p 3 Many things wrong w/resident ideas. 1.In my 20 yrs of fighting/winning against park owners, I’ve NEVER seen a committee of residents, park reps/attorneys that have EVER reached a “legitimate” accord. EVERY ONE has failed. WMA teaches park owners to “NEVER NEGOTIATE, as Park owners OWN the property & you can move if you don’t like it”. 2 Already residents are asking for higher rents for new residents. They are splitting their own group in half to start, which the park owners will love. There is more than enough FACTUAL, DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE to prove the outrageous profits parks make now. Every park profit can be documented. No resident is experienced enough to sit down with a Cirillo, attorneys & politicians to negotiate. This “negotiation” has ALWAYS been the start of the park owner fight against rent control. You CANNOT show me a place in Ca. where it has worked for residents. No resident should go into a room with a Cirillo, attorneys &/or politicians, w/o their own attorney present. Attorneys are skilled/professional liars/negotiators who will quote Court Cases, Supreme Court cases etc, with lies etc & no resident can argue against them. Residents CANNOT EVER WIN in these “negotiations”. Admitting to negotiate is admitting you are only half right at the start. This is how politicians avoid taking sides PUBLICLY, which is their intent. Helping residents is NOT their intent when doing this. Of over 100 cities that DO have rent control, not one that I know of “negotiated it”, though many wasted 1,2 or 3 yrs “trying” before fighting.
p 4 Encinitas council hired attorneys to work with their Planning Commission to OK conversions. Obviously, there was/is no negotiating here. Residents can fight or take it…….period. Asking people to write to the council is to ask them to ask WMA for “fairness”. Also, the overwhelming number of letters printed, support park owners. When this happened in Escondido, in early ’88, I went to the paper & DEMANDED they print an equal number of pro/con letters, or I’d get seniors to demonstrate their bias & have TV cameras to record it. Of course they denied it BUT they did print all letters sent by residents & sympathizers.
p 6, Bob is right. However, to simply tell people to fight doesn’t work. We need to get people in EVERY park to form a HOA. We do this by going there & meeting in the clubhouse or resident homes, to put backbone into those willing to fight. We must be ready to have an attorney able to immediately contact mgrs/parks who try to deny resident their MRL right to organize, use the clubhouse & HAVE GUEST SPEAKERS. Guest speakers should be able to put down ANY mgr who comes & makes ANY threats. Doing this IN FRONT OF RESIDENTS, gives them spirit & backbone. We MUST PROVE “BULLIES DON’T WIN HERE”.
P 7 No resident can meet with park owners/mgrs/attorneys, w/o their own attorney present. We can/should provide this. It is illegal for anyone but residents to elect/appoint who will represent them. This is ridiculous to even contemplate. A letter from an attorney WILL end this.
p 8 You give instructions on how to get transcripts. I always got videos. I then took them to parks & or their leaders to watch. When residents see people like themselves actually doing something, it give them a little motivation to activate/organize etc.
p 8-9, park mgr licensing? I personally think this is a waste of time/money. GSMOL has wasted a lot of time/$$ the past couple yrs & WMA must just keep laughing. Licensed mgrs will do ZERO, as all present mgrs will be grandfathered & ANY IDIOT will be able to pass the test. WMA attorneys HAVE BEEN traveling the state every yr the past 10 yrs . THEY “TAUGHT” THESE MGRS WHAT THEY’RE DOING NOW. While we (GSMOL) have been busy the past 4-5 yrs trying to get this dumb thing passed, which WILL NOT HELP US, WMA has successfully amended many of the MRL’s, which have SERIOUSLY WEAKENED “OUR”MRL’s. We need to stop whining, WAITING (for BIASED legislators) & start DEMANDING the rights WE ALREADY STILL HAVE. I’ll BET: Every lawsuit we WIN, will get us ANOTHER 1000 members.
P 10, Margo Iverson; I believe I can help these people. If you have them contact me, I’ll try. I’ll go out & speak to them if they wish. They have a good case & need an atty which I feel ELTH will help.
P12, CARA; Bob is to be congratulated. Ten yrs ago, I got appointed to the Congress of CA. Seniors (CCS) Board of Dir & was successful getting Rosemary Tomai to get an appointee to their legislative committee. They meet every month in Sacramento & as a GROUP, lobby for seniors. Bob can/should be able to get a MH person on CARA’s Bd also. I intend to contact their So. Cal. Rep also to try & get involved with them.
Editor’s Note: For those who do not know Gerry, he ran against Steve Gullage for GSMOL President in 1998. Gerry is very knowledgeable about mobilehome issues and is our ‘go to guy.’ He has terrific input. In my opinion if he had become GSMOL President in 1998, our lives today would have been much better!
What about lobbying for a state “legal fund” funded $7.00 per year per space. This would mean $5 million in a pot. Let the park owners contribute 50%. If they say they are abiding by the law, this will help prove it. One problem: who would administer it, certainly not the state of California – hopefully a wonderful non-profit like CoMO-CAL!
Good idea, But; if only 10% join (normal) that’d be about $500K. THEN: We’d have to hire an attorney to draw up papers, after several meetings etc. After all this (expense), then how would we handle if ONE person in a park wanted to sue & the problem affects the whole park? There are a thousand other combinations & it would be a nightmare. Just look at GSMOL’s ELF debacle. I have an idea that I passed by noted resident attorney, Richard Singer, several yrs ago. Because it was so hard to get residents to sue (I CAN’T AFFORD IT) etc. I asked “if we could get “INVESTORS” to invest 5-10K or more and the residents would sign over their share of the judgement(s), the investors might be able to double their investment (ala park owner) in a year or less & the residents would get their problem solved at NO COST to them. Singer said it would be legal. I feel that in little time, many investors “might be attorneys”. Park owners flagrantly violate the law as we know, ONLY because residents can’t (won’t) sue. My experience in Escondido is that residents win over 90% of their suits, mainly because park owners ARE COMFORTABLE ignoring the law. Further, I’d hire an attorney tomorrow, to write GSMOL & demand an accounting of every penny donated to ELF. All we need is ONE resident that donated, to sign the letter and if GSMOL does not come clean, the resident sues for him/herself & several hundred (thousand?) does. I will be happy to be the 1st to donate to this cause. I can’t think of anything that will WAKE UP residents statewide and get their support ($$$ memberships?). However, it’s easy to talk. I suggest talking to an attorney asap about both of the above. I’d be happy to meet with anyone/anyplace to further discuss this. However, it must be a “serious” discussion with an attorney present, or you might do it alone. Go ahead Frank: “MAKE MY DAY” lol……….
Jerry Lenhard, Escondido