Zimmer opposes rent control change, approves election changes
Oct 14, 2012 | 4043 views | 25 25 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

In 2009, Hoboken held five elections in eight months, and our citizens had to endure a seemingly endless barrage of campaigning. Few people voted in all five elections. Political consultants, printers and paid campaign workers profited from holding those five separate elections, but Hoboken’s citizens surely did not.

On Nov. 6th, in addition to voting for president, Senate, Congress and school board, Hoboken voters will have the opportunity to vote on Hoboken Ballot Questions 1 and 3, important election reform proposals that would move our nonpartisan local elections from May to November. The candidate with the most votes on that day would be elected to serve, without the need for a runoff election, just like we elect our president, our governor, and virtually every other elected official on Election Day.

This is important, since holding a low turnout runoff election in December would undermine the objective of having our leaders chosen on Election Day in an election in which the largest possible number of voters participate.

Our local elections are currently held in a separate, often low-turnout election in May, with an additional runoff election, if necessary, a month later. Consolidating the elections as proposed would increase voter participation, reduce voter fatigue and save taxpayers money – as much as $125,000 per unnecessary election.

The school board has already voted to move its elections to November, so this proposal would reduce the number of elections we hold to two – the June primary and November general election. I will be voting YES on Hoboken Ballot Questions 1 and 3 and I urge you join with me in supporting these important reforms.

Hoboken Ballot Question 2 is a proposal to move our rent control system toward vacancy decontrol. While the details are too complicated to explain in a short letter, I do not feel that the proposal contains sufficient protections to ensure that existing tenants are treated properly. While the proposal does contain some penalties for the harassment of tenants, the penalties are, in my opinion, relatively toothless and an insufficient deterrent in light of the substantial financial incentives in the proposal to create apartment vacancies. I will therefore be voting NO on Hoboken Ballot Question 2.

I urge all Hoboken voters to learn as much as they can about these important ballot questions and to remember to cast their votes on Nov. 6.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Comments
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picard477
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October 20, 2012
CherryTree, much of your argument is based on hypotheticals. Can you provide figures and facts? I’m an analytical guy; any solid numbers you can provide will be greatly appreciated (and even sway me).

How many multifamilies in Hoboken are owner-occupied? I’m guessing not many(which will weaken your argument). Current NJ law allows owners in owner occupied buildings (4 families or less) to evict residents at the end of his/her lease or month. This is not something new in the proposal. You immediately conclude that owners are going to force out current tenants. In non-owner occupied buildings, tenants aren’t easily thrown out. Look at 4 unit mutlifamiles in Jersey City…were tenants forced out? It’s a scare tactic and I think it’s awful to play on fears to get people to vote one way.

Only recently (Spring 2012) have multifamilies in Hoboken been selling like hot cakes. The main driving force is the historically low interest rates and many are using property as a possible inflation hedge. Many realtors I worked with were sneaky and just trying to make a sale. Not one of them told me about the rent control ordinance. I didn’t even know Hoboken had rent control until I signed an offer and a family friend warned me about it. A seller does not have to disclose his/her rents and there’s no way to verify the legal rents until after the sale where the new owner makes a recalculation request with the rent control office. A potential buyer cannot ask the rent control office directly. I’m guessing that people are ignorant about the rent control law or they plan to charge illegal rents.

When someone buys a property, he or she is looking for a return on investment. It’s not wrong. At the current prices that properties are selling, sometimes the figures don’t add up. I wasn’t disgusted by the tenants who were paying below market rent (which I later found out was actually an illegal rent, the “legal” rent was much lower). I’m disgusted by the lack of transparency in the process and the fact that a buyer can be left holding the bag after making a million dollar decision because he/she wasn’t informed about the law or didn’t know the previous owner was charging illegal rents. The current system is broken and needs fixing. I see question #2 as a possible fix.
CherryTree
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October 21, 2012
I don’t have the figures on owner-occupied 2 or 3 family units. The best I can do right this minute is: In 2005 there were between 400 & 500 owner occupied 2 families (I recall from a proposal before the council at that time.) if there were an equal or greater number of owner/occupied 3 family, the number of tenants at immediate risk back then was 1500 or so, and that presumes there was only one tenant in each unit. There is a reasonable chance that upwards of 1000 residents are at immediate risk today. Add in 2 & 3 family non-owner occupied where one tenant can be immediately evicted (if an owner actually moves into a unit in a 2 or 3 family building) the one or two tenants in the other rental units in every 2& 3-family building and condos and you have a substantial number of tenants that could be easily evicted within the next 1-2 years…once you figure in condo conversations, many more in the 3rd year.

