We feel it important that you know the “players.” Which ones are working for your best interests, and which ones are not. We ask you to support “the good.”
Who Are The Good?
Why are YOU “the good?” Because you want to know what’s happening and how it will impact you personally. You don’t just leave it up to someone else or pretend nothing is happening. You take the time to join an advocacy group and to read THE VOICE. You are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Thank You!
If you just join and do nothing else, that is terrific. You know you can call us when you need help with an issue, a notice, etc. If we do nothing else, CoMO-CAL wants all mobilehome owners to know they can call us for information and support. We may not always have a solution to your problem, but we are there for you when you call or email us.
If you join and promote CoMO-CAL, you are helping yourself also. It is a fact, there are about 150 times more mobilehome owners than park owners. Remember SIN: Strength in Numbers. If even 10% of mobilehome owners joined us, we wouldn’t have nearly the problems we all experience today in many of our parks. Time is running. We need your help – get the word out to join our efforts!
Many MHOs up and down the state work hard to help others, whether it be a few of their neighbors, all residents in their park, in their city or even the whole state of California. Most advocacy groups have hard working volunteers, and MHO’s should be grateful. These people sacrifice for all of us and we commend them for their work, especially those who work, not for themselves or their ego’s, but to really help others.
Some might say, here they go again, promoting themselves. But here are the facts. Not all advocacy groups are created equal. We communicate more than any other advocacy group, hands down. Even GSMOL leaders admit THE VOICE is superior to THE CALIFORNIAN. And it is published monthly, not quarterly. If you want to know what’s happening, it is there to read.
Why do we deserve high marks? We publish a list of attorneys versed in Mobilehome Residency Law. No other group does that, including GSMOL in their 40+ year history. We publish information on all advocacy groups. Why do we do this? Mobilehome owners need to know the truth. We often suggest you question, question, question. Whether it be your park manager, the advocacy group you have joined, your local politican, etc. Learn who really has your best interest at heart.
Although we are just three years old, we continuously work to provide more services to communicate, education and unify. We now have a message board at www.://groups.yahoo.com/group/comocal/. Any mobilehome owner can join for free. All issues of THE VOICE can be accessed on the message board, questions can be asked and answers found. If you have internet, please take advantage of this service.
Our network of volunteers is “the good.” We depend on their expertise and support. Without them there would not be a CoMO-CAL.
CoMO-CAL has retained attorney Bruce Stanton for legal questions. We will publish articles written by Mr. Stanton and he is our “go to guy” regarding the MRL and Title 25.
Issues are complex and many. Solutions can not be just new legislation. They have to encompass all efforts—legislation, enforcement, education, and unity. We need to be more offensive, and less defensive. Most issues have gone unresolved for many years and it will take time to find solutions.
Above all, CoMO-CAL is for its membership. We serve you, not the other way around. THE VOICE is your voice. We do not censor. And we welcome your suggestions, criticisms and comments and often publish your letters in THE VOICE.
Other Advocacy Groups.
We consider any group that is working for mobilehome owners and not themselves – as “the good.” We are impressed with CARA. They initiate and support legislation for us. They offer leadership training. And they are 800,000 strong! In fact you, as a CoMO-CAL member belong to CARA.
The “bad” are those residents who put their heads in the sand, who don’t want to know and don’t care. They are part of our problem, certainly not part of the solution. Who can deny the many issues in rental parks? We need their participation!
Most mobilehome owners are not active, nor do they know what’s happening around the state. In fact, there are about 650,000 spaces statewide. At 2.0 per space, there are about 1.5 million of us. Of course those who are seeking help and want to join a group – these are not “the bad.” We are making efforts to reach these residents – like Operation Reach Out – “OReO.” Last year we sent out almost 10,000 to residents that are not CoMO-CAL members. This year we would like to send out 50,000 informational fliers (THE WHISPER).
Many support an organization without really knowing anything it. And they would rather “die” than hear the truth about their organization. Unfortunately these well intentioned residents are part of the problem. We suggest they question their leaders, rather than follow them blindly.
