|February 2011: Last words from Hoboken's Blockbuster at 412 Washington St. |
photo: Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal
Yesterday, Horsey broke the news about proposed legislation on deck tonight at the City Council that will impact every business in the city of Hoboken.
That's right, every business.
In short, tonight's resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Beth Mason and co-sponsored by Terry Castellano proposes an ordinance requiring all Hoboken businesses with 10 or more employees to provide paid employee sick leave, and those with less than 10 employees to accrue sick time which may be compensated.
|page 135: excerpt of Mason-Castellano proposed Ordinance|
And what is the process for taking paid or unpaid sick time?
|page 139: Mason-Castellano proposed ordinance|
How do employees settle disputes with employers over the new sick time policy?
Through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("Department") or the "any Court of competent jurisdiction."
|page 142: Mason-Castellano proposed ordinance|
Do you smell a stunt?
This legislation was not written to succeed; it was meant to adorn a bumper sticker or resume for higher office, perhaps even impress a gubernatorial candidate. It is pure populist rhetoric, with no thought to the economic impact on the small business community and overall economic impact on the City of Hoboken.
A serious piece of legislation would have been preceded by studying the economic impacts on small businesses and dialogue with the business community. This is overtly lop-sided legislation, punitive to Hoboken's business community, forcing compliance under threat of federal intervention, without addressing the economic impacts on our small business community.
Have Mason-Castellano proposed a way for businesses to offset the added cost of their proposal, perhaps with a tax break? Of course not.
It was only a few short years ago, Dark Side politicos were bemoaning empty storefronts on Washington Street, and dumping fault for the struggling business climate on the Mayor. On March 25, 2011, Dark Side politico Mike Novak told the Wall Street Journal:
For the past few years, the partisan overtones of Hoboken's struggle to attract business to Hoboken were inescapable. Many of those empty storefronts now have tenants. The City is now proposing a redesign and upgrade to Washington Street aimed at boosting the small business community, which needs 'bi-partisan' support (six votes) to pass.
Hence, it is curious timing to drop this resolution which adds hardship to small businesses in Hoboken, without proposing relief to offset added costs.
At the end of the day, increasing costs of running a business are passed on to the consumer, one way or another.
2015 can't come soon enough.