Hoboken mayoral candidate debate is now on line
Oct 11, 2013 | 6204 views | 32 32 comments | 141 141 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN – The three candidates campaigning to be the next mayor of Hoboken discussed their views on important issues facing the town, as well as themselves, at a debate held at the Hudson Reporter’s Hoboken headquarters on Tuesday.

The debate is now on the right of hudsonreporter.com. Scroll down to watch!

Among other issues in the debate, which is featured in a cover story in this weekend's Hoboken Reporter, the candidates revealed that they are divided on how residents should vote on a public question regarding changes in the city’s rent control laws.

Asked if they thought voters should vote yes or no on the ballot question -- which would remove rent control from buildings with four units of housing or fewer when a current tenant moves out, and add a one-time decontrol for buildings with five or more units -- each candidate responded differently.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the incumbent, said that she supported voting down the measure, as she did last year when it first appeared on the ballot. Zimmer said that she believed a better solution could be found than the current referendum.

Fourth Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti said that he thought voters should support the decontrol measure, but noted that his administration would hold a zero-tolerance policy towards landlords accused of intimidating or harassing tenants in an effort to force them to move so they could decontrol rents.

The third candidate, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, said the measure should not be on the ballot. He placed the blame on the Zimmer administration, saying better governing could have found a compromise between tenants and landlords long before a referendum was necessary.

Each of the candidates was allowed a rebuttal to those comments, and they certainly gave one.

The candidates answered six other questions, some about policy, some personal, some political. We also asked them to discuss their opponents.

Take a look at the debate at the right! – Dean DeChiaro

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Recall beth
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October 15, 2013
I voted yes last time but I do believe the courts made a mistake allowing this to be voted on again...but in all honesty if its not now this referendum will pass eventually. Hoboken is changing, good or bad and the rent control ordinance is outdated and honestly not good for the city. Clearly owners will be more incentivized to renovate their places after this change which will make hoboken more desirable in the long run. Yes those who cannot afford the changes will be forced out of hoboken but cities close to NYC are getting more expensive, that is just how demand and supply works...I have always paid a fortune to live in hoboken so on the other side not sure why others can pay so little (like the russo's)
RobinsReef
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October 15, 2013
They won in court and in my opinion for legitimate reasons. I have never seen an election over turn but I have never seen a situation like this. The referendum passed by some 50 votes. There were 114 email ballots that did NOT have the question on it. Those people did NOT have the opportunity to cast their vote. To me, this is an extremely rare but legitimate situation where a revote was warranted. Gov. Christie put forward email ballots in what less than a week before the election? I understand why he did it. He needed to make sure that NJ participated in the national election. There were other items on the ballot where the number of email ballots could not have changed the outcome but with the RC question it could.

Cheryl Fallick is crying foul because that's all she's got. Throughout the comments below she provides no coherent argument why RC is good for Hoboken, no argument why it's justified today. She is just a get over who wants to continue to get over on her Landlord - sleep cheap at someone else's expense. she's the greedy one.

Vote Yes to the Referendum
VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
When asked to vote Hoboken voted to keep the rent controlsasafeguards in place.

Unhappy with the will of the people of Hoboken the real estate lobbiest went to court to get another chance to end the protections.

The lobbies are being paid to deliver windfall profitds to their bosses on the backs of Hoboken's renters.

This November tell them NO MEANS NO.

VOTE NO AGAIN.
RobinsReef
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October 12, 2013
Vote YES to the referendum and allow condos and one to 4 families out of this horribly managed ordinance.

1,000's of home owners relied on a rule put out by the Rent Leveling Board that said they could charge what ever they wanted when they bought a condo upon conversion that was either vacant or they were the Tenant at the time.

A recent court ruling (APRIL 2013) ruled that the RLB had NO RIGHT to put in and disseminate that rule putting 1,000s of unsuspecting home owners at risk with NO RECOURSE. AGAIN, the city governing as if it was the wild wild west have put people's savings at risk.

Get rid of this law now.. No more waiting... No more excuses.... No more politicians who say they are going to do something about it and then don't.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - News, Events, Classifieds, and Businesses in Hudson County, New Jersey
VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
Stop the real estate lobbies now...no more of their tricks...no more of their lies...no more their excuses...no more politicians who are the puppets of greedy developers.