As I’ve stated many many, waaay too many times, that yes, these laws are in place now, but Hoboken’s current law forbids a landlord from charging a new tenant more than they were charging the exiting tenant if they evict without cause. So, it goes without saying that, the harmful initiative would create a tremendous financial incentive that doesn’t currently exist. How many landlords would refuse to take advantage of such a tempting opportunity? An example off the top of my head would be: if a current rent is $1000/mo and the landlord could get 2K-2.5K tomorrow – that sounds like an $18,000/yearly incentive to me and all it requires is a little eviction notice.

I’m not sure what Jersey City, a much larger town with many many more rental options, has to do with Hoboken. I don’t recall any fires in Jersey City back in the 80s but, Hoboken had plenty of them. We can point to the massive displacement and the fires as a documented history of what can and did happen in Hoboken but, during the same time frame nothing of the sort occurred in Jersey City, so the comparison has no weight.

To suggest that multifamilies have only been selling like hot cakes recently is not necessarily a statement of fact, just perception. Traditionally there are only a few on the market at any time and with years of watching the market, my perception is exactly the opposite. They sell, they sell quickly and they have for many years at sky high prices. Interest rates have been low for years now and there isn’t much indication that they are about to jump.

Now, I would agree with you that many realtors are sneaky; I also know that transaction realtors cannot get into the details of rent control beyond advising that the town has it. However, if none of them told any potential buyers about rent control, why would that be a reason to end rent control? I don’t see incompetence as a compelling argument and, in any event, lack of professionalism has nothing to do with the tenants. I would think anyone making a substantial real estate purchase such as a multifamily property would take the time to investigate on their own or, ask their lawyer, or call city hall to find out what, if any responsibilities they had to the people living in the property, wouldn’t you? Additionally, sellers do not have to disclose their rents, but I can’t imagine someone, again, making such a sizable purchase not asking about them. Wouldn’t this figure into the offer price? In your case were you just thinking that you could kick the tenants out and charge what you wanted once you bought the property (tenants take note of the answer) Oh by the way, of course a potential purchaser has no right to get a legal calculation on a property that they do not own, (and you allude to this in your comment when you state they cannot ask DIRECTLY) but, any purchaser CAN make it a condition of their purchase and build it right into the purchase agreement with a requirement that the legal rents equal a certain amount or the offer is withdrawn. You may be right that people are ignorant about rent control, but I don’t see that as any sort of a reason to remove protections, do you?

I totally agree with you that there is nothing wrong with getting a reasonable return on investment and the rent control protections in Hoboken, and the entire state, require that a landlord get a reasonable return on their investment. I think this is a good thing, however, your comment about the current prices not always adding up to this should be viewed as an opportunity to negotiate a better price. I agree with you that the lack of transparency that you encountered is a terrible thing and have often thought that, if realtor that did something ‘sneaky’ like pretend there is no rent control in Hoboken or, worse yet, lie about it, the city should be proactive and revoke their license.

In conclusion, I’m glad you weren’t disgusted by the low rent tenants in the property that you didn’t buy, although I’m curious how you found out that the rents they were paying was illegal and actually much lower since you didn’t actually purchase the property and, therefore, were permanently unable to get a legal rent calculation on that property, so feel free to share further details. The current system is not broken, there just may be people not making as much profit as they want (although they are guaranteed to make a reasonable return on their investment and I don’t know any other type of investment that guarantees any return at all.) Certainly you are entitled to your opinion that putting tenants at risk of eviction because investors don’t research their million dollar purchases and real estate agents are sneaky is a possible fix for the real estate investors’ and realtor’s ‘problems’. On the other hand, I hardly see that as a reason to put a large number of tenants at risk of losing their homes and having no place else to go.

Zapman6
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October 17, 2012
Sorry this is my FULL comments and they are in response to the bashing of PATCH that is going on on the horse site......:I posted it there but he may erase it so here it is again;

Horse why haven't you said who made the OPRA requests? If patch held off or NJ.com or the Hoboken Reporter did not publish this information right away you would be saying it was because they are controlled by Russo or half-page ads or the FBI asked them not to or the other crazy theories you make up to make them look bad so people will only come here and stop reading our legitimate fair press in town. In fact you have made similiar claims claims when they either could not get information quickly or got it and wanted to make sure it was accurate and took time to put it up, look at all the Patch bash-ing going on above when THEY BROKE THIS STORY IN FACT! Where are your theories now. Isn't it obvious that sometimes Patch and the Reporter will write things you like and sometimes they will write things you do not, that is news. Not everything they write is going to be pro Dawn obviously. When they write things you like then you don't say anything but when they fail to write things you want them too, or they write something god forbid not favorable of your friends you call them corrupt or say there is wrong doing. My guess is they are sticking to standards.

