voters cast ballots that
did not offer the question, Superior Court Judge Christine Farrington
determined that voters were disenfranchised of a constitutional right and she
ordered a new election.

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