The Hoboken City Council approved a measure allowing the police department to issue up to a $1,000 fine for house parties that exceed 25 people.
“I know there was a lot of controversy about the special meeting, I just did want to make one statement about it: we’ve been in this pandemic now for quite some time, I do think it’s quite unfair for a special meeting called related to the action of the pandemic,” began 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo.
“I think we should have had at least a little bit of foresight and given the council time to make sure they were there. It’s never nice when people kind of question your integrity and you get text messages about why you weren’t there and why you didn’t contact the clerk to let them know when in fact neither of those things were true.”
A Thursday special meeting was announced last week to vote on the resolution, which allows the HPD to issue a house party fine, which range from $250 to $1,000, if they were investigating a related issue such as a noise complaint or other quality of life disturbances.
However, the meeting didn’t end up happening since the council was unable to attain a five-person quorum.
4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos added that he had a medical procedure scheduled for months in advance and let the clerk know well in advance that he couldn’t make it.
Council President Jen Giattino chimed in that in the past, the mayor typically reaches out to the council to see if a special meeting date and time works for them and that didn’t happen this time around.
“I do think that five people said they could [attend],” Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle said.
“Right, and one had an emergency,” Giattino responded.
“The process … it just didn’t work, regrettably,” Doyle stated.
Russo added that the mayor could’ve done an executive order, as Giattino had previously noted, so this didn’t necessarily require action from the council at all.
5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen sponsored the resolution, which passed unanimously (9-0), and had previously said he supported a special meeting in order for the HPD to have this on the books for Halloween weekend.