‘I urge you to vote no on Measure V’
In 2013, we purchased Indianola Mobile Home Park in Eureka. Indianola is a nice, well-maintained park with 70 mobile home spaces. Since purchasing the park, we have spent tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance and upgrades. These include annual tree trimming, septic maintenance (including replacement of costly pumps), clearing of brush, and most recently, we began the very expensive task of street resurfacing. This alone will cost us more than $300,000. Aging mobile home parks cost a lot of money to operate.
We are not a corporation or a large company. We did not jack up the rents when we bought the park three years ago. In fact, we have only increased rents every other year and then at just $10 a month. The current rent in the park is $440. Most reasonable people would consider this very fair. Unfortunately, proponents of rent control think otherwise. As someone who owns and rents private property, they consider me “greedy” and “evil.” I beg to differ. Measure V will harshly punish me for providing and properly maintaining some of the best affordable housing in Humboldt County. I urge you to vote no on Measure V.
Jerry Husband, Indianola Mobile Home Park, Eureka
POSTED: 09/23/16, 2:13 PM PDT
POSTED: 09/27/16, 10:59 AM PDT
Read up and please vote no on Measure V
In May, a federal jury unanimously found that the city of Carson and its rent control board violated the constitutional rights of the owner of Colony Cove — a mobile home park in Southern California. The jury concluded that the board’s rejection of lawfully filed rent increase applications in 2007 and 2008 constituted a regulatory taking without just compensation. Such government actions are barred by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The jury went on to award the park owner more than $3.3 million in damages. In addition to this already staggering judgement — which the taxpayers of Carson will have to pay — the court ordered that the city pay an additional $4,128,662 in prejudgement interest and attorneys’ fees. Taxpayers are now on the hook for a whopping $7,464,718 — from just one bad Rent Control Board decision! And this amount does not include the millions of tax dollars the City has spent on its own legal bills in this case.
Hilary Mosher’s claim that Measure V will cost taxpayers nothing is patently false: a ruse to steer voters away from the truth. With a Carson taxpayer tab that will most likely exceed $10,000,000, Mosher couldn’t be more wrong about the devastating budgetary impact rent control is likely to have on vital Humboldt County services like law enforcement, fire protection and road maintenance. Go to www.nomeasurev.com to read the judge’s order in the Carson case and please vote NO on Measure V.
Doug Johnson, Citizens Against Rent Control — NO on Measure V, McKinleyville
Who Is Hilary Mosher?
Hilary Mosher is the main backer of Measure V. She is a local business woman, owner of Strongbridge Montessori School in Arcata.
Ms. Mosher lives in Ocean West Senior Village. After an unsuccessful bid to purchase Ocean West from the previous owners, Ms. Mosher became 'determined to derail the sale' and started filing a series of complaints with the county for use violations. (Note: None of her claims were substantiated.)
Ms. Mosher submitted the above Letter To The Editor, 'Validate Incomes' to the Eugene Register-Guard on Mar 2, 1991. Read it carefully, as she is clearly calling for means testing, something Measure V does not call for. The implication of this is simple: with means testing, Ms. Mosher, as a business owner, does not stand to personally benefit!
It makes one wonder if Ms. Mosher is actually fighting for low-income seniors and families, or if she is fighting for her own personal benefit.
OPINION: Affordable Housing Protects Senior Residents
My parents purchased Thunderbird Mobile Estates in McKinleyville out
of bankruptcy with their life savings in 1972. They were immigrants from
Europe who scraped some money together by working hard, and they used all
their savings and took out seven mortgages in order to purchase the park. They
worked hard to improve the property from what was a pretty run-down park
to the beautiful, well-maintained park it is today. It provides some of the best
affordable housing in the heart of McKinleyville.
My brother and I are now the second generation running the park, and I expect
my child will continue as the third generation. I have been to gatherings of
park owners and I see the same thing, the older generation with their children
and grandchildren as the future of their parks.
Our park is always full, as people buy and sell their homes as their life
needs change. No one has ever complained that our rents are too high or that
our rent increases are inappropriate.
The proponents of Measure V would have you believe that we are “greedy”
and committing “elder abuse” by charging new residents $425 per month rent
for the wonderful home location, infrastructure and services we provide as part
of the rent. Even some of the proponents who live in what is arguably the most
beautiful park in the county pay only $488 per month. Average rents in Humboldt
County are about $435 and some include many utilities.
The proponents of Measure V would have you believe that the “greedy”
mobile home park owners will toss a senior out on the street for not paying
their rents, or would let their pet starve. There could be nothing farther from
the truth. Not only would that be bad for business — it would be immoral!
