Vote your conscience and speak the truth
Oct 28, 2012 | 2914 views | 7 7 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I am grateful that people speak their mind in a letter in this newspaper. Mayor Dawn Zimmer expressed her position on the three Hoboken Public Questions that are on a very crowded ballot on Nov. 6. I believe she is a woman who will vote her conscience on these issues and is making what she believes to be the best decision for the good of Hoboken and its citizens.

In her letter of Oct. 14, she stated that she feels that any protections for tenants will be minimal considering the huge financial incentive for landlords to create apartment vacancies (by evicting current tenants) if Hoboken Public Question 2 passes. This would put tenants in the precarious situation of losing their homes. How effective are the minor penalties against tenant harassment when there is very little legal protection against eviction for these tenants?

The proponents of the rent decontrol amendments keep saying that current tenants will continue to be protected by rent control as long as they remain in their units. But if the voters vote to decontrol rents for new tenants (by voting “yes” on Hoboken Public Question 2), then why wouldn’t the landlord want to get rid of the current tenants so he can jack up the rent for the new tenants? A current tenant may remain under rent control, but rent control does not guarantee that the current tenant will be protected from eviction by a landlord. Once the current tenant is forced out of his rent controlled unit, his next Hoboken apartment will be decontrolled, so that tenant actually does lose his rent control protections! When the tenant tries to move elsewhere, he will have to move out of town because all the Hoboken rents have gone through the roof. A tenant I know is being forced out of her apartment and is now desperately looking for a new apartment for less than $2,000 a month.

At election time, so much misinformation is being thrown around that one has to stop and think and absorb only the facts before taking a position on an issue. My mother used to say not to believe everything you read or hear, and I have heeded those words wisely. Propagandists will repeat the same lies over and over again hoping that their target audience, the voters, will begin to believe it as fact. The truth is that if the rent decontrol amendments are approved by the voters, many renters will be forced out of their homes. Please help to defend them by voting NO on Hoboken Public Question 2 on Nov. 6.

Mary Ondrejka

Comments
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Cxgormally
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October 29, 2012
It is time for Cherry Tree to reveal that she has personally profited from the destructive rent control that is being endured by the city property owners. Are you afraid that this proposal will eliminate your lucrative legal practice and the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you have collected in legal fees from owners and the city who have been victimized by rent control? Perhaps you will actually have to finally retire to your estate in Portugal (a country that has recently modernized their rent control as well).

Rebecca--in the spirit of revealing your identity, why not reveal that you and Cherry Tree collected thousands of dollars from owners and cost the city thousands in attorney fees, by exploiting the broken rent control ordinance for your personal profit.

I really doubt these tenant radicals and their paid mouthpiece are worried about harassment. They are worried that making Hoboken's rent control ordinance fair by voting YES on question 2, will end the cottage industry they have enjoyed since the 1980s and they will have to figure out another way to make a living.

DONT BE FOOLED by the admitted inaccuracies in the written materials circulated by these few radicals. They are just trying to prevent Hoboken from correcting the whacky rent control that has victimized all the taxpayers in town so they can continue to profit!

Charles Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC
HobRebeccaL
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October 29, 2012
Yes, I won the thousands of dollars that my landlords illegally took from me, knowing they were breaking the law in doing so. (They had been sued by another tenant in the building before I moved in and there was proof that they knew what the legal rents were.) Should they have been allowed to keep MY money which they ILLEGALLY took from me? Is your definition of a "broken law" one which is enforced against a group that pays you to represent them?

The rent control board is almost all heavily on the side of landlords and historically would ignore the law to favor the landlords. They wrongly said that my landlords didn't have to follow part of the law, even though there were no court decisions whatsoever backing up their claim that part of the law could just be ignored.

Then they went to court to defend that. Am I in the wrong for asking that the law be fairly upheld? If the board was fairly balance between landlords and tenants as other cities require then the city would save greatly on legal fees.

The only way the rent control law in Hoboken is (or was) broken is in the refusal of the city to enforce that law as other cities with rent control do.

Too many tenants enforcing their rights caused very wealthy landlords to bring you guys into our town to destroy it with radical changes.

The ONLY FAIR VOTE is NO on public question number 2. The only radicals are MSTA and their hired guns.
CherryTree
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October 29, 2012
My goodness, Charlie is looking in the mirror again and confusing himself with other people. He’s talking about legal fees – like the $1mm that the judge did not aware him when he tried to rape the citizens of Hoboken for that amount of money. But, Mr. Gormally is not daunted – he’ll try and try and try again. While the good citizens of Hoboken are busy preparing for the coming storm, all Mr. Gormally can think about is $$$. For shame.

Charlie is also confusing some longtime concerned Hoboken friends and neighbors with Ron Simoncini – which is just about as crazy as it gets. The only paid mouthpiece mucking around in Hoboken is Ron Simoncini– who freely admitted , at the debate, that he’s making as much money as he possibly can trying to harm our Hoboken friends and neighbors.

Really Charlie, we’re used to your dishonest statements, but you should be a little more careful about being so outlandish with your false statements and weak attempts at maligning our friends and neighbors. You see, the people that are fighting hard to protect the community of Hoboken in which they actually live, (unlike you and some of the bank rollers of this destructive initiative) are not involved with trying to rape the community by amassing exorbitant development and real estate profits and legal fees like you. Some may agree with them, some may not, but nobody, not even your paid mouthpiece, questions that they come by their position sincerely and are defending their community and their friends and neighbors because it is what they believe in, not because they are paid for it.

