DeFusco blasts Mayor Bhalla for veto against allowing voters decide runoff elections

InsiderNJ reported a response to the latest veto by Mayor Ravi Bhalla on a referendum to allow the public to decide on bringing back runoffs.

DeFusco Blasts Mayor Bhalla’s Veto of Runoff Referendum Ordinance

DeFusco Blasts Mayor Bhalla’s Veto of Runoff Referendum Ordinance 
Hoboken, NJ – For the second time in recent months, Hoboken’s Mayor has vetoed an ordinance passed in a 7-2 vote by the City Council to allow residents to decide whether or not to re-institute runoff elections. Councilman Mike DeFusco is issuing the following statement reacting to Mayor Bhalla’s veto:
“It is disappointing to see Mayor Bhalla not just deny Hoboken residents the opportunity to have their voices heard in a public referendum on our voting rights, but to also see him spread misinformation and half-truths while doing so. The ordinance he vetoed was passed overwhelmingly by the City Council and it would simply allow our community to collectively decide whether or not to re-institute runoff elections. This issue should be decided by the people, not by entrenched, establishment politicians like Mayor Bhalla who benefit from a flawed current system. The Mayor cites reduced voter turnout in a recent Jersey City runoff, but he fails to mention that the last time Hoboken held a runoff election for Mayor in 2009 turnout actually increased from the initial election. Meanwhile, he suggests that he supports an instant runoff system that, while certainly worth exploring, is currently not allowable by state law. All of this is meant to distract from the fact that Mayor Bhalla is concerned that re-instituting runoff elections would hurt his chances of re-election as he has not demonstrated the ability to secure majority support or to work collaboratively with his fellow elected officials. This is a deeply cynical ploy that puts politics over our city’s values of transparency and openness, and I will be working with my Council colleagues to determine what steps can be taken to ensure that Hoboken residents’ voices are ultimately heard on this important issue.”

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