Issues

Oceanside Troika out of control

Forum letter, by Nadine Scott written on May 9 in the NC Times

Jack Feller, Gary Felien and Jerry Kern (FFK) are at it again.

In the latest Oceanside budget update, the FFK majority are draining the city's budget. They spend
money like water and tell us they have to close libraries, pools, senior centers and resource centers.

At a recent workshop their paid consultants ("hired guns") told residents to reduce emergency services
at night and fire some paramedics from our already very lean Fire Department. These consultants didn't
take into account the aging population that requires more paramedics and fire stations, not less. That
study cost taxpayers $70,000 and told us what we already knew: the Fire Department is doing a superlative
job with the slim resources they have. A similar study was done not too long ago and said Oceanside needed
more stations and more fire personnel. That cost the taxpayers more money that should have been used to
keep a pool open or keep our libraries open.

Growing noses over mobile-home park spin

Written by Leanne Pohman on April 29 in the NC Times

Pinocchio was punished by a growing nose for telling lies. So I keep looking at the noses of Oceanside's
Councilmen Jerry Kern, Jack Feller and Gary Felien to see whether their noses are growing.

Their noses should be growing, so why can't I see a change? As a mobile-home owner, I know I pay a monthly
fee that goes toward covering city costs related to the Oceanside rent-control ordinance. Margery Pierce, Oceanside's
neighborhood services director, told my neighbor that when she calculates the amount I and other mobile-home owners
get charged each month for city rent-control ordinance costs, she even has to account for the costs of pencils used
by her office.

Rent-control city costs are being paid and have been for years from a monthly user fee just like other city services
are paid for by fees. Oceanside taxpayers have not paid millions to cover the city costs for rent control, yet that lie
is repeated over and over. So shouldn't those pushing Proposition E, the Kern, Feller, Felien so-called "vacancy decontrol"
ballot measure, be tripping over their noses by now?

Then it dawned on me. Nose growth only results from "sins of commission," or full lies, and doesn't result
from "sins of omission," or what politicians call "spin." One of Prop. E's expensive political consultants
must have told supporters "half truths" could be effectively used to create anger at mobile-home owners
and rent control.

A recent letter to the editor from a Prop. E supporter did cross the line from "half truth" to nose-growth
territory: "To date, rent control litigation and administration has cost this city around $3 million ---- money
that could have gone toward parks, public safety, or a number of beneficial services."

Usually, Prop. E supporters cite the city cost of rent control but fail to mention the monthly fee users pay
to cover the cost, a "half truth." This writer goes even further by implying that taxpayer money paid the city
cost, which is a falsehood.

The rent-control ordinance currently on Oceanside's books says city costs must be paid for by something
called a registration fee paid monthly by users of rent control. My monthly fee to cover the Oceanside city
cost to administer the rent-control program is adjusted when the city, not mobile-home owners, determines
the registration fee is insufficient to cover city costs. In other words, the full truth is that mobile-home owners
pay their own way.

A public records request from the city of Oceanside asking for the budget detail for the mobile home registration
fee showed that our monthly fee will produce revenue to the city of $294,008 for 2012. The listed detailed costs
for the city are projected at $266,463.

Now I am not an accountant, but isn't that an extra $27,545 to the city above projected city costs? This information
and more is available at www.omha4oside.com, which is the website for the Oceanside Mobile Homeowners Association,
a nonprofit, mutual benefit organization.

Blame Kern, mobile home park owners

Letter written by Christine Gow in the NC Times dated May 5

Who should voters hold responsible for a time in the past when the monthly fee that mobile homeowners
pay to cover city costs for the mobile-home rent control program was too low to cover all costs?

According to this 2009 North County Times article, "Mobile-home registration fee will climb," May 6, 2009,
voters need to look at Oceanside City Council member Jerry Kern and mobile-home park owners.

A portion of the article tells the whole story: Margery Pierce, director of housing and neighborhood services,
had recommended the entire 145 percent increase this year, making the fee $132. That way, she said,
Oceanside could immediately stop using its general fund to wash away the program's red ink. But council
members said a sudden jolt wasn't right during an economic downturn. "'What I really want to do here is
give a soft landing to everybody,' City Councilman Jerry Kern said."

Actions are incomprehensible, fiscally irresponsible4

By Dick Blom in the letters to the editor, NC Times dated April 26

Actions are incomprehensible, fiscally irresponsible

I find the actions of Oceanside City Council members Jerry Kern, Gary Felien and Jack Feller to be b
oth incomprehensible and fiscally irresponsible regarding affordable housing in Oceanside. They struggle
to find redevelopment funds for 288 affordable apartments and town houses. They consider various deals
with developers to include a few more affordable homes in their projects. All this indicates how affordable
housing is a good thing for Oceanside, a most desirable objective.

