Judge orders Hoboken rent control petitions to be approved for referendum
Voters may be able to decide on two hot item referendums this November when they go to the polls.
Hudson County Superior Court Judge Bernadette DeCastro ordered on Thursday that the Hoboken City Clerk’s office certify petitions for a referendum on three recent changes to the city’s rent control law, and also ordered that the city suspend the recently passed changes until the council repeals them or they appear on the ballot in November, according to court documents provided to The Reporter.
The decision comes just a week after the City Clerk approved petitions for a different referendum, one that would allow the people to decide in November whether municipal elections should move from May to November. The council voted to move municipal elections by a 5-4 vote in July.
Rent control is a set of laws that apply to approximately 8,000 apartments in Hoboken built before 1987. They limit the amount that landlords can increase the rent each year, but can allow additional increases for capital improvements and other matters.
The council voted this past March to make three changes to the city’s 1973 rent control law after a council subcommittee convened for almost two years to discuss potential changes.
One change passed by the council would limit back pay for tenants who are charged illegal rents, to two years. Without the change, tenants could be awarded money for the length of the violation. However, some landlords say that the city’s sloppy record keeping makes it difficult to calculate a legal rent. Another change passed by the council, which some see as a direct response to problems with record keeping, allows a landlord to furnish alternative documents to apply for vacancy decontrol.
Vacancy decontrol lets landlords add a 25 percent rent increase every three years if a tenant vacates the unit. A third change passed in March requires landlords to inform tenants of their rights under Hoboken’s laws and show proof the information was supplied.
The petitioners had originally submitted signatures a few months ago, but the city clerk said they did not have enough.
The council will likely address the legislation at the next City Council meeting, scheduled for Sept. 1.
Earthquake more a curiosity than a danger
On Tuesday, Aug, 23, an earthquake that originated in Virginia was felt in Hoboken shortly before 2 p.m. Several downtown buildings were evacuated, but the 5.9 quake didn’t cause any reported damage in the city. The earthquake briefly shut down the Holland Tunnel for evaluation.
The quake was reportedly centered in Virginia and was felt as far north as Canada and as far west as in Ohio and Michigan.
According to CNN, the quake measured 3.7 miles deep and was centered 83 miles southeast of the nation’s capital.
Hoboken police looking for possibly suicidal man
Hoboken police are asking for help in locating Stuart Cave, 44, of Hoboken, who was reported missing on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Hoboken Police Detective Bureau.
Police received a call from a person reporting the potentially suicidal man missing on Wednesday at around 3 p.m. at an apartment on Park Avenue, according to police.
Police officials said Cave's brother, who lives in Florida, received a call from Cave saying he was going to end his life. After the brother asked a friend to go to the apartment, the friend was unable to open the door, police said.
Police arrived with the building management company and found many of Cave's belongings in his apartment, including a credit card and cell phone, as well as a list of passwords and account information for his mother and two brothers, according to the Detective Bureau.
Police say they also found a letter addressed to "Gina" which apologized to her, saying that he "has to do this."
After police spoke with a colleague of Cave's, the man confirmed that Cave showed up for work on Wednesday but left at around noon, and it seemed that he packed up his desk, according to police.
Anyone with information about Cave should contact the Hoboken Police Department at (201) 420-2100.
Nets star to appear at Hoboken fundraiser
New Jersey Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow will be in attendance on Sept. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Canavan Arena on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology for the first annual Hoopin’ for Hope Hoop-a-Thon to benefit Anthony Morrow Charities. The event is presented by Gimme That Global.
The Anthony Morrow Charities demonstrates a far reaching ability to connect with student-athletes in low-income cities through a series of basketball camps, book drives, donations and programmed events. Morrow of the Nets and other guest speakers will discuss the importance of education and how it has changed their lives.
The event costs $10 to enter. To register for the event send an e-mail to GimmeThatGlobal@gmail.com, and for more information, visit gimmethatglobal.com.
Last week’s story “Popular theater director replaced” wrongly characterized board member Maureen Sullivan as an ally of three other board members. Sullivan is not affiliated with either of the two major political groups on the school board, and has sparred with various members on different issues.