HOBOKEN – The petitioners who want the voters to decide on the change of municipal elections from May to November have succeeded in their drive, according to a memo from the City Clerk’s office to council members and members of the petition committee.
The City Council passed legislation last month by a narrow 5-4 vote to move municipal elections to November, citing cost saving concerns, as well as a possible increase in voter turnout. But after the council voted to move the election, a team of petitioners took to the streets to put the issue on the ballot so that the people could decide whether to move the elections, rather than the council deciding.
“After reviewing the petitions, I certify that the petitions meet the legal requirements pursuant to statutory reference N.J.S.A. 40:69A-184 to 196 to be submitted to the City Council at the August 24, 2011 City Council meeting,” City Clerk James Farina wrote in his letter to the council and committee, dated Aug. 19.
The council can now either repeal the legislation at an upcoming meeting or allow the public to vote on the issue during the November election this year.
The change would also have a one-time side effect of adding six months to the terms of the current mayor and council.
The committee needed to gather 2,189 valid signatures to place the issue on the ballot, but Jamie Cryan, a petitioner, said the group gathered 3,710 signatures to be handed in to the clerk. The clerk’s office counted as many as 2,500 valid signatures before stopping, Cryan said on Friday.
For our story about the issue from last week’s cover of The Hoboken Reporter , click HERE. -- Ray Smith