Jul 28, 2014
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Rent Control Referendum Overturned, Outcome of Election Now Void

A superior court judge has ordered a new referendum to be held to answer the question to uphold rent control in Hoboken or to switch to a "vacancy decontrol" model.

Rent Control Referendum Overturned, Outcome of Election Now Void

Superior Court Judge Christine Farrington has overturned the result of November's referendum about rent control.

The rent control laws in Hoboken were changed two years ago, when the full council approved the new laws.

While voters decided to uphold rent control on its current form in Hoboken — rather than changing to a vacancy decontrol system — the outcome was later contested. 

After all the vote by mail ballots were counted, rent control was upheld by less than 50 votes. A group of 15 voters — with the support of the Mile Square Tax Payers Association and lead by lawyer Charles Gormally — contested 92 ballots.

Now, Farrington decided, that the vote will have to take place again.

Cheryl Fallick, a long time rent control advocate who also sits on the city's rent leveling board, said the decision is "outrageous."

Fallick said she hopes that the state and the county will appeal and that there won't have to be a new referendum.

She called the contesting of the referendum "the most pathetic, bogus thing."

In turn, Gormally sent out a statement that explained their side's victory.

According to a mass email, Gormally said he and the fellow contesters "discovered that nearly 200 voters were denied the right to vote for or against the public question. 

In Sandy's aftermath, the state decided that voters could fill out provisionals at any polling place.

"Unfortunately, voters who did this and appeared outside of Hoboken to vote, were not presented with a Hoboken ballot and therefore could only vote for the presidential and senate races," the email stated.

The judge ruled a new election to have to take place within the next 60 days. No date has been scheduled yet.

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