Oh Charlie, please move away from the mirror and stop referring to yourself as if you were someone else – the written materials that they tenants are circulating are completely accurate and perfectly honest and they have always said so, unlike the lies and misrepresentations that you continue to spew. Is there nothing that you won’t lie about? I get spin, which is one thing, but outright lies? Really?

Amazing, Charlie, is this silly drek you are spewing in the comment section of a little read website being done on someone’s billable hours?

On November 6th – good citizens of Hoboken, go to the polls and Vote NO on Hoboken Public Question #2. Protect your friends, your neighbors and keep our community a stable one.

CherryTree
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October 28, 2012
Mr. Simoncini is certainly working overtime. Is he really suggesting that because he doesn't personally know of any harassment that it hasn't ever, nor will it, ever happen? That is incredibly narcissistic. The history of the fires must be an incredibly inconvenient little fact for Mr. Simoncini.

Sadly, he is lying again. He says that eviction protections are 'too strong.' [emphasis, mine - because any protection that any tenant has is too strong for Mr. Simoncini.] The city's ordinance gives NO protection from eviction - and tenants that live in owner/occupied buildings can be evicted at the end of the lease or month (if they are on a month to month lease. How strong is that, Mr. Simoncini? Is it that the landlord has to wait until the end of the lease or month that is too strong?

By the way, here's proof of another lie from the MSTA developer/real estate interests and paid lobbyists. At the debate [which is currently online] Mr. Gormally said that no tenants have even mentioned owner/occupied buildings. He screamed about lying and repeated how they never mention it. Well, Mr. Simoncini and Mr. Gormally - take a look at this link: http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/19315078/article-Anti-rent-control-petition-will-cause-massive-displacement?

Take a look at the 5th paragraph of that letter that starts: NJ State Law gives... What are the 7th & 8th words of the sentence, Mr. Simoncini?

Oh and as far as the harassment that you say never ever ever happens - take a look at the following links:http://hoboken411.com/archives/46058

and

http://law.justia.com/cases/new-jersey/appellate-division-unpublished/2009/a1253-07-opn.html

Here's a preview of the case:

This matter arises out of a summary dispossession action in which the landlord contended, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(l)(3), that he planned to occupy the apartment personally after the tenant was evicted. After a bench trial, the trial court concluded that the landlord's claimed intention to occupy the premises was insincere, and denied the landlord possession. The trial court then awarded the tenant counsel fees and costs under the Frivolous Litigation Statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-59.1.

The most telling thing about the anti-rent control initiative is that the landlord that is so infamous in Hoboken detailed on both of those links has a vote yes sign in his window. Talk about a poster child for why all citizens of Hoboken must go to the polls and VOTE NO on Hoboken public question #2!

ronsimoncini
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October 28, 2012
this writer is sincere in her beliefs. but she is wrong. no eviction or harassment law is changing in Hoboken as a result of question 2. she is right when she says propagandists will repeat the same lies over and over. we heard them at last week's debate, where despite that tenant activists admitted there has never been a legitimate claim of harassment of a tenant to create a vacancy on Hoboken, they asserted a wave of evictions would occur.

they said the same thing last year when they brought a referendum to reverse reforms the Council made to correct historic misadministration of the rent leveling law. and none of it happened. the protections are too strong and the disincentives are too great and the scrutiny is too extensive in real estate owners for that to happen.

vote Yes on question 2. it is FAIR to remove family properties and condominiums from the rent control law in Hoboken -- the only city in New Jersey that stranglers the small homeowner with unneeded regulation.
HobRebeccaL
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October 28, 2012
More lies, in fact under the current law if the tenant is evicted or harassed out the landlord cannot raise the rent for the next tenant. But the initiative that Simoncini is pushing changes the law so that the landlord only has to wait a year to raise the rent to whatever the landlord wants. Most landlords will just wait a year and then reap the rewards. AND the tenant cannot just let the rent leveling office or board know about the harassment, the tenant has to come back to town, hire a lawyer and go to court to prove it at a big cost with no benefits for that former tenant. That is a big, big change. And just to show what kind of bullies we are dealing with at the mildest level thugs are tearing down tenant flyers almost as fast as they go up.

The only FAIR vote is NO on Hoboken Public Question number 2.
HobRebeccaL
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October 28, 2012
Another lie is that removing condos and buildings with less than 5 units (called "family properties" in Simoncini doublespeak) is only helping small business owners. Many of these properties are owned by huge businesses. One landlord recently in the news for threatening tenants who refused to sign onerous clauses in new leases with eviction if they did not sign their rights away bought up small properties all over town at a song and makes over $500,000 a year from them according to many news stories on the web. This initiative benefits those types of landlords too. And ones that own whole buildings full of condos.

The initiative doesn't limit the number of units the landlord owns, only the number of units in a building. Small family businesses already have far great protections under the category of owner occupied 3 units or less. What this does is take a huge percentage of rent controlled units off of rent control.

The only genuinely FAIR VOTE is NO on Hoboken Question number 2.