Every park owner works with their senior residents to help them get the assistance
We have always run Thunderbird Mobile Estates for the benefit of our
residents. Measure V will make this very difficult and expensive for all. Please
don’t believe the negative hyperbole and untruths you hear about park owners.
Get the facts! Please Vote No on Measure V and save our affordable housing.
Guntram Wolski is owner of Thunderbird Mobile Estates, a 40-unit mobile
home park off Pickett in McKinleyville.
POSTED: October 2016 Vol. 35, No. 10
Measure V is all wrong – perspectives from a family-owned park
The proponents of Measure V will have you believe that mobile home park owners – be they “mom and pop” businesses, family businesses or even those owned by corporations – are villains, evil landlords who cannot be trusted. However, nothing could be further from the truth. No one willingly evicts a senior in need, and every mobile home park in Humboldt County would offer assistance to a resident in real need because it’s the right thing to do.
In the 1990s, a couple moved into a home in our mobile home park – great residents who had good jobs. One of them – I’ll call her “Ms. T”– ultimately retired, while the other continued her career. Unfortunately, Ms. T fell ill in the late 2000s. Her partner, who had been the breadwinner, moved away, causing Ms. T to fall behind on rent.
When we learned of Ms. T’s situation, we did the right thing and set aside her rent and paid her utilities. This allowed her to focus on getting better and seeking the help she needed. She became healthier and, through community assistance, was able to provide for herself. This is just one example of a true community: mobile home park owners, park managers and residents working together.
The proponents are trying to scare everyone by claiming rent increases are exorbitant. However, a recent $35,000 study commissioned by the City of Arcata states, “The private market has maintained rents consistent with or below inflation. Rent increases have also on average lagged behind home rent increases … In short, the local market is currently providing a more affordable option [than] would a city-regulated program.”
Another major problem with Measure V is that it does not help the neediest nor does it require any form of means testing. The Arcata study points out that: “rent stabilization ordinances … do not help the neediest among us. Rent stabilization ordinances are not ‘means tested,’ meaning that all mobile home [residents] benefit regardless of economic need. Folks living closest to the margins of our local economic index cannot afford the slight increases tied to CPI, which rent stabilization ordinances allow.” This means that tying Measure V rent increases to the CPI is still too much for our poorest seniors. The study goes on to list four better solutions than rent control!
The proponents of Measure V claim that park owners just tack on fees indiscriminately. However, the State of California Mobile Home Residency Laws expressly forbids that from happening to residents.
Measure V proponents say the measure is self-funded. It is not. A $5/month rent increase for the residents imposed by this measure will not cover the costs over time. The $5 is capped, not even tied to the CPI, and as the measure states, “The purpose of the fee is ... to partly cover the costs …” The taxpayers will be responsible for the rest of the costs: administration, arbitration, lawyer fees for the “Hearing Officer,” staff time, etc.
Measure V will limit the space rent, but as the rents remain artificially low, the homes on them will increase in value due to them being anchored to the desirable below-market space rent. The homes ultimately end up being quite expensive, reducing “affordable” housing stock, while the parks lose the ability to maintain themselves. The most egregious example of home prices becoming unaffordable was in the City of Santa Cruz, which ultimately recognized the folly and become one of 17 municipalities that have rescinded their rent control laws.
Measure V is an initiative – initiatives cast law in stone. If the law needs to be modified or fixed, it can only be done by another initiative. Even our elected representatives will be powerless to make any changes due to this problematic measure.
Protect low-income seniors, working families, taxpayers and our affordable housing stock in Humboldt County by voting no on Measure V.
Guntram Wolski manages Thunderbird Mobile Estates in McKinleyville for the benefit of the residents and as Trustee for Marianne Wolski, who purchased the park in 1972.
Mad River Union
Better protection for the park residents than V
There is a better way than Measure V. I live in Ocean West Mobile Home Park and served on the Home Owners Association committee to negotiate an improved long term lease. The new owners were very willing to negotiate with us.
Our long-term lease uses the Consumer Price Index to provide annual increases in rent to allow park owners the revenue to maintain this beautiful park, and receive a return on their investment. In exchange for this the owners agreed not to pass through any expenses of maintenance or repairs to the park, large or small. This is better protection for the park residents than Measure V provides.
The family-owned parks in Humboldt County have not aggressively raised rents overthe years and until Measure V, there was no reason to believe they would have. The fear is corporate ownership. Our longterm lease extends beyond the next change of ownership to the end of the lease period. Some residents have signed 10- or 20year leases. Measure V does nothing to help low-income residents.
By using a long-term lease we avoid the burden on the county to monitor and enforce an ordinance with unknown costs, we protect the residents and we avoid an adversarial relationship between owners and residents. The Measure V Coalition should use this approach instead of an ordinance. This is a better way. Let’s vote no on Measure V.
Ordell Murphy, McKinleyville