Government

Protesters Demand City Council Eliminate Salon Licensing Fees

b8ff1458f375f5190295_salon2.jpg
About 20 protesters came to City Hall in July 2017 to demand the repeal of a city ordinance that created new licensing fees for salon owners. Credits: Rebecca Panico
ae77b75163424fd95fdb_salon.JPG
About 20 protesters came to City Hall in July 2017 to demand the repeal of a city ordinance that created new licensing fees for salon owners. Credits: Rebecca Panico
bb6d98588d273da374c1_IMG_9378.JPG
About 20 protesters came to City Hall in July 2017 to demand the repeal of a city ordinance that created new licensing fees for salon owners. Credits: Rebecca Panico
3ba054f8ac7b37fddf73_IMG_9357.JPG
About 20 protesters came to City Hall in July 2017 to demand the repeal of a city ordinance that created new licensing fees for salon owners. Credits: Rebecca Panico
b8ff1458f375f5190295_salon2.jpg

ELIZABETH, NJ - About 20 protesters came to City Hall last night to demand the repeal of a city ordinance that created new licensing fees for salon owners.

MORE: Read the full ordinance here

“This is our job and we provide jobs to all the people in the city,” Diana Maldonado said during the public comments section at the City Council meeting.  She later added, “All we ask is please remove these ordinances that are really hurting us.”

Sign Up for E-News

The ordinance requires beauty salons and barbershops in the city to pay an annual $350 licensing fee to the city. Any business that also operates as a nail salon has to pay an additional $350 fee. Another $100 permit fee is required for any barber shop or salon that stays open past 8:30 p.m.

No action regarding the fees was up for a vote at yesterday’s meeting, but Maldonado said she and other business owners have been asking City Council for months to eliminate the fees.

Council President Carlos Torres told the protesters at last night’s meeting that City Council will reevaluate and make adjustments to the ordinance that will “tremendously” lower the fees.

“The last time time the beauty salons were here, this council did listen and hear your concerns,” Torres said. “We went back as a group and we looked over the whole ordinance. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do for this ordinance that's in effect now, but we are making some changes. We know that $800 is a hardship to business owners.”

He further explained that the council “can't just say that we want [the ordinance] to be changed today” because it needs to go through a process.

A first reading of the amendment to the ordinance will take place on Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall chambers, City Clerk Yolanda Roberts told TAP after the meeting. Ordinances are not up for a vote on the first reading, but it gives people a chance to discuss any ordinance during a public comments section.

The initial ordinance was voted on in December 2016. Maldonado, who owns the Elegant Look Beauty Salon on Elizabeth Avenue, said she and other salon owners didn’t know about the new fees until they received letters in the mail from the city in January.

Salon owners at last night’s meeting said they don’t understand why they have to pay city fees in addition to licensing fees to the state. Some salons owners said they are now facing fines for not paying the fees on time too.

One woman began to cry during the public comments section as she explained in Spanish how the fees were affecting her.

“I went to the licensing department of the City Hall to ask them for a payment plan for the licenses … and they told me there's no such thing,” Maldonado said, translating for the woman who spoke in Spanish. “It doesn't exist in Elizabeth. You have to pay.”

Meanwhile, Maldonado said New Providence -- which is a borough -- is the only other municipality in Union County that charges beauty salons and barbershops an annual fee of $68. Maldonado also said City Council used Hoboken as a model for the valuation of fees in Elizabeth, which she says is unfair since Hoboken is in a different county and has a different working class.

“I understand New Providence charges, but we are a big city,” Torres said during the meeting. “Elizabeth is the fourth biggest city [in New Jersey]. So we're not comparing to Hoboken or Jersey City, but we came up with a resolution, a plan that we thought was fair.”

City Council will vote on any planned adjustments to the fee ordinance in September, the city clerk told TAP. 

TAPintoElizabeth.net is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TAPElizabeth.

Download the TAPinto App!  Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Elizabeth

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_1248402644ae80bb361b_doc03090120180118111003

Sat, February 17, 12:00 PM

St. Joseph the Carpenter School , Roselle

Elizabeth Families Invited to "Hidden in Plain ...

Education Health & Wellness

Tue, February 20, 11:00 AM

Vauxhall Library, Vauxhall

Toddler & Pre-K Program

Education

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Library, Vauxhall

Club Teen: Painting Class

Arts & Entertainment Education

Union County Freeholders Partner in Two Upcoming Hiring Events

February 17, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have announced two hiring event opportunities coming up with Griswold Home Care of Union County and the United Airlines “Summer Assist” youth program.

The first event is with Griswold Home Care of Union County. They are a privately owned, non-medical home care company and are looking for Certified Home Health Aides ...

“Hidden in Plain Sight” - A Presentation Centered Around a Teen’s Bedroom 

ROSELLE, NJ - Elizabeth Parents, grandparents, caregivers, when it comes to your children and drugs, do you know where to look? Do you know what you are looking for? You may be surprised at what is "Hidden in Plain Sight."

The Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition and Prevention Links invite all parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers and other adults from the city of ...

Summit resident Nancy King will be honored with a Lifetime Service Award from Elizabeth Organization

ELIZABETH, NJ - Summit resident Nancy King will be honored with a Lifetime Service Award as Family and Children’s Services of Elizabeth, celebrates its 125th anniversary, hosting the organization's sixth annual Red Carpet Party March 1, at Canoe Brook Country Club.

King is the founder and benefactor of "Nancy’s Place," a Covenant House ...

TAPinto.net Named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -  TAPinto.net has been named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons, a network of more than 230 news organizations across New Jersey.  The award goes to a journalist or news organization that showed overall excellence in their work for 2017.    

Joe Amditis, Associate Director of the Center for Cooperative Media, said TAPinto won the award ...

At Westfield High School, Student Says ‘It’s Almost Normal to Juul Here’

February 16, 2018

Editor’s note: This story about the rise in teen e-cigarette use, written by Westfield High School student Greta Frontero, originally ran in the Jan. 8 edition of WHS student newspaper Hi’s Eye.

WESTFIELD, NJ — A 12th-grade Westfield High School female said she doesn’t bring her Juul to school, but will use someone else’s if the opportunity ...

Nutley Police Department: Video Does Not Contain Direct Threat to Nutley Public Schools

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department reports that the video leading to Nutley Public Schools being closed on Friday did not pose a direct threat to any of the township's schools.

Police reported at 11 a.m. Friday that the person responsible for the video has been cooperating with the Nutley Police Department in their investigation. Interviews are on-going. The ...

Letter to the Editor: I Stand With Her for Union County Chairman

February 16, 2018

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward.   I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for.  Last week I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...

Mintz & Geftic Secures Class Certification for Drivers in Wage and Hour Case

February 16, 2018

Is your employer failing to pay you time and a half for working more than 40 hours/week?

Is your employer misclassifying you as an independent contractor rather than an employee to avoid paying overtime premium pay?

These are some of the allegations being made by the plaintiffs and their attorney Bryan Mintz, of Mintz & Geftic LLC, against Big City Automotive and its ...