VOTE NO AGAIN.

BECAUSE NO MEANS NO.
VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
Even after the real estate people used every dirty trick the could think of to get people to destroy the protection of many renters when the people of Hoboken were asked to vote, they voted to continue the protection.

Not happy with the will of the people they used the courts to get another chance to get their way.

This November the people of Hoboken again need to vote to save the laws that protect renters.

VOTE NO AGAIN.
VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
This is just the start of a campaign by big real estate that will spend very large amounts of money to subvert the will of the people of Hoboken.

THIS TIME NO MEANS NO.

VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
When Tim Occhipinti is being funded to run for mayor in large part by developer Frank Raia who has actively tried to end the renters protections says he would protect renters from abuse, it just does not ring true.

THIS TIME NO MEANS NO !
SHamilin
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October 12, 2013
Respectfully. I get it. Your are pro rent control. The referendum failed last time and you are pissed that it'a back. I assume the other side didn't put a gun to some judge's head. You make it sound like they paid the judge off and I just don't believe that could happen and regardless it's on the ballot. Given the storm and it's been a year?, a slightly different group is going to vote this year so how about we inform people.

I myself voted by mail and ended up out of town because of the storm. My apartment didn't have electricity for a week. I didn't vote in this because I didn't know it was going to be on the ballot and with everything going on I just wanted to get my vote in for the presidential election.

Given the circumstances I don't think it's a bad thing the question is up again. I am sure VNA you don't feel that way so please hold your comments in that. I am interested in informing myself in the issue.

How about we discuss the issue. You sound very emotional and it seems your only objective is to shut down any discussion about the issue itself. What are the merits?

I would like to understand the issue. What is this court ruling? What does it mean for people who used it? Why is rent control good for Hoboken?
SHamilin
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October 12, 2013
I copied that last comment but wanted ask what is that person referring to. What happened in April? What rule is that person referring to and what does it mean for property owners?
SHamilin
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October 12, 2013
Vote YES to the referendum and allow condos and one to 4 families out of this horribly managed ordinance.

1,000's of home owners relied on a rule put out by the Rent Leveling Board that said they could charge what ever they wanted when they bought a condo upon conversion that was either vacant or they were the Tenant at the time.

A recent court ruling (APRIL 2013) ruled that the RLB had NO RIGHT to put in and disseminate that rule putting 1,000s of unsuspecting home owners at risk with NO RECOURSE. AGAIN, the city governing as if it was the wild wild west have put people's savings at risk.

Get rid of this law now.. No more waiting... No more excuses.... No more politicians who say they are going to do something about it and then don't.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Hoboken mayoral candidate debate is now on line
VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
THIS TIME NO MEANS NO.

Last time the convoluted wording of the question was used by those who wanted to destroy renters rights to confuse many of the voters.

THIS TIME NO MEANS NO.
VoteNoAgain
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October 12, 2013
Vote NO Again.

The big real estate disinformation machine created to destroy rent control does not like it when people talk up to protect their rights.

Last time these paid lobbyists tried every dirty trick in the book and failed. The people of Hoboken said NO to them and saved rent control.

They then went to court to get a second try to kill rent control and get rid of many of those people who rent in our city.

Shame on Tim Occhipinti and Frank "Pupie" Raia for selling out the renters of Hoboken. SHAME ON YOU !

VOTE NO AGAIN.

RobinsReef
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October 12, 2013
Vote YES to the referendum and allow condos and one to 4 families out of this horribly managed ordinance.

1,000's of home owners relied on a rule put out by the Rent Leveling Board that said they could charge what ever they wanted when they bought a condo upon conversion that was either vacant or they were the Tenant at the time.

A recent court ruling (APRIL 2013) ruled that the RLB had NO RIGHT to put in and disseminate that rule putting 1,000s of unsuspecting home owners at risk with NO RECOURSE. AGAIN, the city governing as if it was the wild wild west have put people's savings at risk.

Get rid of this law now.. No more waiting... No more excuses.... No more politicians who say they are going to do something about it and then don't.
VoteNoAgain
|
October 12, 2013


SHAME ON YOU !

