Monday, November 4, 2013

Citizen Dean: City of Hoboken Public Question #1 - NO, and here's why



 
Hey kids - Just a few thoughts about City of Hoboken Public Question #1

This rent-control-gutting measure was defeated at the polls last year, but re-instituted with some controversial legal maneuvering by well-heeled development interests.  I know that vacancy decontrol may seem to have logical elements, particularly to those unfamiliar with Hoboken's long history of tenant harassment and the once-thriving arson-for-profit culture.  But this is a really, really bad piece of legislation and I urge you to vote NO.
 
The amendment, as currently constituted, is an invitation to tenant harassment,
particularly without provisions for far stricter penalties with consistent and emphatic enforcement. Although the amendment's proponents try to assure you that tenant harassment is a relic of the past; I've been consulted, due to my familiarity with landlord-tenant law, by dozens of tenants seeking some kind of guidance against illegal, unethical, intimidating behaviors.  It's still happening. Every day.
 
The amendment's profiteering proponents know exactly what they're doing and are counting on both their huge cache of absentee ballots and general voter misunderstanding to sneak this by this time.  Unbelievably, the amendment begins with this deceptive wording: "Shall the City of Hoboken continue annual rental increase protections for current residents of rent controlled properties..." The principle spokesman for the elusively populated Mile Square Tenants Association is Ron Simoncini of, apparently, Ridgewood and Secaucus. A quick check of his company site, Axiom Communications, reveals a cartoon which seems to definitively outline his general operating methodology: doubletalk the local populace, befuddle an inebriated administration, and sweep potentially corrupt activity under the rug.  If you think my opinion is skewed, I ask you to check it out for yourselves here.  Know this amendment by the company it keeps.
 
Proponents of the amendment claim that a small group of backwards activists are unfairly keeping property owners from reaching their full profit potential.  Well, they are persistent and maybe a little cranky.  Unlike Mr. Simoncini, they're not getting paid.  But it's the same kind of small group of activists (in fact, it's many of the exact same faces), responsible for your enjoyment of Mumford & Sons and Bob Dylan on beautiful Pier A instead of a 40 story office/residential tower.  You can look it up.
 
If it passes, and it realistically could given the suspect absentee ballot history, there will be people dramatically affected who can't afford to be.  The proponents of this amendment have done their best to distract you from its moral overtones. Don't let Hoboken will lose another little piece of its soul.  Please vote NO on City of Hoboken Public Question #1 so that any inequities can be examined and handled appropriately on behalf of all affected parties. Thanks for reading.
 
Citizen Dean