My name is Robert Hites and I live Marysville, Yuba County, 40 miles north of Sacramento. My single wide is located in a twelve space mobile home park. The space rent is $350.00 per month and there are no amenities. Residences are seniors although we have a family here that has lived here seventeen years and they have two twin girls. It has been a pleasure watching them grow.
Recently the park was purchased by a new out of town park owner. The rent was increased and the amenities were taken away. It became an overnight nightmare. The owners representatives were very business like: however we soon found out that they were also very critical of seniors and acted as though they were better than us as we lived in trailers and not manufactured homes. Most of the homes are over 25 years of age. Well it wasn’t long before things needed to be fixed. Telephone calls to the property manager were not being returned and letters were sent but not answered and it was telephone tag at the highest levels of humanity’s stupidity.
So, where do I turn? Join GSMOL, right? I was told they can help you. So I rounded up all the residents and asked them to join GSMOL as they would. guide us through the storm. Well words and letters were being used like MRL, conversion ordinance, rent control, rent stabilization and items that this old country boy had never heard of. So, I call GSMOL, main office. Very politely was informed to contact a field Representative. I did and he responded when he could as he was experiencing health problems with his wife and I can understand that. I also understand that these folks are all volunteers.
Well my e-mails were not being returned in a timely manner, My telephone calls were not being returned. So, I go back to GSMOL and inform them I want to be a Chapter. Fine, they will send me the information and they would put my name before a Board of Directors. Great, lets get something done as people were looking for answers and were not getting any. So, finally they called and said you need to become an association, okay how do I start that, simple, you need a PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, SECRETARY, TREASURER AND NOTIFY your landlord or owner. We did that, we created bylaws on our own, we created all documents for our letterhead and MEMO forms as this is the way that the park owners communicate with you. Nothing is signed, everything is generic so that one form fits all and you read what they expect you to do. It takes time.
You learn to ask questions of strangers like Senator Correa, Administrative Aide, extremely helpful, you call county supervisors and you invite them to your homeowners Association meeting and you bring in the big guys that are against rent control and tell you straight up not in our county, which is Yuba. Of course the people in the manufactured homes are shocked and wonder why this could happen to them. Well, it is a five letter word GREED. We are business people and cannot be bothered with those Seniors that can barley walk, cant see and some are fortunate that family, most do not for one reason or another. But you get to see just how poorly the seniors are treated. Men, women, veterans, retired from all walks of life and on pension that could not feed a large crow. It is sad.
There is help and that is in the form of legal aid, super people, kind, considerate and informative. Even County Supervisor agree that something has to be done, but there are just not enough hours in the day. So we ramble along and we talk to attorneys, we find common ground with other Seniors.
Then we found an organization called CoMO-CAL. That stands for Coalition of Mobile Home Owners of California. The president is Frank Wodley and he has become the best source of information bar none on this planet for mobile home owners and residents. Within the last 30 days he has given us more support and more valid information that was sound and definitely needed.
His candor and determination is beyond of what any one would expect. I have never met the man but we have e-mailed and spoke over the telephone several times. I call him Kemo Sabi, that means friend in Indian and he calls me Tonto. That is okay. A friendship has resulted and a trust that is hard to beat.
So I encourage each of you that reads the VOICE to join our band of determined Seniors to take back the streets and stand tall and make the owners and management corporations obey the MRL(Mobile Residency Laws). They were written for a purpose and not be discarded.
Currently I am working on organizing seniors in other parks throughout Northern California. I know it can be done and if each of you stand a little taller and holds some of these greedy, better than thou attitudes and make your leaders be accountable we shall win the peace of mind we all have worked for.
BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE, DONT LET ANYONE OR ANYBODY OR ANYTHING THINK THAT THERE TIME AND THERE WAY IS THE ONLY WAY. IT IS NOT. There are two sides to every coin.
We welcome Bob to our growing team of representatives across the state. I am impressed by Bob’s down to earth style, his real interest in others, his dedication, and determination to make a difference.
Bob has a terrific sense of humor. We al l need it when dealing with the serious problems found in many mobilehome parks. Bob is a 24 year military veteran who served us in Viet Nam. He speaks four languages plus English.
Along with Bob comes Theresa Spradley. Theresa is not a mobile home owner. In fact Theresa brought her mom from Chicago to live near her. Thinking a mobile home would be the ideal place, she recommended her mom move into Alpine Mobile Home Park only to find that a mobile home park is full of fear, intimidation and harassment. Now Theresa is part of our team. She will not sit back and allow this to happen! Theresa is determined to make a difference and CoMO-CAL welcomes her help and expertise!
If you are tired of the present situation in your mobilehome park and around the state. If you want to make a difference, please join Bob and Theresa and others around the state. Volunteer to be a CoMO-CAL representative. We will put your contact information in the VOICE so other mobilehome owners in your area will know who to contact.
This does not take much time. This does not take much expertise. Questions can be directed to Chatsworth.
If you want to help, whatever way, please give me a call at 1-800-929-6061. Perhaps you will distribute the mini-VOICE while you take your evening walk. CALL ME! Perhaps you can send a donation of $5. DO IT! Whatever you can do, it will be appreciated.
Thank You. Frank Wodley