VoteNoAgain
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October 11, 2013
Election day

Vote No Again.

Protect Hoboken renters.

RobinsReef
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October 12, 2013
Why? Why take away someone's property rights? What is the justification? Just because you want to sleep cheap and you want property owners to give it to you? Why do you deserve it?

Vote YES to the referendum and give back to property owners that which should have never been taken.

VNA you are a moocher
RobinsReef
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October 12, 2013
Is this Cheryl Fallick or Mary Andraca (sp?)

How much do you earn per year? How much is your rent? How big is? Where in town? What would it rent for at market? How much are you getting over on your landlord?

How do you justify getting a discount off of market? Let's hear your argument.
SHamilin
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October 11, 2013
Someone voting Yes to the referendum commented below. I am interested in hearing what the merits of rent control are? Has anyone explained why rent control is good for the town? Why should rent control be supported?

Again please hold comments to facts and rationale. Please no personal attacks.

Anyone? Anyone besides the two that have already commented?

VoteNoAgain
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October 11, 2013
How much money did Liberty Board of Realtors spend on their mailing ?

Are they looking for a return on their investment on the backs of Hoboken renters ?

Vote NO again.
SHamilin
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October 11, 2013
Below are comments from someone who is voting Yes to the referendum. I would like to hear the argument why rent control is something we should keep.

Does anyone have a rebuttal? Please keep it to facts, rationale, not personal attacks. I would like to know why rent control is good for Hoboken.

Anyone?
VoteNoAgain
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October 10, 2013
The big developers like Tim Occhipinti's running mate Frank "Pupie" Raia want to get rid of rent control so their profits increase as the clear out a large portion of those middle class people who rent in Hoboken.

The have spent a great deal of money on shills (RobinsReef) and political front groups to get their way.

Not too long ago in Hoboken they used to burn people out of their rental apartments.
RobinsReef
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October 10, 2013
I am not part of a PAC. I am an individual who owns one property that I live in. I have watched this law hurt my friends with no apparent, justifiable reason. I take exception to be called part of a PAC.

You want to categorize all people who oppose your point of view as "evil developers".

Why don't you address my concerns instead of attacking me personally?

Why is it a good and proper thing to limit what owners can charge for their property at their direct expense? What is the identifiable, justifiable public benefit?
VoteNoAgain
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October 10, 2013
Not buying the denials.

Never said it but I do like your term "evil developers."

The voters of Hoboken rejected this once already and will VOTE NO AGAIN.
RobinsReef
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October 10, 2013
I believe her own Council Members support the referendum as is and don't trust that she will be able to change the rent control ordinance to anything that gives tenants more protection than what they have today and to the extent that the referendum offers them today.

The courts are incredibly biased towards tenants. If the Tenant has unsafe conditions, lack of heat they can report it to the Hoboken Health department that will issues fines of $500/a day.

The lack of credit reporting on rental payments allow tenants to play games with their rent where there really is no down side to them.

I have seen cases where Tenants will go to court just to see what they can get and even though many leases say that the tenant should pay the landlord legal costs if the court sides with they landlords, the judge never awards that - even in the most blatant cases.

Landlords can evict Tenants whose leases have expired and they are selling with 60 days notice. On 3 families, the owner can take over more of the units if he is living there as long as there are no leases in place.

That's the law as it stands today. That is what the legislature has said is fair. Owners should be able to sell and that is what the law said is fair. You cannot call that harassment. If Tenants want more control than buy something. Sign a longer lease. How many tenants want to go month to month so they can move out with little or no notice? You can't have it all.

You cannot expect all the benefits and none of the responsibility.

If Zimmer thinks that Tenants need more help to protect themselves against harassment when the referendum goes through, create a defense fund for them. I don't see harassment happening. There are too many laws in place that protect tenants. The courts are incredibly biased towards Tenants and any wrong doing on the part of the Landlord is too severe - treble damages.

I don't think Zimmer has her own Council supporters to put in a crompromise. I think her own Council supporters will vote yes in the booth REGARDLESS of what they say publicly.
VoteNoAgain
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October 10, 2013
Shouldn't you end all your posts with a statement like:

This has been a paid political attack from a real estate PAC ?
RobinsReef
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October 10, 2013
I am voting for Mayor Zimmer but think she is wrong on the matter of rent control. How do you justify rent control on condos and 1-4 families when who gets to stay in these cheap apartments at the direct expense of the landlord, are not income tested? How do you justify taking money away from property owners and giving it to people who are not necessary low income earners?

