Hudson council fails to pass Good Cause Eviction Law
Noah Eckstein is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media a local law intended to protect tenants from evictions without cause was rejected December 21, by the Hudson Common Council in a 5 to 5 tie. The vote was a shock to renters in the community, many of whom were hoping the law would cap rent increases at 5 percent. An earlier version of the Good Cause eviction law was approved by the council in September on a vote of 8 to 0. But 1st Ward Alderperson Rebecca Wolff argued that Mayor Kamal Johnson should veto the bill because it was missing key protections such as a guarantee that renters would not be displaced if a property owner chose to sell. The bill was vetoed in October. Wolff said, “Hindsight being 20/20, I wouldn’t have suggested the amendment." Further delays by the city's former council, Jeff Baker, and Council President Tom DePietro's failure to reintroduce the bill soon enough, caused it to languish, Wolff said. DePietro said he will make sure the Council gets back to the legislation in January. Claire Cousin, president of the board of Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, said, “The people who sit on the Council don’t represent the people in their district. They represent self-interest. I’m not surprised, but I’m very disappointed." Disheartened by the outcome, Second Ward Alderperson Tiffany Garriga said, “We have seen people in the city suffer for years. People are losing their houses and this law would have made it fair.” Third Ward representative Ryan Wallace and 4th Ward representative John Rosenthal said they voted against the measure over fears that property owners would sue the city. Voting "no" were Dominic Merante, Jane Trombley, Eileen Halloran, Rosenthal and Wallace. Those voting in favor of the measure were Dewan Sarowar, Malachi Walker, Wolff, Garriga and DePietro. Shershah Mizan abstained. Note: DePietro and Johnson are active on-air volunteer programmers at WGXC. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.