In America, every citizen has guaranteed rights. One is the right “to question.” Today, across this country, voters are questioning candidates running for the office of President. Voters are asking candidates about their past record, their accomplishments, their goals…. Many are active in this process. A process which culminates on election day in November 2008 when we go to the polls and vote.
As members of GSMOL, we have a right to question our leaders. We have the right to ask questions about their record, their accomplishments, their goals… We have a right to bring up concerns and to make suggestions… After all GSMOL would be nothing without it’s members.
This Convention happens every two years. What better forum or time to ask questions.
I have been active in the organization as a five year member, a Chapter President, an Associate Manager, and a Delegate at the last two Conventions. I’ve attended most of the board meetings between 2004 and 2006 and chaired a committee of eight managers who spent two months writing a “Recommendations Report” which was submitted to the GSMOL Board in August 2004.
As a GSMOL member in good standing, I would like to ask the following questions:
Regarding the Enforcement Legal Fund
ELF was started in 2002. Many members contributed $10 each year since 2002. Some gave as much as $50 to ELF between 2002 and 2005. Yet only $10 of their contribution was credited to them. GSMOL just took the balance (any contribution over $10). Members were not given an option to get a refund, or additional coverage. Why not? Shouldn’t members have had a say in this decision? After all it was their money. By the way, where did that money go?
And what about the plan for ELF? Members contributed over the years based on a plan published in the February and March 2002 Californian. What happened to that plan?
GSMOL touts ELF as a way to gain our rights. Has it really accomplished that goal? Why haven’t more members been helped? How much money is in the ELF fund today?
Regarding Elections in January 2008
The Bylaws call for a specific process when electing board members. In 2004 those running for office were listed in the Californian, along with their qualifications, etc. “Nominations from the floor” is not part of the process, so an election based on nominations at the Convention are not legal.
Why are there no committees on Membership, Finances, Public Relations, etc.
Focus of GSMOL
In spite of the “Recommendations Report” by eight managers, many of whom still serve today, the focus of GSMOL has not changed. Is the purpose of GSMOL “To promote the general welfare of mobilehome owners” really being accomplished today? What about helping members by listing attorneys versed in the MRL, by writing letters to managers and owners, by focusing more on problems in parks?
Resident Owned Parks, Inc. (ROP, Inc.)
At the request of GSMOL, ROP, Inc. was formed in 2001. Maurice Priest, lobbyist and corporate attorney for GSMOL, runs ROP, Inc. Now ex-GSMOL President Steve Gullage serves on the Board of ROP. GSMOL only promotes ROP, although there are numerous organizations helping mobilehome owners purchase their parks. Isn’t this “self serving?”
How do GSMOL members benefit from this relationship? Wouldn’t GSMOL be serving it’s members better if it gave them several options, rather than just ROP?
Other Advocacy Groups & Attorneys
Why doesn’t GSMOL write more about other organizations and attorneys that help mobilehome owners. Wouldn’t that benefit GSMOL members?
GSMOL has published a summary of finances in past years. Why isn’t that done today?
Board Meeting Minutes
They were published in past years. Why not today?