But this majority of three is incredibly anxious to get a vacancy decontrol law into effect to eliminate the
2,200-plus affordable homes that Oceanside already offers in our mobile-home parks. These are the homes
that will be removed from the affordable category by the ballot Measure E in the June election. If this ballot
measure is passed, it will do away with most of the affordable housing currently available in Oceanside.

As for the money being discussed for affordable homes, what\\\\\\\'s never mentioned in council meetings is the
hundreds of thousands of dollars the homeowners of our existing affordable homes provide each year to
Oceanside. For 2012, it will be approximately $300,000 that these mobile-home owners provide Oceanside
that totally funds any part of city government devoted to administering the mobile-home ordinance 16B.

The simple truth: Vote no on Prop. E

Written by Nadine Scott in the NC Times dated April 13

In response to Nick Porter (April 3), I am compelled to write. He states that rent control has cost
"the city around $3 million." This is a complete and outright misstatement of the truth. Rent control
as not cost the city of Oceanside or its taxpayers one thin dime.

Each mobile-home owner pays into a fund that covers any lawsuits or costs. All of the lawsuits have
been brought by the park owners, who tried to raise the rent beyond what is fair and reasonable.
These apparently greedy park owners have lost each and every lawsuit.

The rent control ordinance in Oceanside has worked well for over 30 years. Lies from Mr. Porter and
his ilk are flat-out wrong. Telling the same lies over and over again will never make them true. These
gross misstatements of costs to the city are intended to confuse and prejudice the voters against
mobile-home owners. People bought their homes with a contract with the owners for rent control;
ow the park owners are breaking their word.

For the real truth, see this website: www.CitizensAgainstEandF.com . Uphold the truth. No more
telling lies, just the simple truth. Vote no on Proposition E in June.

David vrs King Kong

Forum article written by Norm Kelly in the NC Times dated April 18

This should be called David vs. Goliath. But then again, when considering the odds against
mobile-home residents, maybe it should be called David vs. King Kong.

For those of you who watched the recent KOCT debate on vacancy decontrol, it was easy to
draw the conclusion that park owners can barely gather up enough cash to patch a pothole.
Well, guess what? This group of out-of-town owners now has a war chest of over $300,000
and growing. You can expect a blitz of propaganda in your mailbox any day now.

What about the park residents? You know, the old folks who are somehow taking advantage of
these mobile park businesses? They have accumulated about $26,000, primarily resulting from
fundraisers, doorbell-ringing, and small donations from the residents themselves. They are at
an 11:1 disadvantage.

Clearly, this exposes the myth that park owners are practically broke. And if indeed they are,
why don't they apply to the city's Manufactured Home Fair Practices Commission for a deserved
increase in space rates? None have, and for good reason.

In order to apply for an increase, the owners would have to reveal information regarding their
current operating profits or losses. And guess what that would display? Large profits, some as high
as 59 percent. It required a Superior Court decision just to discover that information.

Mobile-home parks are making plenty of money, and if they are not, there are existing systems
in place to assure that they do, assuming that the problem is not simple incompetence.

Another hidden issue is that these parks do not represent the "highest and best use" of the land
they occupy. That is another issue the owners would prefer to keep to themselves. The reason?
No one can require a park owner to run a mobile-home park. But here we have the pesky problem
of the 3,500 Oceanside citizens who occupy these parks.

Local and state law provides for compensation or relocation of these residents if a park is closed.
That is expensive. It is far more economical to enlist sleazy practices such as vacancy decontrol.

Of the California cities employing this vacancy decontrol, none have the radical version that Oceanside
envisions. All others have some kind of "cap" on rent increase upon sale of property, Most are in
the 10 percent range, but vary from 5 percent to 25 percent.

And once rented, the new occupant continues under rent control. Oceanside proposes unlimited
rent increases, and eliminates rent control for the new owner. Since the current ordinance is funded
by an assessment of park residents and park owners (not taxpayers), in just a few years, the entire
ordinance will simply collapse due to the diminishing numbers under rent control.

Those stating that a resident can stay under rent control for "as long as they live in their home" do not
understand the effects of the law they support, or are lying.

Can David prevail against King Kong? It's up to the voters on June 5.