When you look at property where the legal rents are well below market, the owners sell well below other similar properties where the rents are at market.

There is property on the south side, that will remain anonymous where the rents were below $1000 a piece for 2 bedrooms. The legal rents are ridiculously low and as recent as last year there was someone there making a 6 figure income paying $800/month in rent for a 2 bedroom. It wasn't in good shape but why in the world would or could the owner put any money into the property with that kind of rent?

Would the rent leveling board give the owner enough of an increase to make any voluntary improvement worthwhile? Why bother if all the landlord is going to get is the cost of the improvement spread over a super long time?

How can the Mayor support delaying change any further? Hoboken has been trying to change this law pretty much from the minute it went in. Why delay it?

The Council has been afraid in the past to change it. They are afraid to change it now. I believe 8 out of 9 Council members will vote yes in the booth but wont' say it publicly.

If she thinks it can be done better than how? Put the referendum through and then put in the supposed improvements. How many years to property owners have to wait? How long?
RobinsReef
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October 10, 2013
And I want to be clear, the property referred to in the south end of town was in sloppy shape but nothing unsafe and nothing that did not meet code. In other words, the Landlord is not in violation of operating a property that is unsafe. The fixtures inside are old but work.

I love it when Tenants say how much they have done to their apartments because the landlord won't do anything. Unless it's required and the Landlord can charge more rent for it, why in the world would you expect the landlord to make a voluntary improvement?

I also love it when tenants say that property owners are all about money... I say that about the Tenants. It's all about sleeping cheap and getting a good deal for themselves. A lot of these property owners are elderly where the only asset they have is there property.

Tenants could care less if these people can take care of themselves or not.
VoteNoAgain
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October 10, 2013
I am voting to reflect Mayor Zimmer, Councilmen Bhalla, Mello and James Doyle.

But I am voting NO again on this revote of the public question on rent control.
VoteNoAgain
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October 10, 2013
Hoboken voters said NO once already.

The real estate PAC who wants to clear out everyone who lives in a rent controled apartment in Hoboken went to court to overturn the decision of the voters. They got a second bite of the apple.

VOTE NO AGAIN.

It is the right thing to do.
RobinsReef
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October 10, 2013
I have never seen election results turn over and I do feel this is an exception where it was justified.

Politicians attempt to overturn election results scruntinizing every single ballot, seeking evidence to prove that a voter has moved out of the area or that fraud was used to cast an illegal vote and even with all of that effort, they results are not turned over.

This case was clear as day to me. 114 people got ballots that didn't have the local question on it. The difference in ya's vs nay's was ~50. 114 people did not have the opportunity to vote and even the Board of Elections admitted that in court. It was indefensible.

Cheryl Fallick said she "spoke to most" of the 114 people and said they were all invalids as if that could possibly be evidence which is wasn't.

If EVER there was a situation that should have turned over results it's this one. There was clear undeniable proof that a considerable number of people did not have the opportunity to vote on this important matter.

The fact of the matter is a JUDGE put it back on the ballot and just cause had to be provided. It went how many levels up? Appelate and the Supreme court wouldn't hear it.

I am here to tell you that there are more than 'evil developers' who want to see the referendum go through. I make less than $70,000 a year which is below average in Hoboken. I managed to get a downpayment together and I was able to buy. Not all property owners are "yuppies". In fact, it's those that have owned for a long time, that are hurt the most by this law. People who bought in the 80's when Hoboken was not what it is today, where the rent control formula did not keep up with inflation.

Cry all you want to, the question is back and roughly half of the population - developers, plus others and the Court all believe it belongs.

It's back for good reason. Even if you disagree the public is being asked to vote again. Vote Yes to the referendum.
VoteNoAgain
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October 10, 2013
The voters of Hoboken voted NO on this once before and will VOTE NO AGAIN.

I have to think developer Frank "Pupie" Raia's funding of Occhipinti came with the provision that he work to undermine rent control in Hoboken.