In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Joshua Einstein says that voters should cast their ballots to bring back runoff elections when they hit the polls tomorrow.
Mayor Bhalla may or may not be a good mayor; many may think his initiatives are short sighted, some may think them visionary, but regardless of the varying opinions, it is a definitive fact that the current mayoral administration in Hoboken doesn’t have a mandate.
Mayor Bhalla doesn’t have popular support because he won the mayoral race with a minority of all votes cast for mayor – a majority of voters cast their vote against him.
Obviously, elections are tough and brutal things (full disclosure, I ran for city
council independent of any council slate, lost, and had a fantastic time).
In the crowded field of competitors including then Councilman Bhalla, Freeholder Romano, Councilman DeFusco, Councilwoman Giattino, and local businesswoman Karen Nason, it was unlikely that any one candidate would get a majority.
This is why it is important we bring back runoff elections.
Ideally Hoboken would implement a system of instant runoffs also known as ranked voting, in which voters get to select their number 2 and possibly number 3 choice for the particular office.
However, as that type of common-sense voting system is not currently authorized by the (useless) powers that be in Trenton, Hoboken cannot.
Symbolic city council resolutions on ranked voting notwithstanding, the voters of Hoboken deserve a system that shows the administration has a mandate from the voters.
In the November 6 election voters can and should support runoff elections. Imagine how much less bickering there would be if the mayor, Bhalla or another, won a majority in a regular election or a runoff.
Imagine how much smoother municipal government could run if the occupant of the mayor’s seat could claim the moral high ground of representing the will of the people.
Imagine how much more political capital a mayor with popular support could claim.
The principle of majority support doesn’t just end at the mayor’s office. City council people should be elected, both at-large or in the ward seats, with a majority of support from the voters.
How, otherwise, can they pretend they represent the will of the voters? On November 6, vote to bring back runoff elections; vote to bring back commonsense local government.