Tom and Amy DeGise explain why they voted yes on Jersey City Airbnb referendum


Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, along with county Democratic party chair Amy DeGise, explained why they voted yes on approving a short-term rental referendum in Jersey City.

“I voted yes on that, I have a sign on my house, I haven’t really gotten involved in it, but the more I looked at it, the more I realized what was going on for people,” Tom DeGise stated just after voting at the Christa McAuliffe School located at 167 Hancock Ave.

” … I have no problem [with the concept of Airbnb] at all, but when you start building buildings just to be Airbnb, particularly those that had tax abatements attached to them and requirements about affordable housing … I’m hoping yes wins today.”

The county executive has served in his post since 2001 and faces an 18-year-old Republican challenger in Kennith Gonzalez. Expectedly, the incumbent said he feels good about his chances and is glad that the in fighting between the party ended last summer.

“That may make for a boring Election Day for a lot of people, but for us veterans, boring is good,” he added.

In the 33rd Legislative District (where the DeGises were voting), Assembly members Raj Mukherji and Annette Chaparro, along with Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, have contested races but are also expected to win by large margins – as is county surrogate candidate Tilo Rivas, currently the Union City freeholder.

Additionally, Amy DeGise told HCV that she feels very strongly that people should have their voices heard on the short-term rental question.

“When anything is decided by the people and supported by the legislators, we really do need to pay attention. I believe this is the first time that there will be a referendum for Airbnb, they’re about to go public in the next few months, so it sends a good message to big businesses that want to interact with our community,” she explained.

“I think it gained a lot of people’s attention, it got people digging kind of deep on it, for information that they thought was best for their community. There’s points on both sides, but I think at the end of the day, people want to support the regulations.”

Neither of the DeGises formally endorsed the ballot question one way or the other and didn’t show their hand prior to today, though their yes votes were still fairly expected.

Tom DeGise, a former teacher, and Amy DeGise, a former Jersey City school board member, declined to say too much about the five board seats up for grabs in board of education race that features 13 candidates.

However, Tom DeGise said he voted for Tara Stafford due to the friendship he had with her late father, Dr. Charles Epps, Jr., a former superintendent of schools.

Meanwhile, Amy DeGise would only reveal that she voted for “who the [teachers] union likes for the most part,” declining to get into the particulars. The Jersey City Education Association is supporting the “Education Matters” team.

The polls are open until 8 p.m.

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