Now next topic. I am in favor of when you focus on corruption but you are constantly saying things that are incorrect about every one else, business owners who happen to support your enemies even if they themselves are not corrupt. You have published things here that were proven untrue or allowed people to leave comments about them. You also let people say they should boycott the business of people in town with a different political opinion from yours . You want to make everyone look bad if they dare speak their mind. talk about first amendment. How many times has your friend GA threatened to sue others on her blog if they dare speak or write her name, and yet if she wants to do it to others she says she has first am. rights? You and she have written about the flier but what in it specifically is not true? As far as I know none of the statements have been in dispute anywhere ...

I think by trying to cast aspersions on PATCH constantly you make yourself look bad. Same for the HR which as we know is always a source of conversation but you liked their coverage of Callicio (a person which I went to school with by the way, never associated with past passing in the halls). Patch wrote this story. HR first wrote the story on russo's missing reports. If they didn't wnt to hurt him they would have just waited til they are filed or not written that story at all. Your response was to rewrite their story, focusing on one part of it that they had in teh middle that you put first. Granted yours was more focused but it is easier to do a day later with other people's work I gather. Now are you in court today to see what Riccardi says and were you the first time or is it all coming from PATCH?

I have been in town a long time and have always seen the press critiized but not for personal gain before now. The hr has done the same reporting for years sometimes have written against Russo (in fact many times) and just as often were said to be in the old guards pocket so maybe they are just being fair, not going to change for one ad, they get lot's of ads. Your theory about the authors of jersey sting being complicit in a scheme wit beth and mike to sell books is similiarly garbage. and when you beat up on the star ledger also garbage, the list goes on.

I worry because people come here and see some of what you are writing and believe it is true. Some of it is no doubt especialloy about a certain council person or two. but look at how Tess got beat up for asking a question that was not asked exactly toing the party line. I see ev n your friends measuring their words here and elsewhere. They have to add thigs like 'by the way i am not a fan of beth' in order to pass muster.

Everyone here pats you on the back even when things are posted like that the FBI must have told Patch to take down Scott S's column. Do you really believe some of this stuff? Someone posted the same thing about the HR not writing about Russo, well apparently they did the following week. the person never came back and said Uah I was wrong. In fact I have never seen a correction here, even when you made accusations about people unproven.

Finally enough with the false equiavalenty argument becxause I am not making it. Corruption is worse than trying to silence people and bash the true media on your blog, but what you are doing is still wrong. but you are hurting yoru own creditibililty with false theories. Others have said this so it is not just me. It does not matter who gives you information if it is TRUe.

Someday when all the people in this email scandal are in jail, your friends will run away and you will be left to look back and wonder why you did what you did sometimes, and you will feel very alone because they may do it to you next if you do not do exactly what they want. You have to look at yourself in the mirror at night and decide if you can live with your actions.

Who made the opra's ? Notice I am assumign you tried and coluld not YET get the info which eventually you will. Stop bashing others who are doing the same work just with more care, and stop intimidating local business people, dads and moms who have a different opinion from you. This is my opinion NON slanderous, and I am not the onl

Zapman6
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October 17, 2012
I have been in town a long time and have always seen the press critiized but not for personal gain before now. The hr has done the same reporting for years sometimes have written against Russo (in fact many times) and just as often were said to be in the old guards pocket so maybe they are just being fair, not going to change for one ad, they get lot's of ads. Your theory about the authors of jersey sting being complicit in a scheme wit beth and mike to sell books is similiarly garbage. and when you beat up on the star ledger also garbage, the list goes on.

I worry because people come here and see some of what you are writing and believe it is true. Some of it is no doubt especialloy about a certain council person or two. but look at how Tess got beat up for asking a question that was not asked exactly toing the party line. I see ev n your friends measuring their words here and elsewhere. They have to add thigs like 'by the way i am not a fan of beth' in order to pass muster.

Everyone here pats you on the back even when things are posted like that the FBI must have told Patch to take down Scott S's column. Do you really believe some of this stuff? Someone posted the same thing about the HR not writing about Russo, well apparently they did the following week. the person never came back and said Uah I was wrong. In fact I have never seen a correction here, even when you made accusations about people unproven.