Paramedic service shouldn't be privatized

written by Mandy Barre in the NC Times

The "privatization" editorial ("Don't demonize privatization," April 12) in the North County Times
did an absolute disservice to the truth about paramedic service in Oceanside. If you read the
report carefully, there is absolutely no possibility that "a private firm can provide the same quality
of service at a significantly cheaper price" as the current firefighter/paramedic system in place.
The report proposes "ambulance" service, which is basically a taxi service.

Right now, folks in Oceanside receive advanced life-saving medical treatment and assessments
provided on-the-spot by highly trained paramedics. I know of no taxi service capable of the same
level of service.

Further, if staff had read the report, the report actually talks about cutting overall service in order
to effectuate any possible savings to the city. It suggests cutting service between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Heaven forbid if there is a car accident, fire or heart attack/stroke during those times. The report
also clearly states that Oceanside does not have adequate staffing and has delayed response times
compared with other similar cities. Focusing on cutting costs only can never provide the same level
of service there is now.

To gloss over these significant facts tells me the staff may not really care about people in Oceanside.

Hear lies, check facts on 'poor' park owners

written by Bonnie Wright in the NCTimes

It is the nature of a political arena to be filled with lies and scams, but I never thought
I would witness it firsthand so blatantly or that I, along with approximately 3,000 others,
including 700 veterans, who have worked and supported our community and country most
of our lives, would be the target of the evil results.

The Oceanside majority council supported several wealthy non-Oceanside resident park-owners
and their backers to enable them to satisfy their greed. Those self-proclaimed "poor" park owners,
who rent us an empty parking space, are using over $300,000 in campaign funds from park owners,
their associations and developers, compared with less than $50,000 funding mainly donated by
people on fixed incomes, to win a costly election they forced on us. ...

They claim that our homes, with improvements, landscaping and utilities, all at our own expense,
have little value ---- until they take them for their own use. Please check facts that are public
record regarding their claims of city administration and taxpayer costs, lawsuits and campaign
donations. ... Please vote no on E on June 5.

Using wealth to control Government Policy

In a letter dated April 9, Sandra Waecker argued for the passage of Prop E - the proposition to
decontrol lot rents for tenants in the mobile home parks. Her argument states that price controls
are just plain wrong. Here is a reply to her letter in the discussion portion of this paper about why
price controls on mobile home lot rents work very well - and should remain in place

This reply comes from Legalblond:
Ms. Waecker "forgot" to tell everyone she is part of the park owners' Political Action Committee
and has been hosting events all around town AGAINST Oceanside homeowners! She is using the
same illogical argument about the price of other goods. That argument does NOT work. These
homeOWNERS cannot "take their business elsewhere!" They are required to locate their homes in
Oceanside's mobile home parks, and once installed, they are NOT mobile! They are "captive customers"
of these parks, making these park businesses a monopoly under the law. If you were forced to buy
your gas from only ONE station in town and that station wanted to increase it's rates 'WITHOUT LIMIT'
(as Prop. "E" does!), could you afford to drive your car? If the next buyer of your home would LOSE
the protections of Prop. 13 so that taxes would then be raised 'WITHOUT LIMIT,' would that buyer
purchase your home, or would they buy in another community where that would not happen? Why
appease out-of-town multi-million dollar corporations, their expensive lawyers and lobbyists for filing
the very lawsuits that cost the City money?? As stated in today's UT: "It’s an effort to try to change
public policy by using their wealth,” said Ed Howard, senior counsel for the University of San Diego
School of Law Center for Public Interest Law. “It’s not because you make your case in court or the
court of public opinion, but just because you’re rich. That’s not right. Once word gets out that laws
can be defeated by wealthy people getting together and flouting their wealth, you don’t have government
anymore.

” VOTE 'NO' ON PROP. 'E' ON JUNE 5TH!!!

Tyranny of Majority Rule

Tyranny of majority rule
By Eugenia Whaley, in the NC Times on April 7,

Mike Groghan hit the nail on the head with his Community Forum of March 16 ("Minority representation in majority governance") when he challenged Gary Felien and Thomas Morrow regarding "sanctity and good sense of majority rule." What he points out is that they are of the opinion that minority representation doesn't count. And that results in the "tyranny of majority rule." Doesn't this just about sum up what is going on in the state of California?

Mr. Groghan goes beyond just pointing out the fallacies of Felien and Morrow's denigration of those voters who are in the minority. He suggests that, in order to have some balance in government, whether it be local, state or federal, representatives of the minority be appointed and included in the decision making processes. Would that that were true in California and in Washington, D.C. And because it isn't true, here or in Washington, is exactly where the tea party movement and all the disenfranchised voters are coming from, and there are a lot of politicians that are going to find this out come November.

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