Vote may be postponed on changing date of Jersey City municipal elections

JERSEY CITY — The city council is poised to stall on voting to change the municipal elections from May to November.
Several council members at the Nov. 23 caucus asked that the ordinance be tabled in order to better educate the public on the benefits of the move.
The council introduced the ordinance just after the Nov. 3 election based on a narrow vote approving a nonbinding referendum.
The council was expected to vote on the ordinance at tonight’s meeting (Nov. 24). But Councilwoman Diane Coleman has asked for the final vote to be tabled in order to better inform the public on the benefits of the change. Coleman represents Ward F where voters rejected the change.
“I don’t want to vote on this until my constituents are satisfied,” she said. “Í think we should do more research, advertise and market this. Some of part of the community appear to be how it will work and how it will benefit the city. I think it should be made clear. We need to show people.”
Watterman, however, asked what plan there was to educated the public.
“We should know that before we vote to table this,” she said.
Councilmen Michael Yun and Richard Boggiano agreed with them move, but it is unclear how other council members felt.
Lavarro, however, seemed to want to vote on the ordinance.
“The benefits are there,” he said.
Coleman and Councilman Khemraj ‘Chico’ Ramchal, called for a consensus on the matter, Coleman asked that the vote be taken on Nov. 24 early in the meeting so as to avoid having the public wait to comment on the matter.
This comes at a time when some members of the public are attempting to exercise an infrequently used iniative that would appeal the ordiance passage. If slightly more than 2,000 signatures are gathered to ask for an appeal, the council – if they pass the ordinance – would either have to repeal it or call for a special election to allow the public to decide again if it wishes to repeal the change.
Jerrmeny said the council would have more than enough time to do something and bring it back, if the city council wished to pass it later.
Ramchal asked for the matter to be moved up on the Nov. 24 agenda in order to avoid having the expected large number of public speakers wait.
“This is Thanksgiving week,” he said. “We do not want people to be there all night.”

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