Finally enough with the false equiavalenty argument becxause I am not making it. Corruption is worse than trying to silence people and bash the true media on your blog, but what you are doing is still wrong. but you are hurting yoru own creditibililty with false theories. Others have said this so it is not just me. It does not matter who gives you information if it is TRUe.

Someday when all the people in this email scandal are in jail, your friends will run away and you will be left to look back and wonder why you did what you did sometimes, and you will feel very alone because they may do it to you next if you do not do exactly what they want. You have to look at yourself in the mirror at night and decide if you can live with your actions.

Who made the opra's ? Notice I am assumign you tried and coluld not YET get the info which eventually you will. Stop bashing others who are doing the same work just with more care, and stop intimidating local business people, dads and moms who have a different opinion from you. This is my opinion NON slanderous, and I am not the only one: as others have said before and wil say again.
VoteHoboken
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October 16, 2012
Not sure how Jim Vance has been able extrapolate Mayor Zimmer's statements call for greater protections for tenants into calling property owners crooks.
aircraft01
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October 15, 2012
Mayor Zimmer, stop calling property owners crooks! You are spouting nonsense on the rent control question. If landlords were to be of a mind to harass tenants out of their apartments just to raise rents, they would have already done so every three years and have gotten a 25% vacancy decontrol bonus each time. As a result the “legal rent” on every rent-controlled apartment in Hoboken would now be above market and rent control would be mute. Get it right. Vote “yes.” Jim Vance
CherryTree
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October 15, 2012
Mr. Vance, your spin is terribly flawed - Mayor Zimmer certainly did not suggest that any property owners are crooks. As to your suggestion that any landlord that harassed tenants would be getting a 25% vacancy decontrol "bonus" every 3 years - YOU ARE WRONG. Currently, one of Hoboken's important rent control protections denies the landlord the right to get a 25% vacancy decontrol if a tenant did not leave the apartment voluntarily. Thus, currently there is no monetary incentive to harass or, otherwise remove, a tenant from their apartment. Should this harmful initiative pass, there will be. Clearly, our Mayor understands this. The biggest targets of this destructive initiative are our longtime friends and neighbors that may be paying rents that are less than $2500/mo or $3000/mo. We need to defend them and all other Hoboken renters. On Election Day, lets join our Mayor in casting a vote to protect our community, our friends and neighbors and VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2.
cogswell
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October 21, 2012
Mr. Vance, with all due respect your hollow charge that the Mayor is calling property owners crooks is not helpful. It's manipulative and incendiary and I guess you are hoping to get a lot of people angry at her for doing something she did not do. The Mayor is obviously not calling the property owners of Hoboken crooks. If you have laws against murder or toll evasion or anything else, it is not an accusation that the entire population is composed of murderers and thieves. The laws are put in place to prevent those few who would overstep their bounds.

The current regulation does protect both landlords and tenants. If it is inadequate to the current situation in some way, let's put our mayor and council on the job to hash out the issues in a public forum and address them one by one in an open democratic process instead of having a special interest group write a law in their own interest and then pass it off on a ballot with deceptive language designed to make tenants (who are presumed to be less competent readers than property owners) vote against their intentions. The Mayor has always demonstrated that she is willing to sit down with all the parties involved and try to work out compromises. This is the way to proceed, not by all this trickery and sly wording. Let's get it out in the open and hash it out. This can be done. But history has shown that in an area like this where there is a shortage of housing and much of it is in a few hands, the market cannot be relied on by itself to decide the future of the community. All of the fires that swept through Hoboken a few decades ago had a cost that is incalculable. And it was not just a coincidence that Hoboken had more fires per capita than any city in the country at a time when the market was offering huge profits as a reward for getting people out of buildings. Let's try to move beyond the name calling and try to address the needs of all sectors of the community.
TommyLover
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October 15, 2012
It seems to be clear that msta's campaign of lies and distortions are finally becoming obvious to most Hobokeners. There are so many outrageous "statements" by Charlie and Ron posted right here it would take months to respond to every one. The most hilarious tho, is this one "...subsidized by a back room deal with the Mayor who bankrolled the lawsuit at taxpayers expense." Really, Charlie? Really? See Charlie thinks if you say "backroom deal" he'll get everyone's attention because of Hoboken's long sad history of corruption and backroom deals. But is that even plausible to anyone who's been paying even the least amount of attention to the Zimmer administration? The tenant group (and yes I know a couple of them) don't have much money, and they certainly don't have any political patrons. So what in the world could they offer the Mayor?

