Friday, December 14, 2012

Rent control wars flame on as MSTA heads to court

According to sources on both sides of the housing divide in Hoboken , the rent control war is not over and heading to court.  The referendum, Question #2 separated by a scant 53 votes is facing a legal challenge based on a release obtained from a third party last night.   

The tenants group HFA announces:

Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA) has learned that Sean Smith of Brach Eichler, the law firm that represents the Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA,) a developer/real estate lobbying group that sponsored the failed anti-rent control initiative, Hoboken Public Question #2 (HPQ2), is attempting to circumvent democracy by filing a challenge to overturn the certified election results.

The ballot question -- which would have exempted all 1-4 unit buildings from rent control when the current tenant vacated either voluntarily or through court-ordered eviction and allowed complete vacancy decontrol on larger properties -- was struck down at the polls by the majority of Hoboken’s citizens in the November 6, 2012 election.

The court filing claims that more than 53 voters who supported the MSTA ballot initiative had their absentee ballots rejected. The court documents are not supported with any specific information detailing the actual numbers, names, address or facts about the alleged rejected ‘yes’ votes. 

The filing urges the court to reject the actual election results and declare that the ‘yes’ vote prevailed based on absurd speculations about how the election might have turned out if some things were different or, alternatively nullify the result and force election-weary Hoboken to hold yet another election, adding more expenses to the city and demonstrating that they will stop at nothing to get their way. 

Fifteen Hoboken sore losers -- Alexandra Vaughn; Anne-Marie Pelletier; Joseph Murray; Connie Coppola; John Zaza; Carol Branton; Ann Shearn; Julia MacDermott Joseph Shearn; David Paige; Joan Enger; Kyle Enger; Lindsey Richards; Michael Klein and Pat Pisani -- have signed onto the shameful legal maneuver.

HFHA members are outraged at the blatant attempt to undermine a free and fair election, and demand that Mr. Smith immediately identify each of the actual disqualified voters by name and address. HFHA further insists that the Mr. Smith explain how he can be so sure that this unspecified registered voters voted ‘yes’ on HPQ#2 when absentee and provisional ballots are to be completed in, and remain private by, the actual voter.

The Hoboken Fair Housing Association hopes that both the citizens of Hoboken and the court system reject this outrageous legal maneuver.


Rent Control pamphlet circa World War II
In Hoboken, rent control is going World War III

Talking Ed Note:  MSV has contacted both sides of the issue confirming legal action is underway and will have updates on the ensuing legal battle.