Bayonne voters uphold vacancy decontrol ordinance by slim majority






By Ken Thorbourne/The Jersey Journal

In the final count, Bayonne rent-control activists came up more than 100 votes shy of overturning the city’s vacancy decontrol ordinance in the Nov. 6 election.

After adding provisional and mail-in-ballots to the machine count, county officials certified the voting results yesterday: 6,824 residents (49.49 percent) voted in favor of overturning the ordinance; 6,965 (50.51 percent) residents voted no.

The result means that a law adopted by the council in November 2011 that allows landlords to remove certain units from rent control guidelines will stand. Landlords can apply to remove the units from rent control if the tenant willingly moves or is legally evicted.

The activists failed several times to place an initiative on the ballot to overturn the ordinance and finally collected enough valid petition signatures to put the question on the November ballot.

Betsy Parks, president of the Bayonne Tenants Organization, conceded defeat yesterday.

“The BTO will continue to thrive and we will be back,” Parks said.

Parks said that since the vacancy decontrol ordinance passed “landlords are becoming very aggressive in their attempts to push tenants out who are under the protection of rent control.”

More than 2,000 apartments in Bayonne currently fall under rent control guidelines, city officials said.



Bayonne’s rent control referendum results can’t be certified yet

Bayonne’s rent control referendum results can’t be certified yet

By Anthony J. Machcinski


Despite 98 percent of the machine votes being tallied, the battle over rent control in Bayonne technically isn’t over, with 415 votes separating the two sides.

People hold up campaign signs on Ocean Avenue in Jersey City on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

The ballot question asked residents if they wanted to overturn the law that allows units to be removed from rent control under certain conditions.

By a 6,568-to-6,153 margin, Bayonne voted Tuesday night to keep the current rent control law.

But with more than 5,000 Hudson County votes not yet counted those sent in by email or regular mail, as well as provisional ballots the referendum will not be certified until tomorrow at the earliest, according to Hudson County Deputy Clerk Janet Larwa.

Larwa said election officials won’t know how many of those are Bayonne ballots until officials go through them all.

Rent control applies to more than 2,000 units in Bayonne, according to city spokesman Joe Ryan.


Source: The Jersey Journal