But they are honest. While I might not agree on everything they are fighting for I have a lot of respect for them. The tenant's group are not the group who are bringing frivolous lawsuits that cost the city millions - it's msta who is doing that. And you just lost a big one - Charlie's $1 million for the "work" he did on a class action suit (the same one Virgil Steadman mentioned) that NEVER HAPPENED! And it never happened because msta got what they wanted with the enactment of Z88.

YourFavObserver gets close to what msta's problem is: tone deafness. You got what you wanted last Nov. and if you were really savvy politically you would have laid low for a couple of years and then come back with your kill-rent-control-once-and-for-all campaign. Instead your true agenda, greedgreedgreed, is blinding you to the customs and culture of a city with a longstanding identity as a working class community of laborers. Yeah, in the past few years a lot high earners have moved in, but that's still a new phenomenon and hasn't gone on nearly long enough to erase 100 years of being a community dominated by factory workers, laborers, and immigrants.

Anyone remember the election last November? I only saw a few members of the tenant's group on the street (wearing sandwich boards - it was charmingly old school) but msta had masses of $10 an hour teenagers from Jersey City (I know - I talked to about 5 of them at different locations) and they told me they were instructed to tell voters that voting yes was good for the tenants - in other words, they were instructed to LIE. I heard them giving out misinformation to voters asking for clarification on the indecipherable ballot question. Poor kids (msta does love exploiting lower income people - what's amatter, you couldn't get any property owners to volunteer to do their own hard and dirty work on the street?) they had no idea they were actually working against their own best interests. It made me sad.

And that's why I've already contacted the tenant group about pitching in on this Election Day. I don't support everything about the rent control ordinance but I hate msta even more. I hope YourFavObserver and Virgil will join me as we send Charlie and Ron back to the suburbs of Union and Bergen County's respectively.

Hoboken takes care of its own. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out of town.
WESTY
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October 15, 2012
I bet if the lawyers posting here revealed who all there clients are people would say AHH HA !

YourFavObserver
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October 15, 2012
To the lawyer:

Did you ever think by siding with tenants the mayor of Hoboken (a transient city with lots of tenants) is protecting her city? Dude, take a hike. What stake do you have in this? You're an attorney who comments on the internet to try to sway opinions when someone disagrees with you. Is that worse than an ambulance chaser? I can't decide. I've been on the fence about this issue for a long time but by reading the discussions on here and by educating myself, I can't help but to feel sick to my stomach when I think about what's going on in this town. For the record, I am a renter, so dismiss me if you'd like, but I have an open mind about property rights and the sometimes broad overreach of government.

You're trying to get rich at the expense of hard working tenants in a town (that I don't think) you're even from. You've turned working against people less fortunate than you into a living. Want to talk issues? Okay, that's fine. Sure, maybe these changes aren't as drastic as some have been led to believe. But by excluding 1-3 units from rent control when someone vacates, you're changing the character of this town that you could care less about, unless there's a payday involved. This election isn't only about these proposed changes, it's also about the domino effect that you hope to create in our town, Hoboken. You try to weaken the law, and then the rest of rent control will fall after your threats of legal action to the city. I'd love to see how many people in the last rent control referendum knew what they were voting for, and I'd love to match the number of vote by mail ballots to those paid by campaigns. The tenant activists have done a great job getting the message out so far, and I pray this is the election where Hoboken, a city full of tenants, puts its foot down and votes no, and then takes the same foot to kick your rear end out of town, and you can go and try to change the character of another town and get rich. Sweet life, man.
YourFavObserver
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October 15, 2012
Sorry, 1-4 units.
VirgilSteadman
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October 14, 2012
Mr. Gormally, you just lost a vote from me.

I am a longtime Hoboken homeowner and, though I'm not currently a landlord, I have been in the past.

I've been following the debates here on the Reporter and elsewhere in town and frankly I'm a bit fed up.

Ive been on the fence up to now, but when I hear you saying things like "radical" and "extremist" in describing the rent control people, I get turned off real fast.

I may not like everything that that crowd, Dan and the rest of them, do, but to try to paint them as if they're violent revolutionaries or the weather underground or something like that, this kind of rhetoric discredits you, Mr. Gormally, not them.

They're just folks doing what they can to save their homes. Anyone who's been in Hoboken more than a few years (and believe me, I have been) knows that.

You need to know when you're alienating your own side, Mr. Gormally.

I'll give you another instance. I don't remember all the details of it now, but I was one who got a letter from your MSTA last year that contained a so-called "negative option" which meant that unless I contacted you to "opt-out," you were going to include me as endorsing one of your announcements or lawsuits or whatever it was.

I may even have been in favor of it, but the way you went about assuming that I was on board with it from the get-go, I didn't care for that, and I know lots of other homeowners who got the same letter and felt likewise.

