Judge rules against placing rent control question on special October ballot in Hoboken; appeal to be heard Sept. 10

HOBOKEN – A superior court judge filed an injunction on Thursday against Hoboken landlords and property owners’ effort to place an initiative to discontinue rent control in Hoboken on the ballot for the October special Senate election. The judge did so because an appeal of the same issue in a previous election filed by a tenants’ rights group is not scheduled to be heard until after the printing deadline for the October ballots.
The initiative was defeated in last November’s election, but a landlords’ group successfully protested the way the vote was conducted in the wake of the hurricane. The new vote is supposed to be on the ballot in either October or November. A judge said that he thought the issue should be voted on after the tenants were given the right to appeal the election’s overturning, which they have alleged was based on faulty evidence.
Earlier this year, another judge, Christine Farrington, ruled that the question be placed on the next Special General Election. When former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D – NJ) died in June, the Mile Square Taxpayer Association (MSTA) argued that the question be placed on the ballot for the October election to decide his replacement.
However, the tenants, represented by a member of the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA), Cheryl Fallick, argued that their date to appeal the overturning of the election, Sept. 10, was after the printing date for the October election. The judge sided with HFHA, though a representative for MSTA said today that his group would appeal the decision.
“This ruling makes it seem as if the appeal is more important than the original ruling, and that’s not true,” said Ron Simoncini, the representative.
But Fallick said that HFHA members were thrilled with the news and are looking forward to their Sept. 10 day in court.
“Presumably, this means that we’ll get to appeal the judge’s decision to overturn the election and if we win, we win, and if we don’t, we’ll be on the November ballot,” she said. – Dean DeChiaro

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