Hudson Reporter Archive

In special meeting tonight (Tuesday), Hoboken council likely to move local elections back to May

HOBOKEN – The Hoboken City Council is expected to take a final vote to repeal legislation that moved local elections from May to November in a special meeting on Tuesday night.
Originally, the five council allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer voted to align municipal elections with gubernatorial and national elections, citing increased voter turnout and a cost savings to the city. But a group of politically involved residents took to the streets to gather signatures to repeal the legislation.
The committee of petitioners included Jennifer Holdsworth-Kleinman, Frank Raia, Franz Paetzold, Jennifer Grace, and Jamie Cryan.
The issue faced opposition in part because the legislation would permit Zimmer and the council members to receive a six month term extension. The term extensions would also allow the current council to appoint municipal board members in July 2013, before the mayor and council would be up for election in November.
The change also would likely benefit Zimmer, who appeals to new residents. Those residents might be more likely to vote in November elections than in a specific municipal race in May.
Councilman Peter Cunningham, a sponsor of the original ordinance to move Election Day, said the council is repealing the change because the public has asked them to do so (via the petitions). He said this issue differs from the recent rent control referendum because the council spent almost two years discussing the rent control changes, while the Election Day change is a relatively new issue. He added that the council voted unanimously on three rent control changes, while they were divided on the November election issue.
The repeal garnered attention on the state website PolitickerNJ last week, where a report listed Zimmer in the “Winners and Losers: Week of Sept. 5” article. The article classified Zimmer as a “loser” of the week, saying she was “boxed in” by the “3,000-person-plus petition drive.” — Ray Smith

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