I'm all for landlords being able to make some money on their buildings. But you guys just trying to move in here and pull the lid off the rents, the way you're going about it, it's leaving a bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths and I'm not talking about the tenants.

Maybe it's time for you and your friend Mr. Simoncini to go somewhere else, or better, get a real job.

ronsimoncini
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October 14, 2012
I agree that Charlie Gormally's comments are hard hitting; deservedly so.

When attempting to change the wording of the question on the ballot, Mayor ZImmer used City resources to pay for tenant activists to bring the suit, which she lost when her own City Clerk could not be co-opted into her political wrangling. At the time she claimed she just wanted the question to be "Fair." but she advocated wording that neglected to inform the voters that condominiums would be exempt from rent control under the new law. that was fair? the whole point of the law is to free family properties from the horrendous regulation of rent control in the city of Hoboken.

No other city in the country regulates the rent of a condominiums and single family homes as Hoboken does. This shows the power of the tenant lobby, which rules the rent leveling board led by self-described tenant activists who were nominated by Mayor Zimmer.

where is the fairness? The rent leveling office and rent leveling board have been hitting hard at owners of family properties for years, providing Cathy Cardillo, an unscrupulous litigator against property owners who exploited misadministration by the City, with a personal fortune and hundreds of tenants with windfalls. we all know the stories and we know they are true. and yet, have we EVER heard of a landlord genuinely accused of harassing a tenant to create a vacancy? NEVER.

I would have thought after the last election, in which the vote was 68-32 soundly in favor of property rights, had taught Hoboken a lesson: there is nothing sacred about the position of a few extremist tenant activists. their entire purpose is not to help tenants -- nothing in the new law affects one existing tenant in Hoboken. it is not about protecting existing tenants -- the Hoboken Fair Housing website acknowledges that the newly proposed law only offers a more meaningful decontrol against the currently available option.

the tenant agenda will result in no benefit for tenants, and is actually only about control. It is not intended to help tenants it is intended to hurt property owners. there is absolutely no defense for that and there is no defense for Mayor Zimmer not seeing it. even the politics is bad -- if she was going to pander she should have pandered to the more than 13,000 single family and condominium owners.

So this is going to be an election of tough messages, and this is only the beginning. imagine a mayor who would desert the interests of the people who pay the bulk of property taxes in the town so that new residents moving in can get a discount and the existing tenants can take pleasure in harming the people who own the property and the City in which they live.

it is twisted and sick and not American. whether you own property in Hoboken or not, look at the hobokenmsta.com website and its policy discussion and look at the hoboken fair housing site and its policy discussion and decide for yourself which is right for Hoboken. Don't be snowed by a struggling Mayor's attempt to tie off a constituency for her own political benefit.
Cxgormally
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October 15, 2012
Virgil,

I regret that the tone of my posting made you get off the fence on this issue. Calling the tenant advocates "extremist" or "radical" is not meant to imply that they are violent or law breakers in any way. I never would suggest that.

However, their VIEWS are indeed radical, out of sync with the rest of the country, and yes extreme.

This is a group that worked for months to derail a change to the ordinance and forced a public referendum on a change adopted by the unanimous council and signed by the mayor.

In the course of doing this, they sued the city to collect their attorney fees and were awarded nearly $80 thousand dollars. Their continued litigation on the issue is still costing the city thousands of dollars to defend.

This group of tenants are the same group that sued again this time to stop this public question from going on the ballot. this time they were subsidized by a back room deal with the Mayor who bankrolled the lawsuit at taxpayers expense. This was done even though the City Clerk testified under oath that there was nothing wrong with the public question and it should go on the ballot!

When that tactic failed that same group of tenants sued to change the question---that failed as well.

In light of the fact that none of their positions relate to the POLICY behind proposed change to rent control. They never refute the fact that the proposal will actually protect tenants while providing long term incentive to improve properties, and correct the dispropotionate tax burden on condo owners. Instead they get personal, question peoples motives and ignore the facts. In my book, that behaviour is radical and extreemist.

Finally, I hope that you make your own judgement based on the facts, and not be influenced by misinformation that this issue is about protecting tenant homes. It is not. It is about making a fair deal. Tenants remain under rent control and new folks moving into town can negotiate their rents. A fair deal.

Charles Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC
CherryTree
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October 14, 2012
BRAVO! Mayor Zimmer! The residents of Hoboken (unlike the out of town lobbyists that are flinging pathetic criticisms at you) thank you for taking a stand against the destructive developer initiative that would harm our community.

