Montclair, NJ – Montclair Property Owners Association (MPOA) wants your email address and cell number.
MPOA, who as a group are seeking to get a question on the ballot to repeal the rent control ordinance that was passed on April 8 during a state of emergency, is asking Montclair township to turn over its list of resident email addresses and cell phone numbers.
Residents who don’t want their information shared can opt out at https://www.montclairnjusa.org/news/headlines/sign_up_for_alerts_and_e-newsletter, says Katya Wowk, communications director for the township. If residents need additional assistance, they can send an email to email@example.com
MPOA’s Committee of Petitioners argued that due to social distancing restrictions during the pandemic it is impossible to circulate petition materials normally needed to secure petition signatures to put the question on the ballot for a public vote. The municipality sought to block the use of its contact list, which it uses for similar public-purpose notifications, and are expected to appeal a decision by Judge Jeffrey Beacham on August 25 to turn over the list.
“Montclair government’s attempt to withhold information that it regularly shares with everyone from its recreation department to candidates for office is further proof that it does not believe that this rent control ordinance can survive scrutiny,” says Charles X. Gormally, attorney for the Committee of Petitioners.
“Many residents are surprised to hear that the Council decided to adopt rent control in Montclair and the opportunity to connect directly to them will allow us to educate them as to the problems with rent control generally and this ordinance specifically,” says Ron Simoncini, executive director of the Montclair Property Owners Association, which supports the Committee of Petitioners. “We are confident that we will obtain the necessary number of signatures to place the matter on the ballot and that even supporters of rent control will reject this Ordinance.”