After Saturday vote, Hoboken local elections may not move to November

HOBOKEN – Maybe the voters won’t decide on when Election Day will be in Hoboken.
City Council members voted 8-0-1 on Saturday morning in a special meeting to begin the process of repealing an ordinance that moved municipal elections from May to November. The measure needs to be approved at a second meeting after a public hearing in order for the repeal to be completed. Councilwoman Theresa Castellano abstained from the vote on Saturday.
The City Council majority that was allied with Mayor Dawn Zimmer voted in July to move municipal elections from May to November, citing a potential increase in voter turnout and a cost savings for the city. The local elections would be aligned with the November elections when voters usually go to the polls for gubernatorial and national races.
Critics of the change see the move as a power grab, as Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the entire council would receive a one-time term extension of six months. The move is allowed by state law, and council members are not permitted to shorten their terms to the previous November. Other observers have said the move could potentially benefit Zimmer’s allies, who appeal to the city’s newcomer population that might not come out to vote in May when only the mayor and council are up for election.
After the measure passed by a 5-4 margin in July (with Zimmer’s five allies voting in favor of the change), a committee of petitioners led by some of Zimmer’s opponents took to the streets and gathered more than 2,500 signatures in order to place the issue on the ballot in the form of a referendum. That way, the voters could decide this November if elections should move.
The petitioners needed approximately 2,100 signatures, or 15 percent of the voting population in the last general Assembly election. Once a successful petition was submitted, the council could either allow the measure to go to the ballot for the public to decide or repeal the legislation. The council is expected to complete the repeal of the legislation at a special meeting later this month.

Habitat for Humanity to hold sixth annual golf outing

Habitat for Humanity of Hudson County will hold their sixth annual golf outing and tournament on Thursday, Sept 8 at the Bamm Hollow Country Club at 215 Sunnyside Drive in Lincroft. Lunch will be served prior to 1 p.m.
The event is sponsored by the Kearny Federal Savings Bank. An awards dinner will follow the event. Sponsorships are available.
To register or for sponsorship information, call golf Co-Chairman Paul Swibinski at (201)-864-0600 or Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Santos Murillo at (201)-209-9002. Visit www.habitathudsoncounty.org for more information.

New Jersey Blood Services makes emergency appeal for blood donors

New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, have lost over 2,000 units of blood due to shutdowns and power outages resulting from Hurricane Irene. The supply of several blood types, including O-negative, are below the typical three-to-five day inventory level.
“We need the help of our communities to replenish the blood supply,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call toll-free 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

National Alliance on Mental Illness offers programs

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is presenting a 12-week family-to-family education program to those who have family members that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, co-occurring brain and addictive disorder.
Course topics will include clinical treatment of the disorders and helpful coping mechanisms for the families.
Classes will be held every Wednesday in Union City for a 12-week period beginning Sept. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information and a class schedule, call Martha at 201-861-0614 or Mary at 201-766-2369. Registration is required. All materials are supplied.
Also, NAMI meets monthly in Hudson County and holds meetings in both Spanish and English. To find out more, contact Martha or Mary at the numbers above.

Hospice volunteer training course

Hudson Hospice Volunteers, Inc. seeks volunteers to serve in companionship for terminally ill patients, to provide support for patients and their families, and to run errands and conduct telephone reassurance. The Volunteer Training Program begins Sept. 20 and run until Nov. 8 on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Sister Carol: (201) 433-6225.


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