...and to Mr. Gormally, your bogus lawsuits are transparently uncomplicated. It is your lobbying group that keeps filing the bogus lawsuits trying to bully our town. Good for the Mayor for defending the city from the likes of you. And, I believe we just prevailed in your latest bogus lawsuit where you tried to put over $1million dollars of our taxpayers’ money into YOUR OWN POCKET!

Go away Mr. Gormally and take your sideshow, Simoncini, with you.

Good citizens Hoboken, on Election Day, join the Mayor and your friends & neighbors and VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2

Cxgormally
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October 14, 2012
Dear Mayor Zimmer:

Too complicated??? Really???

Residents may be glad to see that you finally have taken a position about something. However, every condominium owner, single family homeowner, and the entire multifamily industry in the city are surely disappointed by your shortsighted and politicized opinion on the Hoboken Housing Improvement Initiative. These taxpaying groups know this issue is one of fairness and only in your world is it “too complicated.” It is interesting that you have no difficulty with complicated election law issues to favor the adoption of those public questions. I guess when it comes to an issue of extending your term of office…it’s just not too complicated.

It is not too complicated to know that every rent controlled tenant in the city is protected for as long as they want to stay in their apartments.

It’s not too complicated to know that you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in unnecessary legal expenses to defend a law that has been declared unconstitutional.

It is not too complicated to know that tenants in Hoboken and the state are guaranteed their rights to continued occupancy of their apartments by one of the strongest tenant protection laws in the nation.

It is not too complicated to understand that most vacant apartments are rented by people coming from outside Hoboken---often leaving more expensive housing to come into the city that depresses rents.

It is not too complicated to know that property owners will invest in and improve their property if they have incentive to collect a fair rent from a tenant that benefits from improved housing space.

It is not too complicated to listen to your own tax assessor who confirms that condo owners and single family owners are bearing a disproportionate burden of property taxes because rent controlled properties have depressed valuations.

This issue may be too complicated for you. Perhaps that is why you tried to stop it from being on the ballot. You have never taken the time to understand rent control and the devastating impact that it has on vital city communities. While you profess to head a cabal of ‘leaders’ that favor progressive views and reformist attitudes, you are being left behind by every other city that has long ago departed from the most restrictive rent control laws like the one in Hoboken. From Santa Monica to Cambridge, every city looking at the issue has implemented the changes proposed in Question #2. Thankfully the taxpayers have taken this issue to the public. It is not too complicated for Hoboken taxpayers to know that their leaders are failing when it comes to protecting the fiscal health of the City.

You are not deciding this on the merits of the issue or the long term interests of the taxpayers. You are doing what all Hoboken politicians ultimately do---pander to vocal radicalized tenants. You even appoint them to the rent control board! Taxpayers will surely take notice of this when you ask for their support---that’s not too complicated is it?

Charles Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC

Cxgormally
|
October 14, 2012
Dear Mayor Zimmer:

Too complicated??? Really???

Residents may be glad to see that you finally have taken a position about something. However, every condominium owner, single family homeowner, and the entire multifamily industry in the city are surely disappointed by your shortsighted and politicized opinion on the Hoboken Housing Improvement Initiative. These taxpaying groups know this issue is one of fairness and only in your world is it “too complicated.” It is interesting that you have no difficulty with complicated election law issues to favor the adoption of those public questions. I guess when it comes to an issue of extending your term of office…it’s just not too complicated.

It is not too complicated to know that every rent controlled tenant in the city is protected for as long as they want to stay in their apartments.

It’s not too complicated to know that you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in unnecessary legal expenses to defend a law that has been declared unconstitutional.

It is not too complicated to know that tenants in Hoboken and the state are guaranteed their rights to continued occupancy of their apartments by one of the strongest tenant protection laws in the nation.

It is not too complicated to understand that most vacant apartments are rented by people coming from outside Hoboken---often leaving more expensive housing to come into the city that depresses rents.

It is not too complicated to know that property owners will invest in and improve their property if they have incentive to collect a fair rent from a tenant that benefits from improved housing space.

It is not too complicated to listen to your own tax assessor who confirms that condo owners and single family owners are bearing a disproportionate burden of property taxes because rent controlled properties have depressed valuations.

This issue may be too complicated for you. Perhaps that is why you tried to stop it from being on the ballot. You have never taken the time to understand rent control and the devastating impact that it has on vital city communities. While you profess to head a cabal of ‘leaders’ that favor progressive views and reformist attitudes, you are being left behind by every other city that has long ago departed from the most restrictive rent control laws like the one in Hoboken. From Santa Monica to Cambridge, every city looking at the issue has implemented the changes proposed in Question #2. Thankfully the taxpayers have taken this issue to the public. It is not too complicated for Hoboken taxpayers to know that their leaders are failing when it comes to protecting the fiscal health of the City.

