Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Might the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good?

At the Legal Committee meeting on October 6, Alderman Rebecca Wolff (First Ward) said she wanted to amend the "good cause" eviction law. The Common Council had voted to enact the law on September 20, with eight of the nine members present (Jane Trombley and Eileen Halloran were absent) voting in favor, and one member (Shershah Mizan) abstaining, and Mayor Kamal Johnson had a public hearing on the law scheduled for the next day. The recommended path to making the amendments Wolff sought was to have the mayor veto the legislation, thus sending it back to the Council. 

As recommended, Johnson vetoed the legislation on October 7. In his veto message, Johnson stated:
I fully support the objective of this legislation and acknowledge its urgency. However, in the period between its submission to my office and today's public hearing on this Proposed Law, members of the Common Council's Legal Committee have expressed a desire to make additional amendments to this proposed law. As I understand it, these changes seek to close unintended loopholes existing in its current form, which have recently come to light in similar iterations appearing in other municipalities across the state of New York. In the interest of adopting the strongest possible protections for tenants in our City at the outset, I believe it is appropriate to return the proposed legislation to the Common Council for further deliberation on these intended revisions before adoption into law.
At the mayor's public hearing, two people--Margaret Morris, a write-in candidate for First Ward alderman, and Kristal Heinz--urged that more time be taken to consider the impacts the legislation might have on the rental market in Hudson. At the time, it seemed that the legislation was only going back to the Council to make the amendments Wolff requested, but it seems it may be going back to the Legal Committee for further consideration. The legislation was not on the agenda for the Council's October meetings. The next meeting of the Legal Committee is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 3. 


  1. Rather than actually do something, the Council continues to waste time on feel-good activities that accomplish nothing. Even if the stated intent of this law -- to prevent illegal evictions -- made any sense (if the evictions are illegal, they are already against the law so another law isn't going to accomplish anything) the fact is that the state fully occupies the area of landlord-tenant relations. This means that as a matter of law a city (or town or village) can't add or subtract from the state's body of law as it applies in this area. And a good thing too: if this law were enforced it would be the end of privately owned rental housing in Hudson. Why then the only landlord in town would be Galvan, making that succubus a monopoly . . . hey, wait a minute . . . it's almost like the Council members are on the Galvan payroll (or just too stupid to realize what they're doing?).

  2. Feelings -- and bad ideas. In the end, this will not help anyone.

    the new people in Hudson like to emote, and talk, and ruin a thriving city. To what end ?

    1. Not all the new people are like this and many (most) of the council members are long time residents or raised here. Most new people I know are business owners or invested in real estate and aren’t about what this council is peddling. Unfortunately many have been too busy to notice, but they are starting to see what’s happening.

  3. What John Friedman says is absolutely correct. Questions for the so-called Legal Committee: why did you ignore the advice of your lawyer and push ahead with this activist legislation? The State of NY rejected it resoundingly in 2019 when it came up for a vote before the legislature.

    More questions: Why are all the lawyers in town telling you NOT to do this good cause eviction law? Why are your lawyers resigning? Why are there no lawyers on the Legal Committee? How does this law impact AirBnB owners? If AirBnB owners are not able to get tenants out without a judge declaring a "good cause" I think they'd be pretty pissed. Are they subject to this law or not? Has anyone considered the ramifications on small landlords?

    This law should be vetoed, voted down, buried in a crypt, and never see the light of day. It's harmful to Hudson's limited rental resources, as well as Hudson's reputation.