Advocates, not for us, but for themselves and their egos
We know of many advocates who do some good, yet they could do much more. Their goal is run their little dynasties and keep others (like CoMO-CAL) out. Perhaps they publish an article in a local paper or hold an occasional meeting. However they are not open to anyone with an offer to unite or network. In fact they work hard to keep the status quo. In our opinion, they are doing a disservice to those they pretend to serve.
Uninformed and Untrained Managers
Many managers lack the education and qualities to manage. Many have NO people skills. Many make no attempt to improve themselves, or study the laws (MRL and Title 25) to become better park managers. They are part of the problem as well as the park owners who employee them in the first place!
Many would have you believe the MRL really protects us. The MRL, in our opinion, is “bad.” And this opinion is shared by others, such as Donald DeVore who wrote “Mobilehome Wars.” Why? Because enforcement of these laws is extremely difficult and park owners know it. How many mobilehome owners know when their rights are being violated? How many have the money or the inclination to face a court battle? I’d say very few.
The laws are violated daily. How can this be? Because there must be enforcement. We hear over and over, a law is not a law unless it is enforced. When a law in the MRL is continually violated by park owners, without a challenge by mobilehome owners, pretty soon it is violated without regard to the law.
Loopholes in the MRL
In fact there are many loopholes in the MRL. For example, a park employee does not have to abide by park rules and regulations while “working for the park.” Yet residents do. This is a loophole.
Parks under rent control only offer long term leases to buyers coming off the street—another loophole in the law.
Toadies. Clay Harrison, GSMOL Manager, coined this word referring to residents who are pro-management, not pro-homeowner. They often “prostitute” themselves by accepting “perks” from management. They work for management as spies and keep management informed. They are not our friends. They work against us. They keep residents from uniting. They disrupt meetings and side with management. When there is a real issue, they say we are crazy or there is no issue or we are the problem.
Managers – who abuse, intimidate, harass
Not only are they usually uninformed and untrained, but they bully. It is their way or the highway. They abuse, intimidate and harass. They can be found in many parks, especially Western Manufactured Communities Association (WMA) parks. This is senior abuse and we should not tolerate it. We all need to focus on ways to stop it.
WMA Code of Ethics
The WMA Code of Ethics is published on the next page from their website at http://www.wma.org/. This Code of Ethics is a JOKE, and a bad one at that. On a personal note, I have lived under the fist of a WMA manager for 10 years now. It is my experience they lie, they scheme, they violate the MRL, intimidate, harass, and abuse. They go after those residents who can least defend themselves.
Advocacy Organizations that censor and withhold important information
We have no respect for organizations that “censor” information they provide their membership. They may benefit themselves, but not you, a mobilehome owner. You need correct, complete information to make the best choices for yourselves.
For example, GSMOL only promotes Resident Owned Parks, Inc. (ROP, Inc.), when in fact there are many organizations that help residents purchase their parks. Why do they do this? We feel the reason is because Maurice Priest has become very powerful in the GSMOL organization, both as Corporate Counsel and as lobbyist in Sacramento. Maurice Priest also heads the ROP organization and he and his family benefit financially when ROP, Inc. purchases a park. So it only makes sense that GSMOL would want GSMOL members to use ROP, Inc.
You, as a mobilehome owner, should have all the information, all the options, so you can make up your own mind as to what would be best for you, based on ‘merit.’
CoMO-CAL realizes this is a serious ‘charge’ against GSMOL, Maurice Priest and ROP, Inc.
We print this not to benefit ourselves, but to show mobilehome owners why they MUST be active and do their homework. Don’t just blindly follow any one person or organization. Mobilehome owners should settle for nothing less than full, correct information. Not every advocacy group is created equal!
Greedy Park Owners
Parks are cash cows. Park owners make huge returns on their investments, yet many are not happy . Rather than treat their residents with respect, they hire untrained managers to bully. Why? Their bottom line is money! They make more money, especially in a rent control area, when they can get an older home moved out of the park or evict a resident.
Give us your input
We are always anxious to hear from you. If you have a GOOD, a BAD, or an UGLY, let us know and we will share it with other members.