You are not deciding this on the merits of the issue or the long term interests of the taxpayers. You are doing what all Hoboken politicians ultimately do---pander to vocal radicalized tenants. You even appoint them to the rent control board! Taxpayers will surely take notice of this when you ask for their support---that’s not too complicated is it?

Charles Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC

ronsimoncini
|
October 14, 2012
what a ridiculous position. the tenants need protections from landlords more than the jail term that comes with harassing a tenant out of a unit? and what about the property owners and the condominium owners to not only have a ridiculous tax burden to subsidize tenants moving into Hoboken, but who need the most protection of all: from Mayor Zimmer's politically pitched rent leveling board and pathetic rent leveling office.

everyone can see what's going on here. you are pandering despite that every logical arguments favors vacancy decontrol. But even you pandering is backward -- you are protecting a few hundred people a year who move here from other places while you are completely ignoring the interests of more than 12,000 owners of condominiums who are unwitting and unnecessary victims of property rights violations too numerous to list.

I am severely disappointed because an administration that often at least attempts to be even handed and show leadership has abandoned progress to pander. this is going to come back to you from all of those who own property, who actually know and have experienced the issue, and who want someone in the Mayor's office who will at least consider their interests.
WESTY
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October 14, 2012
Ron Simoncini, President of Axiom Media Communications ?

Who is paying for the media spin ?

Honesty is such a lonely word.

Billy Joel

WESTY
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October 14, 2012
On Election Day Hoboken voters again have clear choices between continued positive progress or a return to yesterday's corruption.
marie7
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October 14, 2012
Thank you Mayor Zimmer for doing what is best for the Hoboken we love and asking residents to vote No on Public Question #2. An old friend who used to live in Hoboken visited and said how wonderful it was to walk Washington Street and pass by long familiar faces. Each of those people has contributed to what we love in this diverse city, and we shouldn't let them be "displaced" out of Hoboken. It's just wrong.
picard477
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October 16, 2012
There's so much misinformation floating around. Just walking around town I see tons of neon flyers stating that residents should vote NO to Public Question #2. The proposed change does not get rid of rent control but allows owners to rent apartments at the fair market rate AFTER a resident moves out. Jersey City does not have rent control on 1-4 unit buildings and downtown JC is doing just fine. Rent control keeps property values down and hurts the community because people don't want to invest in the area. I was very interseted in buying a building in Hoboken but was disgusted by all the hoops I had to jump through since one of the units was dramatically below the market rate. I just walked away. Condo owners should also be interested in rent control reform since if you want to rent out your condo, you have to charge the "approved" rent. Although Public Question 2 is not a cureall, at least it's a start.
TommyLover
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October 14, 2012
I'm very glad to see the Mayor support the tenants. It's a good feeling...
CherryTree
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October 18, 2012
Replying to picard477 above. I'm glad you are seeing the flyers around town; I hope lots of our friends and neighbors are seeing them as well. The proposed change allows landlords to jack up the rents on buildings with 5 or more to the max they can get; on 4 units or less, it does eliminate all rent control protections. In both cases after the tenant leaves voluntarily, is "convinced" to leave or is evicted by court order. I guess I need to say it, yet again, tenants in 3 unit owner/occupied buildings can be evicted at the end of the lease or month (if it is a month-to-month lease) without cause and if the destructive initiative passes, landlords' will have LOTS of FINANCIAL INCENTIVE to do just that.

With multi-family properties in Hoboken selling for 1mm-2mm, I don't know how you could suggest that rent control keeps property values down and with Real Estate values that have been sky high for decades in Hoboken and properties being snapped up right and left within days of being offered rent control appears to have no negative impact on these sky high real estate values. Many multi-families are never even advertised to the general public. You have to know someone to even have a chance to bid. Your entire post rings false. If you never bought the property, you never jumped through any hoops. If there was a below market unit and that hurt the property value sooo much, you should have been able to negotiate a very good price. Why don't you publish the address, so I can see on the internet real estate sites how fast someone else snapped it up when you walked away? (that is, of course, if there is any truth to your post at all.) By the way did this so-called property that you walked away from happen to be a 4 unit building and were you as disgusted by the tenant that was living in the lower rent unit as you were by all the "hoops" and just seething because you wouldn't be able to jack up his or her rent when you 'bought' it...or better yet, kick him/her out immediately? Just curious....